Graphic facilitation

Overview

In graphic facilitation, a facilitator leads a group towards a goal while making use of graphic recording practices (drawing out the ideas) in order to enhance communication and evoke creativity.


UNAIDS PCB Combination Prevention Thematic Session by Raj Rana, licensed under CC BY 2.0

When to use it

With graphic facilitation, the group can see their working process evolve. This energizes the group and evokes more participation and idea generation from all members.

To draw an idea the facilitator must really understand what the idea is about. Therefore, graphic facilitation increases understanding between people. The drawings enable people to see how their ideas are perceived and they can immediately react upon this.

Seeing ideas as pictures also makes it easier to connect new elements with previous information. One does not have to start digging in his/her memory. The pictures and the flow among them will recall all the key elements of the journey.

Drawing can also help to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers. Many concepts are visualized more or less the same way in different countries and cultures.

How to do it

Graphic facilitating process implies two major functions.

On one hand the graphic facilitator needs to be able to listen, summarize and draw ideas (see graphic recording).

On the other hand, he/she also needs to be able to “facilitate” a working or a learning process. It is important to:

  • Lead the group’s thinking process
  • Make sure everybody’s opinion is being heard
  • Handle rising conflicts
  • Keep track of the time and agenda.

A graphic facilitator can choose to do all the drawing him/herself, but it is also possible to let participants engage in the creative process. In the second case the facilitator is not standing in front of a group of sitting people. Instead he/she can sit together with the participants around a table. Or they can all gather in front of a wall, with crayons in their hand.


Drawing together by Nancy White, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Resources

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