It is a facilitation method where visuals are used to help people make decisions, see their ideas/thoughts and make decisions. Compared with – graphic recorder, which is a more illustrative approach, graphic facilitation is a more refined thinking tool that can be used to help groups brainstorm, dialogue, analyze, talk, reach a consensus, resolve conflicts and chart a way forward.

The Set Up

For graphic facilitation to take place, graphic facilitators require large, wall-sized sheets of paper that within hearing and seeing the distance of participants. At the same time, a room with lots of undivided, smooth wall space that’s also within hearing and seeing the distance is essential. Sometimes, depending on the scale of the process, some charts will need to be prepared beforehand. However, a majority of these charts are generally created in real-time using a target group’s input.

The Benefits of Graphic Facilitation

Improves Discussion

There’s so much information our brains can handle before overload kicks in, and that’s generally about seven pieces of information. The information large graphic facilitation charts hold, make it easier for groups to develop a shared understanding and deal with complex situations faster. In building a chart together, it becomes possible for a group to share the same basic landscape and understanding of the problem at hand �” allowing them to discuss recommendations and to come up with solutions.

Allows for The Creation of Exceptional Meeting Documentation

Another benefit of graphic facilitation is that it allows for meeting documentation to be created on the go. With photo editing programs and digital cameras having eased things, it is now easier to create electronic and paper files for future use. Facilitators can take snaps of charts and weave the photos into PowerPoint presentations and reports. With this documentation, everyone becomes accountable, and all involved parties stay updated �” making it a great option for sharing and explaining a discussion and for remembering what you discussed in a meeting.
Creates A Level Playing Field for All People

With graphic facilitation, it becomes easier for different people in a group to be on the same page. Graphic facilitation creates an environment where people can put ideas in their heads on paper. By allowing participants to get their thoughts, notions, and solutions onto paper, this approach creates a level playing field for all people in a group �” making it easier to understand agreements, ideas, and concepts.

When it comes to graphic facilitation, it is important to note that the process is a four-fold and simultaneous process that involves:

Listening �” the facilitator, as an outsider, listens to the group and gathers details and points at a meta level

Thinking �” the facilitator then thinks about what information and level of detail will be most relevant to facilitate the group, and what goes onto the map

Organizing �” the facilitator then organizes the discussion and gives it a structure while using spatial skills and critical thinking to create a fully-integrated image

Drawing �” the facilitator then draws symbols and images and adds support structures like arrows, color and groupings to create a narrative that appeals to the emotional and visual parts of the audience’s brains

As a business or group looking to navigate the intricate territory of workshops, conferences, and meetings, then using graphic facilitation to map your conversations is something you should consider trying out.