Top 3 Tips for Successful Co-facilitation

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co_facilitatorsFrom time to time you may have to deliver a session with another trainer.  Whilst this can be intimidating in some ways (we’ll blog about that another day!), co-facilitating can be great fun for both the facilitators and the learners.  Here are our top three tips to help you get it right:

1.  Build a rapport before the session – very often you’ll be required to co-facilitate with someone that you don’t really know.  When you are delivering training together, either face-to-face or virtually you want your learners to have faith in you both as subject experts.  If the day of delivery is the first time you’ve met, the session is likely to be stilted and this may affect your credibility with your learners.

Make a point of meeting with, or at the very least, speaking with anyone else you’ll be delivering with.  Spend a little while getting to know them.  Believe it or not, it will make your session run more smoothly which means it will be more effective for your delegates.

2.  Agree who will do what – there is nothing worse when you are sitting in a session, than the facilitators having a discussion right in front of you about who is going to do what.  It shows a lack of preparation on their part, which devalues the whole experience for learners.

Knowing in advance which sections you will be focusing on also allows you to prepare more thoroughly.

3.  Set your ground rules – my personal facilitation style is quite relaxed.  If I’m working with someone else I don’t mind at all if they step in and add something to a discussion, or give an additional example.  I encourage it in fact, as very often the facilitator who is observing a particular session will see things that I don’t.  That’s one of the great things about co-facilitation.  However, I have worked with people who are more formal, and they don’t like these types of interjections whilst they are setting up a piece of group work (for example).  It’s best to have this discussion in advance.  Agree how you would like to work together.  Set your own grounds rules.  It will save any awkwardness during the session itself.

I’d love to hear some examples of how you have worked with other trainers (either positive or negative)!  Share them in the comments below.


Founder of Zostera Ltd and The Trainers CPD Club. I've worked in L&D for over 16 years across both the public and private sectors.

Posted in Facilitation, Facilitation Techniques, How To...., Training Tagged with: , , , ,

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