There seems to be an interesting difference between trainer and facilitator with a trainer transferring knowledge and the facilitator planning how to make knowledge growth as easy as possible.

This isn’t to say that some trainers don’t invest time in making knowledge transfer easy, but they are still expected to ‘know more’ than the learners in front of them.

There is an investment by the facilitator planning to enable individuals and groups to evolve and grow – there is less of a need to be the subject matter expert with exercises at the beginning and end to ‘measure your understanding’.

The facilitator plans out the right kind of mental and physical space for people and makes use of skills in managing group energy, exploring & solving problems, reaching impactful decisions, and intervening when appropriate.


IAF Facilitator Competency : Plan Appropriate Group Processes from Eskil on Vimeo.

Facilitator Planning

When working with any client, the facilitator respects and encourages the respect of client culture, norms and participant diversity – it may seem to be common sense but a facilitator invests a great deal of time into ‘knowing the room’. This understanding helps us to understanding the communication, thinking and learning styles of the individuals and to make sure that we can deliver as effectively as possible.

Beyond the spiritual and emotional space, there is the need for a great physical space – something that gives the people i the room a sense of comfort and safety as well as the ability to freely move around rather than be locked behind a desk / table or a screen.

One of the lessons learned over the years is that not everyone in the room is there to learn: some are there under duress; some are determined not to join in; some are not prepared to get involved; some will wilfully disrupt. Whereas a trainer will grimly work through the slide deck to get to the other end, a facilitator has the flexibility to explore belief systems and attitudes as part of the session. A facilitator isn’t so tightly coupled to ‘the client outcome’ as to ignore the needs of the group themselves.


Contact Neil to discuss facilitating your events:

t: +44.(0)1926.497.211


Facilitator Planning