Here is a summary of the various points that came out in this discussion topic:
Why is facilitation important in networks and communities?
- To set the tone for a lively and productive discussion - create an open, friendly, yet goal-oriented atmosphere
- To keep things on track: the topic, the time allotted, to take note of issues that are off-topic but might be excellent for another discussion round
- To move ahead (and to avoid silent times, without activity)
- To achieve results
- To summarize/revise inputs from non-native English speakers so that their inputs are also shared with rest of the community.
- To ensure an open discussion, promote dialogue and ensure everyone’s opinions are heard
How do we create the right environment to engage people and build trust?
- Remaining open and reactive (interactive)
- Setting a positive tone and welcoming new people
- Encouraging the quieter participants to join (or discover why they are not contributing.)
- Prodding the community with questions and summarizing the discussions
- Sharing useful information
- Maintaining/brining a sense/slice of humor
- Tactfully supporting non-native English speakers (editing their posts, encouraging participation by talking to them offline, etc)
- Going the extra kilometer and picking up the phone, calling on favors, cajoling, even pleading, if necessary!
- Remaining neutral - treating people how you want to be treated
- Taking care to watch over the tone and content of the material and ensuring the tone is open-minded, courteous and productive
Thank you Jean, Beate, Hivy, Kristin, Charmaine, Ilaria and Lucie for sharing your thoughts on this topic.