Improving Your Facilitating Skills

Help group bond by:

       Setting Atmosphere

  • Create a social climate and ways for members to get to know each other
  • Atmosphere conducive to prayer
  • Seats for all set up so all can see each other
  • prepare video/music and equipment beforehand
  • Have other needed materials ready and easily available
  • Have refreshments after meeting so group can socialize and get to know one another

  • Clarify what the purpose and expectations of group membership are.
  • Norms for group reaction can then be developed. Go over the norms so they are understood and agreed upon by all

    Communication Skills

  • When speaking, make eye contact with every member so all feel they are equally important.
  • Express and model respect and encourage trust among members
  • Body Language – Speaks louder than words. Is believed above words. If there is incongruity in body language/speech, it must be called on or the level of trust of the group will be affected. “You are saying you are happy but I hear a note of sadness in your voice.
  • “I” Language – Don’t speak in generalizations. “Everybody thinks_________” rather than “ I think____”. This leaves room for differing opinions. It respects that others may feel differently and that their feelings are just as valid.
  • Concrete Language – Be specific about your feelings. “The reading made me feel happy” is not as concrete as “Blessed are the peace makers made me feel happy because that is something I try to be to others”

    Listening Skills – Active Listening 

  • Concentrate on the speaker by listening with body language. Stay focused on speaker and face speaker.
  • Reflect back what is being said by repeating the gist of it in your own words.
  • Invite further response by asking an open ended question. “How did it feel?” “What did you think?”

    Researching Sources & 
    Creating Faith Sharing Questions Skills
  • Faith Sharing Questions
  • Speak to the heart and not the head
  • Can not be answered with two words

    Group Dynamics

  • A person joining/leaving the group changes the group
  • Joining two groups together may not always be a good idea group norms have formed in both groups independently and may not be compatible
  • Conflicts need to be addressed
  • Differences of opinion are healthy and good for group
  • If someone feels very strongly about something find out why
  • Different personalities need to be respected.
    Leave time for the introvert to jump in or send her the questions ahead of time
  • Agreeing to norms can settle may problems. Offenders can be called back with “Remember the norms we agreed upon?”
  • Help people see that their presence is important to the group. They are missed when not there.Gleaned from “Facilitating for Growth, A Guide for Scripture Study Groups & Sm. Christian Communities” by Barbara J. Fleischer, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn.