six dimensions of facilitator style workshops

three workshops

(Quoting mostly from the 87-88 programme) We offer three different workshops which focus on the skills of leading/facilitating groups of people.  The most basic we call “Facilitating Groups” because it contains a significant emphasis on becoming familiar with models of group dynamics as well as exploring facilitator skills. Dimensions of Facilitator Style concentrates primarily on raising awareness of the possible range of facilitation/leadership skills and skills building.  The Advanced Facilitator Training builds on the earlier workshops by exploring in depth applications of John Heron's “Dimensions of Facilitator Style” to the experience and practice of participants.

The Model

The model, “Dimensions of Facilitator Style”, is based on an adaptation and development of Six Category Intervention Analysis and may be applied to management (of people), team leadership and group facilitation.  The model describes six dimensions of facilitator style.

The six dimensions are:

Directive - Non Directive

Interpretive - Non Interpretive

Confronting - Non Confronting

Cathartic - Non Cathartic

Structuring - Non Structuring

Disclosing - Non Disclosing

Each dimension focuses on:

(Decision Making)

(Generating Meaning)

(Challenging Rigidity)

(Releasing Tension)

(Form and Method)

(Supportive Presence)

Each dimension is presented as a polar pair, but neither pole, nor any dimension is regarded as more or less valuable than any other.  Decisions regarding value or appropriateness are related to the intention of the facilitator and the outcome for the group.  Manner, timing, content and type of group are also taken into consideration in deciding appropriateness.

Facilitating Groups

This workshop was created because some applicants had little prior experience of groups, so experience of groups along with reflective models of group process was offered as a precursor to an introduction to the model. Even so, we strongly recommended that participants have engaged in some form of experiential personal and interpersonal development groups before coming on this course.


* to give grounding in basic group dynamics

* to raise awareness of and test the value of "Dimensions of Facilitator Style" model

* to build facilitation skill through practice and feedback

* to enable participants to establish a profile of their skills.


* theoretical input on models of group dynamics and facilitator style

* structured and unstructured exercises to illustrate and test the models

* practice and feedback sessions to develop specific skills

* self and peer assessment.

Dimensions of Facilitator Style

This is the full workshop, offered in 3 or 5-day versions. The latter offers more time for practice and application to the individual's work situation. It is for professional persons with experience of facilitating groups which involve personal growth, education, professional development, management training or psychotherapy. A copy of “Dimensions of Facilitator Style” is always provided at the workshop.


To enable participants to:

* establish a profile of their own style

* assess their strengths and weaknesses in facilitating groups

* practice new or weak areas of skill and receive feedback on their performance

* increase their repertoire of facilitator options and skills


* theoretical exposition on the model followed by discussion

* structured exercises to introduce new skills and test the model

* further practice on specific dimensions according to participant choice, including feedback and review of sessions

* self and peer assessment to establish confirm progress and future development.


We also recommended that participants had previously attended an interpersonal skills course, to gain experience of the methods used. In particular, the Six Category Intervention Analysis workshop would give the one-to-one version from which the group model was developed, thus aiding understanding and giving a start in the competiencies.  We also recommended that participants had attended some kind of personal awareness training in group settings. These courses were aimed at the more experienced facilitator who has familiarity and a degree of competency with personal reflection after interpersonal interaction and disclosure of personal experience in a group.

Advanced Facilitator Training

The “Advanced Facilitator Training” workshop is for experienced facilitators who have already attended a “Dimensions of Facilitator Style” training and who are using the model in relation to their own practice as facilitators, managers, teachers, etc.

Facilitators are invited to share details of the groups with which they work and examine in depth their actual profile on the “Dimensions of Facilitator Style” and to consider ways in which they can be more effective in the light of values of their own choosing. The workshop content is negotiated with participants within the general aim which is to explore in depth and develop aspects of participants' work within groups and relevant skills..

Methods will be similar to the earlier workshops but will be more intensive and will facilitate exploration of the more subtle aspects of leading groups in the tacit and symbolic mode as well as the explicit and literal mode

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