The Facilitator Cards Deck makes it easy to create an interactive, participatory facilitation experience on any topic. Don't default to the same teaching, training, coaching, and facilitation methods over and over. Use the 60 "Facilitation Tools" — activities, steps, frameworks, etc. — in this one-of-a-kind Facilitator Deck, to mix things up and keep your facilitations fresh every time.
60 FACILITATION TOOLS CATEGORIZED INTO FOUR STAGES OF FACILITATION
The color-coded background of each card indicates which goal or facilitation outcome the tool is uniquely targeted to achieve. While the process does not need to be linear, the underlying theory behind this deck is that flowing from Emotion to Execution is beneficial for most facilitation goals, most of the time.
- Four color-coded categories of processing tools
- Emotion: use the teal cards help surface emotion, thoughts, feelings, reactions, and predispositions from your participants.
- Ideation: try the green tools to form, generate, and brainstorm ideas and concepts..
- Clarification: employ the yellow processes to clarify ideas, distill, pinpoint, get to the bottom, and find common ground.
- Execution: use the red cards, to make decisions, plan, strategize, and direct the group toward next steps.
- 15 tools in each of the four categories
- Waterproof, wet-erase surface, so you can keep your notes directly on the card (and wipe off when you're done)! Be sure to use a wet-erase marker
FACILITATOR TOOLS ON EVERY CARD
The cards are quite easy to understand. The icons and colors help you recognize what it is, what it’s for, and how you can use it — all at a glance. This will make them as useful during a break in a facilitation when you’re deciding what to do next, as they are when you’re collaborating with a cofacilitator before a training to plan your agenda.
Each card has all you need to quickly determine if the processing tool is suitable to your needs:
- Name of Processing Tool
- Brief description of the process - descriptions are meant to be memory-joggers, to help you recreate the process during a facilitation. The are not intended to be complete or lengthy explanations (so you might have questions if you've never experiences that process firsthand.
- Color and Icon indicating category
- Group configuration (individual, pair, small group, big group)
- Props required (marker, pens, tape, paper, index cards, sticky notes, flipchart...)
- Blank space, for handwritten notes about when or how you plan to use the activity
GROUP SIZE ICONS
- Individual means each participant is working through the process on their own.
- Pairs means everyone is working through the process with a buddy.
- Small Groups means the full group is divided into pods of 3 - 4 to work through the process.
- Full Group means the entire group is working through the process together.
The props icons help you know what you need to have in your bag of tricks in order to use that process. We’ve tried to limit the props to essentials that most facilitators often have on-hand, including:
- Flipchart: a large writin g surface with removable sheets (often interchangeable with whiteboard)
- Marker: bold enough to read from a distance (no fine point felt pens), having both flipchart markers and some regular wide-tipped Crayola would be the dream
- Writing Utensils: pens or pencils (anything people can write with quickly to read later themselves), at least one per participant
- Paper: a stack of (scrap) blank paper (generally enough pieces of paper for your group size, but more is usually better here)
- Sticky Notes: for writing on and sticking to a wall, flipchart, or other surface (typically 3”x3” will work, but for some processes you might find smaller or bigger stickies work better)
- Tape: a roll of masking, blue (painter’s), or cellophane tape for adhering things to a surface
- Index Cards: a stack of 3” x 5” cards (generally more than one per participant, and you can usually substitute small sheets of scrap paper)
- Custom: some special prop needs to be created or procured, explained in the description
- None: no props needed
Write. Erase. Repeat! The white space on the front of is perhaps the most powerful aspect of Facilitator Cards. This erasable whitespace is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, map, and diary all wrapped into one. Here are some of the ways you can put that wonderful little square of white to work:
- Write a keyword, agenda item, or activity name on each card to designate when you’re using that process in your facilitation.
- Note timing, like how long you want the process to take, when you want it to start and end, or how many minutes you’re giving a particular step.
- Jot down ways you’re tailoring that process, or mixing it up (e.g., changing the group configuration, swapping a prop).
- Assign a “Parking Lot”-ed share to a card for later in your facilitation.
- Scoring how well it worked for your goals (e.g., with a number, or super secret symbol scoring system), so that later, when you’re debriefing, you can recall exactly how you felt.
Get To Know Facilitator Cards