What is the difference between training and facilitation?

Moving from training to facilitating was an easy call. However, the path ahead was unknown. Training and facilitation are two different worlds. Think of it this way – training is centred around giving, while facilitation is rooted in extracting.

Below are four learnings from my personal experiences that could help budding facilitators making the move from training.

  1. Tone:
    As a trainer my pitch and tone were subtle and non-distractive. I modulated enough so that it didn’t sound monotonous. As a facilitator I bring in a lot of variations; I modulate my voice more than I would in a classroom training, and at times I also use a progressive tone to keep the energy high.
  2. Hand Movements:
    As a trainer, I limited my hand movements by keeping my elbows close to my sides. As a facilitator, I could have as few as 20 or as many as 1,000 participants, so my arms have to be open and I have to use more hand gestures to support my words and keep the participants engaged.
  3. Questioning:
    During trainings, I asked more reassuring questions to gauge participants understanding. While facilitating, I ask more probing and leading questions. Asking open ended questions is the key in the facilitation space.
  4. 80:20 Rule:
    As a facilitator I only lead conversations and let the 80:20 rule apply where participants talk approximately 80% of the time and I only speak for 20% of the time. Considering my love for talking, this is one of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome during my journey from training to facilitation.

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