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Facilitator Intervention Definitions

Intervention is any action intended to help a person or group move in a healthy direction.

  • PAUSE OR DO NOTHING: Choosing not to act, holding back, and observing.
  • SILENCE: Being still and using the quiet time to draw out others.
  • NONVERBAL: Using movement, voice, eye contact, and facial expression.
  • VALIDATION: Asking a question or paraphrasing to make sure that you understand.
  • DESCRIPTIVE FEEDBACK: Playing back specific, behavioral observations without judgment, as a video camera would.
  • EVALUATIVE FEEDBACK: In addition to the descriptive, adding a component to the feedback that summarizes it with a label or conclusion.
  • QUESTIONS TO SUGGEST DIRECTION: Asking leading questions to invite the group to proceed, for example, “Why don’t we move on to the next item?”
  • DEBRIEFING: Asking the group to examine with you what just happened.
  • REFRAMING: Suggesting a new viewpoint or angle on a situation.
  • TEACHING: Giving instruction.
  • SHARING IDEAS: Revealing your thoughts on the matter.
  • MAKING SUGGESTIONS: Proposing an idea about the best course of action.
  • GUIDANCE: In addition to verbal direction, actually leading in a suggestive way.
  • MEDIATION: With situations involving conflict, drawing all parties into the room, hearing each faction’s position and interest/rationale, and seeking a way with them to satisfy the interests of all in a creative way.
  • DIRECTION: Showing and telling in a stronger way.
  • CALLING IN A THIRD PARTY: After determining that you are not the best suited for this intervention, asking for the assistance of a consultant, counselor, or other qualified individual.

From Key, M. K. “Continuum of Intervention: Exploring the Range of Facilitator Interventions” In Elaine Beich (Ed.), The 2000 Annual, Volume 2, Consulting. (c) Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 2000. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.