Group Harmony Workshop Facilitation
Workshops are a useful tool in the design process, but mistakes will happen if the facilitator has not prepared the ground rules. It could cause workshop participants to waste time and encounter problems.
In order to allow people to work together more productively, create a safe space in workshops by negotiating a Group Harmony.
A Group Harmony is a manifesto or set of guidelines that sets the tone for how people will behave within workshops.
Some examples of this might be...
- Allow everyone the opportunity to contribute
- Understand where people are coming from, even when they disagree
- Be respectful to workshop participants
- Be open to options and feedback
- Have fun but stay focused
- Build on each others thoughts and ideas
- Everyone has a voice
- Refrain from mobile phone or laptop use
- Do not be afraid to ask questions
A Group Harmony workshop facilitation only works if it is agreed by the group.
Group Harmony should be proposed and agreed by participants and not imposed upon them.
Things That Group Harmony Prevents
- Reasons for the workshops are vague
- Lack of workshop preparation
- No measures of success
- Unclear roles and responsibilities
- The wrong participants were invited
- The facilitator lacks influence or authority
- The facilitator fails to connect and engage participants
- No pre-defined guidelines are established
- No next steps are defined
- Lack of accountability and commitment from participants
- They are very boring
- No rest breaks or down time