Guy W. Wallace’s PACT Facilitation Guidelines: # 3 – Write Stuff Down and Post It!

3rd in a series…
I call these “The 12 Rules and Guidelines of Proactive/Confrontational Facilitation for the PACT Processes for T&D.”
They are more guide than rule.
The 12 guidelines/rules are:
3. Write Stuff and Post It.
4. Be Redundant by Design.
5. Use the Four Key Communications Behavior Types.
6. Review and Preview.
7. Write It Down and Then Discuss It.
8. Use Humor.
9. Control the Process and the Participants.
10. Be Legible on the Flip Chart.
11. Beware of Group-Think.
12. Assign Parking Lot Valets.
The 3rd of these is covered in more detail in the following text. Click on the earlier rules/guidelines to see that prior Blog Posting.
Read them. Adopt and/or Adapt them! Use them.

3. Write Stuff and Post It

Write It Down!
Regardless of whether it’s words, diagrams, or charts that can best capture the essence of the team conversation, just don’t stand around while people (including yourself) are talking.
Write it or chart it on flip chart paper and make it visible!

Put it in black and white (or color if that helps or is simply the color of the pen you are using) so that everyone can see what it is that we’re discussing. Help focus them!
Give them something to think about and react to. That is much easier to do when what everyone is to think about is written down right in front of the thinkers – and they aren’t forced to recall what they are to think about – which would introduce variation in what they are really thinking about.
Think of writing it down as a variation reduction technique for a facilitator.

If you let participant input remain as nebulous thoughts floating about the room (more on that rule/guide later in #7: Write It Down and Then Discuss It), you have not given others a chance to visualize, think through, self-inspect their own thoughts/biases, critique something, and then participate in the “fix” for what it is they are talking about/being facilitated to accomplish.

Use a flip chart, whiteboard, whatever. Write it down! Help the group focus on something specific rather than could get nebulous without this technique.

Post It!

Made it visual? Then KEEP IT VISIBLE!
Don’t bury it by simply flipping to a new clean flip-chart page.
Rip the last page produced “off the flip chart easel paper pad” – and then “post that page on the wall!”
Of course, that’s harder to do on a small whiteboard. Or even a large whiteboard. I use a digital camera to take photos of whiteboard filled up by me – before I wipe it clean to continue.
Keep everything visible. And then keep it visible for reference to your downstream steps – IF you can. That is the advantage of flip chart pages versus a white board. Not always. But usually for me.
Another hint: Walk around often to where your participants are sitting to see for yourself if it is readable for them.
And keeping the prior pages produced visible for future/continuous reference – in my experience – is how you facilitate continuous improvement to those pages content as the group refers to them it brings additional information “to mind.”

Write it down to focus the group – and post it to keep it visible – for reference – and/or continuous improvement.
In the future we’ll cover the remaining 9 rules/guidelines one-by-one!
– Sourced and edited/embellished from Appendices C of: “lean-ISD” – an award winning (ISPI) book by Guy W. Wallace – published in 1999, updated in 2007 and then made available as a free 404 page PDF – at
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3 comments on “Guy W. Wallace’s PACT Facilitation Guidelines: # 3 – Write Stuff Down and Post It!

  1. Pingback: L&D: My Facilitation Guidelines From the 1990s Revisited | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: Guy W. Wallace’s PACT Facilitation Guidelines: Series Wrap Up & Close | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: Facilitation in the Practice of Project Planning & Management « EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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