One of the perennial challenges group facilitators have is getting contributions from everyone. The ‘wheel brace’ technique is guaranteed to help.
A real benefit to having a trade background is the things you learn about fixing things like cars and such like that help in quite different areas of life. For instance, changing tyres on a car involves tightening the wheel nuts up equally, and with cars having generally four, five or six wheel nuts, tightening the nuts equally is all about the pattern of tightening.
Getting equal participation out of group facilitation work can be as simple as seeing each person as symbolic of a wheel nut, and the process like tightening the wheel onto a hub with equal tension.
Six people in the group (including you as facilitator) means simply ‘bouncing the opposites,’ so at least you, as facilitator, are aware of who’s not getting the chance to contribute, as well as having awareness of those over contributing.
This will also help others view the session as equally contributed to.
This is very much about planning who’s next to speak, and even if someone else speaks next, you’re quickly able to include this other next person at the next available time simply by asking a leading question of them to offer inclusion and to invite their feedback.
This process is like peripheral vision for cognitive processes of the mind, as we free up the rest of our conscious minds for other important factors—and momentary planning—which is all part of facilitating well (making things easier).
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.