Facilitators to Communication8th February 2020
Facilitated communication (FC), supported typing, or hand over hand, is a discredited technique that attempts to aid communication by people with autism or other communication disabilities who are non-verbal. The facilitator guides the disabled person’s arm or hand and attempts to help them type on a keyboard or other device.
- Empathetic Understanding
This facilitator is used to create an atmosphere of confidence and trust during the negotiation dialogue. It makes the other side to feel comfortable engaging in the conversation and sharing information openly. The key to facilitating discussion using Empathetic Understanding is to listen and convey understanding without judgement. Though easier said than done, it will pay dividends upon execution.
- Fulfilling Expectations
This facilitator works best in cooperative settings where the negotiation lacks the stand-offish qualities of distributive bargaining. The facilitator occurs when verbal or non-verbal expectations are placed on the other side to provide certain information. As they will generally want to meet the expectations set, they will likely provide more information.
This is another facilitator that is best suited for integrative negotiation, and is based on the knowledge that all humans need the recognition of others. The premium placed on recognition is generally higher when the individual providing recognition are outside the immediate social circle of the person being recognized. By providing recognition, praise, or appreciation for cooperating the other side will be more likely to continue cooperating as they are now emotionally invested in your approval.
- Altruistic Appeals
Individuals often identify themselves with causes beyond their immediate self interest. The aim of the “Altruistic Appeal” is to solicit a cooperative disposition from the other side through an appeal to their higher nature. By framing the need for cooperation in the manner that does not directly benefit you nor the other side’s self interests, but rather the broader community’s, your counter part may decide to open the lines of communication more broadly.
- Extrinsic Rewards
The opposite end of the “Altruistic Appeal” is the “Extrinsic Reward”. When dealing with competitive individuals, it is wise to point out why cooperation is in their best interest. By making the argument on the merits of self interest, the other side seeing personal gain from communicating will be more inclined to cooperate.
To facilitate an event well, you must first understand the group’s desired outcome, and the background and context of the meeting or event. The bulk of your responsibility is then to:
(i) Design and plan the group process, and select the tools that best help the group progress towards that outcome.
(ii) Guide and control the group process to ensure that:
- There is effective participation.
- Participants achieve a mutual understanding.
- Their contributions are considered and included in the ideas, solutions or decisions that emerge.
- Participants take shared responsibility for the outcome.
(iii) Ensure that outcomes, actions and questions are properly recorded and actioned, and appropriately dealt with afterwards.