People who are good listeners may also become good facilitators, able to lead others in discussion in small groups. Good facilitation is not easy. The facilitator’s work is to build the right atmosphere, to help each individual to participate and to work together. Good facilitation is much more about listening than talking.
Good facilitators require many skills. They need to be relaxed and good at building relationships. Humour can often help to create a good atmosphere that helps people share their feelings and views. It is important that facilitators are aware of the different needs within the group, encouraging those who lack confidence to speak, and dealing tactfully with people who talk too much or whose views are unhelpful. They should treat everyone equally and with respect.
Facilitators can help discussion by making sure everyone understands any new words and sometimes rewording questions. They do not need to know the answers to all questions. However, it is helpful if they know how to help others find the right answers. Summarising decisions reached within a group can be very useful when facilitators are either taking things forward or concluding a discussion.