What You Need to Know About Dynamic Facilitation

What You Need to Know About Dynamic Facilitation

Defining the Change. If so, your team could benefit from bringing in a facilitator. 

Business consultant Jim Rough developed Dynamic Facilitation in the early 1980s to help groups solve problems creatively and collaboratively. Dynamic Facilitation leverages the idea of choice-creating, a process of talking and thinking that helps to build mutual respect, trust and the sense of community among groups.

Experienced facilitators support the development of strong and actionable strategic plans; build connected and integrated teams; identify and remove the “elephants in the room” and more

The great thing about Dynamic Facilitation is that we meet you where you are. Individuals within the group are free to be themselves, invited to talk openly and without filters. It’s the facilitator’s job to maintain an environment of respectful listening and creative progress.

Facilitators are guided by the energy of the group more than an agenda. Since the purpose of the meeting is to foster creative exploration, the session does not proceed in a linear way. Instead, as the facilitator listens to each individual’s concerns, ideas, and perspectives, a pattern emerges allowing the group to harness shared insights and strategies.

Facilitators also empower individuals within the group to speak authentically, naming any issues important to them and determining if the problems are solvable. Dynamic Facilitation follows the natural flow of conversation and thrives on the spontaneity of the group. This process often results in a mindset shift for the attendees, sometimes in the form of new ideas, other times in reframing what the problem actually is to find a practical solution.

Facilitated experiences allow you to fully access the benefits that exist in the “white space” outside of the formal structure. Our facilitators create courageously candid and inspired spaces. They see the landscape, see the people in the room, know and feel when voices are missing, understand the desired outcomes, and plan, prepare, and facilitate the experiences needed to reach the end goal.

The facilitator takes great care to ensure the emotional safety and respect the unique perspective and contribution of each individual within the group.

Although there is no direct conversation between the participants, a solution eventually emerges, not as a result of a discussion, but through the dialogue created by listening and sharing thoughts and feelings in a safe space.

In a Dynamic Facilitation session, each participant gets as much time as he or she needs to speak about the topic at hand, while the rest of the group listens. There is no direct conversation between the participants, but each individual talks to the facilitator, who takes notes on the challenges, solutions, objections, and perspectives put forth by the group.

Five Benefits of Dynamic Facilitation

Dynamic Facilitation:

  1. Helps people think creatively and see the problem in new ways.

  2. Gives the group permission to experiment with new ideas.

  3. Emphasizes creating new choices.

  4. Doesn’t require any one person to “own” ideas.

  5. Promotes group ownership of the solutions that are born out of consensus.


How is Dynamic Facilitation Different?

The majority of facilitation processes ask groups to only work on issues that are solvable or in their area of responsibility. Participants are also guided to trade passion in favor of rationality, to break down large problems into smaller ones, and to proceed down a logical path from problem definition to the solution. This type of facilitation uses external factors such as goals, objectives, agendas, and guidelines of behavior to maintain order and assure progress.

Dynamic Facilitation takes people as they are and doesn’t require participants to adhere to a set of ground rules, but instead works well with a minimal set of agreements, typically regarding the role of the facilitator. The facilitator is tasked with helping each individual be themselves and making sure that each comment is heard and appreciated.

What’s the Difference Between Dynamic Facilitation and Brainstorming?

You may be wondering, how is Dynamic Facilitation different from brainstorming? While both approaches are designed to help foster creativity within a group, there are some key differences among the two processes. Traditionally, brainstorming takes on a very rapid pace, while in Dynamic Facilitation, we take our time, listening to each participant in depth, and making an effort to help draw out his or her perspective fully.

In brainstorming, people are asked to refrain from commenting on one another’s ideas and suggestions. However, in Dynamic Facilitation, we welcome any concerns that people may have about one another’s ideas and solutions.

Lastly, in conventional facilitation approaches, brainstorming is often used as a technique for stimulating creative thinking during the early part of a meeting, but in Dynamic Facilitation, we encourage participants to remain in a creative space throughout the entire session.

When is Dynamic Facilitation Most Appropriate?

Dynamic Facilitation is especially valuable when people face important, complex, strategic, or seemingly impossible-to-solve issues, when there is conflict, or when people seek to build teamwork or community. It’s a way to spark ongoing dialogue, systems understandings, trust, wisdom, and to generate the spirit of involvement. It’s for when people truly care about problems and want them to be solved.

The most effective way for a group of people to solve a complex issue and reach consensus is to have a breakthrough. Then, the results are exceptional, and each person feels involved, knows what to do, and is committed to the group results. Also, the process builds individual skills, empowerment, trust and the spirit of community. That is the true power of Dynamic Facilitation.

At Conserte, the core benefits of our facilitation are both the richness of the solutions that are developed and the ownership of those solutions that is generated through the facilitative process.

Think Dynamic Facilitation Could Help Your Team Solve a Complex Problem? Contact us.

People, Processes, Purpose, Potential—
We’re here to bring it all together, for the better.