Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Follow up on the Facilitative Approach email


Yesterday, I sent a tongue-in-cheek email about the facilitative approach. While I was serious about not being a fan of the approach, I tried making the email humurous.

I still got some really nice responses, and with their permission I’d like to share one person’s discussion with me. Her name is Namitha, and she is co-founder at Learning Ethos. I met her in Gamicon, the gamification conference I spoke at last month.

Here’s some excerpts from our discussion:

… if you are debriefing after a game, facilitation would be a better approach. People do not learn from experiences, they learn from the reflection of the experiences. This can be beautifully enabled through harnessing the group wisdom part. It helps the learner to reflect and prevents the facilitator to project any personal biases on the learners…

This is a very valid point IMO, and I agreed without putting up much of a fight.

Here’s another point of view:

While introducing the concept of DT (Design Thinking). We try to draw out the difference between traditional problem solving and innovation approaches and DT. For this we simply play a 3 min video and later on a MIRO board create two frames one traditional and other DT and ask the learners themselves to draw out the striking differences they see between the two approaches… This is a much powerful exercise than the training projecting a slide with 5 -6 bullet points on the differences between the two approaches

This was my follow-up questions to it:

What happens if/when the learners miss some differences? Isn’t it a bit much to expect every set of learners to spot all the differences all the time? If a 3 min video is enough to get 90% of all the answers, how difficult can the subject be?

Namitha went on, very patiently, to explain her point of view and answered my questions. I had a lot of fun in this back-and-forth conversation, and actually learned a lot. I’m still not a big fan, but I am now willing to attend a session as a learner to understand it more. Further, as part of trainer interviews I do, I’ll try to address the idea of Facilitation from some experts and evangelists of the approach in some detail.

Saying the F word,


PS: Please! F as in Facilitation!