Sylvia Currie over at Webbed Feet has modeled some great blogging skills in listing 10 facilitation skills that our course convener Leigh Blackall has shown so far (this is exactly the kind of blog post that people want to link to). Here's Sylvia's list:
We all just know that Leigh is right there and available. This counts for a lot. It makes everybody feel very comfortable and motivated.
Process type questions that are directed at the facilitator are answered very quickly.
Leigh gave everybody a chance to speak in the orientation meeting and was also very careful to follow up in the forum to ensure those participants who are new to the technologies introduced this week are not feeling overwhelmed.
Rather than decide how to best manage our course roster and profiles/list of blogs Leigh involved everybody in the conversation. There were many creative suggestions!
Rather than telling us everything Leigh is giving us opportunities to explore.
While several people are keen to jump in with new questions and offer solutions to how we can organize ourselves for the course, Leigh continues to bring us back to the main tasks for this week. "Great to see you raring to go, but..."
On more than one occasion Leigh has suggested we not jump too far ahead. For example he reminded us that we can "slowly subscribe" to participants' blogs. It doesn't have to all be done today!
Leigh obviously puts a lot of time into reading and responding. His thoughts are well-organized, and he is makes an effort to acknowledge contributers.
Leigh has a very casual, friendly style. This quality in itself is obviously most effective when combined with #8 -- a little comfort along with respect. :-)
Sharing feelings like losing the network connection during the meeting "freaked me out", or dilemmas like not being able to find the Elluminate recording make the participants feel like they can be open as well. Let's all fess up to our blunders and head-scratchers!
What other facilitation skills are important, particularly in an online environment?