Facilitation

Introduction

  • Introduce yourself: what makes you want to participate in the discussion
  • (if running small group discussion with two female members) Non-male members: trust that they will chime in when they decide. Resist the urge to put them on the spot or ask them to speak for all women (though certainly for themselves).

Setting the tone

  • Name purpose of meeting: increase awareness of issues, understand different perspectives, have a conversation
  • Agenda: give brief overview
  • Confidentiality: please don't share other people's stories without their permission.
  • Understanding: different folks come from many backgrounds and cultures. Be curious, not judgmental. 
  • Language: use the best language you have available
  • Very different opinions in room: Some think this is really important, others not so much
  • New topic: This may be a new topic for many in room

During Discussion

  • Encourage sharing personal experiences
  • Strive for tone of conversational and constructive
  • Pay attention to who is speaking – invite those not speaking much to say something or ask them a question that they're free to pass on
  • Be CURIOUS about why people feel the way they do.
  • Listen for, emphasize, and bring up provocative questions, situations, and statements (for provocative statements, make one, and then ask people to reply)
  • Tie discussion to pre-meeting readings
  • Are there statements behind some of the questions people are asking?

Prompts to get questions going

  • General… anything you notice in particular
  • Dilemmas you’ve faced
  • Dilemmas you’ve seen
  • Policies
  • Tense situations
  • Jokes, comments, etc
  • Politics and policies

Contexts to think about

  • Classroom
  • Hallways
  • Study Groups
  • Recruiting
  • Parties
  • Workplace
  • Interviews