Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation:
Facilitator Led Training Guide
8. Group Facilitation and Training
In the section Facilitator Qualities, we briefly discussed
some basic characteristics of an appropriate facilitator. During
a course, the facilitator should
Encourage participants to share ideas and concerns;
Model effective communication by listening, repeating,
and asking questions; and
Provide information to supplement what the participants
bring with them to the course.
There are several concepts to keep in mind to provide
Set ground rules for the course. While
adult learners should be treated as adults, there should be
some basic rules of respect during the course that will make
all participants feel comfortable. These will be covered in
the Course Activities section (page 29). These rules emphasize
confidentiality, respect for others’ opinions, and nonjudgmental
behavior. Both the facilitator and participants can formulate
these rules together, as persons are more apt to adhere to rules
that they have created.
Create a safe learning environment.
Demonstrations and practice sessions (role-plays) can be intimidating
for some participants. Facilitators will want to lead these
activities in ways that build confidence and strength in the
areas that the participants themselves have expressed as concerns.
Facilitators can minimize the stress of performance and maximize
the value of practicing and learning together.
Encourage participants to become acquainted
during breaks. During the breaks, at lunch, and at other
appropriate times, encourage participants to talk with each
other and compare job responsibilities, policies, procedures,
and “tricks of the trade.” This interaction will
help the participants and may well benefit later discussions
in the group.
Help participants review the content of
each activity. An important aspect of training is providing
participants with opportunities to focus on the “big picture”
of what they are learning. This evaluation will allow participants
a chance to review the material that they have covered during
the course and to raise questions or concerns they have about
the content. Hints for the types of questions to ask are included
with each activity description.
Accommodate local laws, policies, and practices.
Any effective job-training course accommodates the circumstances
in which the participant works. You will want to pay attention
to any relevant local laws and practices impact how one initiates
or conducts an interview.
Facilitate question-asking by repeating
questions. Questions may not be heard or understood
by all of the participants. Therefore, when a question is asked,
you should either repeat or paraphrase it to help others understand
it clearly. Since this is a skill-building course, it is acceptable
to ask other participants to try to answer the question, especially
if it revolves around communication and interviewing techniques.
Do not let a factual error in a participant’s
statement go uncorrected. Even if only a small point
in an otherwise correct answer is wrong, that point should be
quickly and tactfully clarified so that others are not left
with an incorrect impression.
Be aware of the level of participation of
each person in the course. It is natural for some members
to talk more than others. You should encourage those who seem
to talk less than others to answer questions and share experiences,
even if they are new to TB interviewing.
Involve active listening in all aspects
of training. You should be aware of what each person
is saying and be able to paraphrase it if the point someone
has made is relevant later in the course. This gives the participants
a sense of importance, and it is helpful for them to hear important
concepts reiterated in various contexts.
Take responsibility for keeping participants
on track. Discussions may stray from the main point
or lead into negative discussions and complaints about work.
It is your job to move the discussion ahead even if this means
interrupting after someone has finished a sentence or merely
acknowledging that others may have contributions to make, but
that you simply have to move on to adhere to time constraints.
Also, during all practice sessions and small group activities,
it is important to circulate throughout the room to catch problems
and assist or encourage people as needed. Several minutes before
the small group activity is to end, facilitators should alert
participants to the amount of time remaining in each activity.
Allow groups to work independently.
Within the course, there are activities that involve group
work. The purpose of this is to promote incorporation of varying
ideas and to enhance the flow of many ideas at once. As the
facilitator, you should walk around the room to observe how
groups’ processes are progressing. However, try not to
intervene unless a group is missing the purpose of the activity
or is very far behind the time allotted for completion of the
activity. By observing the group processes, you can assess how
well the group was prepared for this activity and whether your
instructions were clear. This is important for future training
Realize that there are different successful
approaches. While you may teach a particular approach,
the course participants may have other ways in which they accomplish
certain tasks. These may also be acceptable approaches. If,
however, participants suggest methods which are unethical or
illegal, but “get the job done,” it is your responsibility
to explain that the ends do not always justify the means. That
is, when dealing with patients and public health issues, all
parties must be treated with respect and honesty.
Feedback is critical to skills building. Feedback
is the process through which facilitators and participants provide
each other with comments and observations. Providing positive feedback
is very important in building trainee confidence. Negative feedback
is also important, but should be constructive.
If someone performs a task that requires improvement,
mention positive aspects first and then gently ease into the negative
aspects. However, you should always have solutions for a better
way to do things. You can preface negative feedback with an acknowledgement
of how difficult the situation can be, especially if someone is
new or is dealing with a challenging patient or population. Examples
of his or her positive and negative skills and techniques give better
insight to the person who is being assessed. During the course,
there will be opportunities for both you and the participants to
provide feedback to one another.
Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination - http://www.cdc.gov/tb
Please send comments/suggestions/requests
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333