Facilitation is often applied to groups – hence the name group facilitation. However the techniques and skills may be applied with equal success when working with a single individual. This applies especially to graphic facilitation and the use of visual mapping techniques.
A common task is to support a manager who is planning a project or other initiative. The first step is to have some initial discussions for the facilitator to understand the background and the objectives. The facilitator then prepares a graphic template for use during the planning session.
The template is typically large, spanning several sheets of flip chart paper and is seeded with ideas for discussion. Simple graphics are added for additional impact, to help reinforce the scope of an idea and to stimulate creativity.
The planning session then takes place with the facilitator asking focused questions as prompts, the manager responds with their thoughts and decisions and the facilitator records these as headline responses under the relevant idea on the graphic template.
Having all the ideas and responses documented in large scale and visible in a single glance helps motivate completion and cross-fertilisation between ideas. Mind mappers will be familiar with this concept.
The templates can be any style - ranging from the example here to those based on single ideas or metaphors or even something more abstract. Indeed the template could be an A3 with a mind map as per the examples in this earlier post (mind maps as forms).