Archives for July 2014

What’s in a facilitator’s toolkit?

Have you ever wondered about the “tools of the trade” used by a professional facilitator?  I use the following list as a checklist before I head to a client event.  I no longer trust hotels and other event venues to provide even the basic facilitator tools so I travel with my own.

My toolkit is a Jack Georges bag. It is large enough for all my materials as well as the inevitable rolls of flipchart paper I bring back from each event.

I always travel with:

  • Markers, usually Sharpies or Mr. Sketch
  • Masking tape, green painters’ tape or Blu Tack
  • Packages of Post-It notes in various sizes and colors
  • A small clock

I often add:

  • Small toys such as palm sized footballs or stress balls
  • Hard candies
  • Tibetan bells
  • A talking stick
  • A camera

In terms of paper, I sometimes add:

    • Extra copies of the agenda
    • Handouts
    • Wallcharts
    • Questionnaires
    • Psychometric instruments
    • Evaluation forms

In the past few years, most of this material is distributed electronically.

And then, depending on the icebreakers and other experiential activities I am planning to use, I pack:

    • Blindfolds
    • Egg timers
    • Rope
    • Bolo Bats
    • And other eclectic items

One thing I do not travel with, but intend to, is a selection of upbeat music that can be played during breaks.

In addition to the physical toolkit, I travel with a toolkit of models and processes in my head that I can bring forward as different situations require. Early in my career, I was privileged to take a workshop from Jim Weber, and receive a copy of his “toolkit”, a binder with hundreds of frameworks  which he later published as “Facilitating Critical Thinking in Groups” .  His binder became a model for how I built my process toolkit.

So there you have it- a peek inside one facilitator’s toolkit.  I don’t leave home without it.





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