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  Alternatives Pty Ltd
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Contents | 1. Essence | 2. Frameworks | 3. Skills | 4. Process ideas | 5. Resources

2. Frameworks to keep in mind

In facilitating groups it is often useful to have in the back of one’s mind frameworks that might help make sense of what is happening.

The frameworks should not dominate the process but may help make sense of what is happening and the issues that emerge.

Some useful frameworks are:

A. Individuals, groups and organisations

Individual styles and processes

People have different personal styles and preferences. Understanding these styles and preferences can be helpful for:

  • developing processes which allow everyone to contribute
  • understanding interactions between participants
  • understanding ones own strengths and weaknesses as a facilitator.

One approach to understanding personal styles and preferences is Myers Briggs. See:

Gifts differing Understanding Personality Type, Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B Myers 1980, Davies-Black Publishing 1995

Type Talk at Work, How the 16 Personality types determine your success on the job, Kroeger, O & Thuesen, JM. Tilden Press, Dell Publishing, New York, 1993.

Working with change

Many meetings and workshops which require a facilitator are working with change. Understanding the processes that people move through when working though change can help one:

  • Understand the processes at work for individuals and groups
  • Design more appropriate facilitation processes.


Managing Change at Work. Leading People through Organisational Transitions, Scott, Cynthia D & Jaffe, Dennis T ,1995, Crisp Publications (A Fifty Minute Manager Series Book)

Ways of seeing organisations

There are different ways of seeing organisations, for example:

  • organisations are places where there is scarce resources and as people/coalitions try and gain access to those scarce resources there will inevitably be conflict
  • organisations are places that exist to meet human needs and so a good fit between an individual and the organisation is important - conflict is a sign that things are not working as they should
  • organisations are organic.

Understanding ones own and others preferred ways of seeing organisations is helpful in understanding the processes at work when people are working in organisations. See:

Reframing Organisations, Bolman, Lee G and Deal, Terrence E. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1991.

Images of Organisation, Morgan, Gareth, 2nd Edition, Sage London, 1997


Facilitation processes are often used in teams. It is useful to have an understanding of team roles. See:

Team Roles at Work, R. Meredith Belbin, Butterworth Heinemann, 1993

B. Frameworks for the task at hand

One also needs frameworks for the task at hand. For example if the group is working on planning one needs some planning frameworks; if the group is working on evaluation one needs some evaluation frameworks. See the menu on the left for planning and evaluation materials.