September 13, 2016 @ 9:00 am – September 15, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
Romberg Tiburon Center, Bay Conference Center
3152 Paradise Dr
Tiburon, CA 94920
Aimee Good
Facilitation Skills for Scientists, Planners and Resource Managers @ Romberg Tiburon Center, Bay Conference Center | California | United States


Facilitation skills are used by scientists, planners and resource managers to form productive teams, plan programs and projects, and to implement controversial projects and programs. Facilitators help groups to communicate productively, honoring diverse points of view and respectfully creating options that provide the richest suite of benefits for all.

The success or failure of programs and projects often depends on the support of a variety of interested parties – staff, management, agencies, environmental groups, the general public and other stakeholders – with diverse perspectives. Productive communication among project stakeholders is essential for successful implementation. In some cases, worthy projects have been blocked by disenchanted stakeholders who felt they had no voice or had been treated badly by public officials.  The loss of meaningful participation can negatively affect a project’s design and implementation.

This course is intended to be a practical approach to improving group meetings. It is oriented specifically to the needs of scientists, planners and resource managers. Core facilitation skills are practiced and the class will be tailored to the students’ development needs. Participants will be asked to complete a pre-workshop skills profile. Students are presented with a wide array of tools and opportunities to practice new facilitation skills.

Course topics:

Perspectives: Why doesn’t everyone think like me?

Meetings: Different meetings for different needs

Roles and Responsibilities: Who wears what hat?

Planning Meetings: Assessing needs, objectives, and purpose

Process and Content: The two parts of effective meetings

Logistical Considerations: The right room, the right set up

Basic Facilitator Skills: Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills

  • Maintaining Rapport
  • Framing, reframing, and paraphrasing
  • Managing personal states of being

Basic Facilitation Processes and Their Use: Use the right process

  • Agenda
  • Ground rules
  • Open participation
  • Presenting information
  • Collecting information
  • Analyzing information
  • Decision Making
  • Closing the meeting
  • Evaluation
  • Follow-up

A Facilitator’s Tool Kit: Tools that make meetings better and easier

Managing group dynamics: Tracking and assessing audience needs

Group decision-making:  Using the right decision-making processes

Skills practice and feedback: Creating a safe place to explore and build confidence

Challenges: How to prevent or respond to problems


Participants in this workshop will be able to plan, design and facilitate meetings more effectively with lower anxiety and better meeting outcomes. Improved meeting participation of all students is also an expected outcome of this training