Basic Facilitation Guide for Training Using
Team Building Exercises
If you have Fun goals: if the goals are mainly "fun" it is often OK to just present
the task and "see how it goes", making changes to the activity
as you see fit
If you have Learning goals:
if the goals are mainly "learning and development", then you
open another can of worms! - consider
more sophisticated design and sequencing of your program. You may
want to deepen your understanding of experiential learning
principles and facilitation
Create a Non-threatening environment:
encourage a non-threatening social environment in which everyone feels
welcome to participate (consider using warm-ups, icebreakers, and
get-to-know-each other activities first). Experiencing social
support during a program has been found to be an important factor in
determining outcomes (Neill
& Dias, 2001).
Rules: explain the "rules and guidelines" clearly for the task;
don't underestimate the importance of clear information in multiple
formats to help an activity run smoothly; but the challenge is to present
these rules in a nurturant, growth-promoting way, as opposed to
autocratic, school marm style.
consider whether to "frame" and/or "debrief" the activity (see
facilitation & processing).
Framing is creating a story or scenario or metaphor around the activity.
The "frame" in many uses is selected to be isomorphic - that is,
consistent with the back-home life. So, a bucket of water may come
to represent money (or love), for example. The initiative task then
comes to mean something quite different, as the money (or love) is handled
and transported through various obstacles and challenges. Debriefing
refers to some form of discussion or "reviewing" of "what happened and
what was learnt". Debriefing is quite common, but not always
recommended. Sometimes it is better not to debrief and to move on to
the next activity, or to approach the "review" more subtly, such as by
casually initiating dicussion about a topic amongst different individuals.
be aware of the subtle ways which influence an instructor's
effectiveness in experiential learning with groups.
Read more about "Group Facilitating &
Processing in Experiential & Outdoor Education Training".