Employing Group Facilitation Strategies
This section features strategies you may find helpful in bringing team members together to strengthen relationships and communication.12, 20 For ideas and recommendations about how to facilitate in a range of situations, see the Facilitation Factsheet. Facilitation is the foundation for virtually all other TA strategies.
Facilitate discussions that allow team members to share concerns, questions, and ideas. These types of meetings provide “protected time to reflect on the implementation effort, share lessons learned, and support one another’s learning.”20
Advice from Colleagues
Tools & Resources
Difficulties among colleagues or stakeholders can present a barrier to implementation, but through skilled facilitation, you can:12
- Help team members create a shared vision
- Inspire commitment and action
- Encourage the involvement of all members
- Improve communication
- Promote awareness that tasks require collaboration or, at least, input and support
As you work with teams, be aware of how personal and organizational characteristics influence the effectiveness of teams and their response to TA:12
- Personal—personality, attitudes, beliefs, goals, perceptions, expertise, position and level of influence in the organization
- Organizational—fiscal and personnel resources, leadership, urgency of need
Advice from Colleagues
Ideally, you hope that the staff working with a child are already functioning well as a team, but that isn't always the case. It is often the state project that brings teams together. TA frequently involves building teaming skills and explaining how important teams are for kids who are deaf-blind.
As you work with a team, be sure to keep all relevant parties (e.g., families, administrators, all team members) “in the loop” by providing:1
- Updates on progress (including celebrating successes)
- A venue for questions
- Opportunities for clarification and problem solving
Champions are individuals internal to a school or agency who are dedicated to supporting new ways of doing things.20 The team members who are most dedicated to successful implementation of targeted practices and programs can be influential in overcoming barriers or resistance to change.