Facilitator Characteristics

The workshop facilitator has the most important role. Facilitators must motivate and guide workshop participants, manage discussions, maintain a safe environment, be responsive, mediate, keep sessions on track, and provide praise and positive affirmations when needed. Selecting appropriate facilitators is critical to an effective workshop.

Successful facilitators are leaders who communicate effectively and respectfully in group settings. They are self-aware and ethical, committed to personal growth, and are approachable, sincere and welcoming to newcomers.

Facilitators do not have to be experts or have professional experience but prior professional or paraprofessional experience working with groups, particularly working with people with disabilities, is helpful. Past experience might include:

  • Leading groups of people in a professional, paraprofessional or volunteer role
  • Working with people who have disabilities as a peer, volunteer or professional
  • Certification in other relevant trainings such as peer support
  • Volunteering with community groups


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