How not to facilitate…

18th February 2014

I happened to switch on my TV last night and caught Richard Bacon doing a great job of demonstrating the antithesis of facilitation on Channel 4s Benefits Britain – The Debate.

This programme was the closing part of a TV series about James Turner Street where most residents are on benefits. The debate included people on welfare, politicians, journalists, employers and employees and was intended to be a heated debate for prime time tv.

Richard Bacon and the TV production team  added fuel to the fire through some effective anti-facilitation techniques…

  • Layout – they placed the politicians on stage and the rest of the debate participants in the audience
  • Content – Richard Bacon not only got involved in the content but also added provocational content to get reactions from the group
  • Questions – every question was leading. There was no genuine enquiry.
  • Magnet not mirror – the entire debate was directed through Richard Bacon with no free discussion between participants

…. This really was the most blinding demonstration of how not to facilitate a highly contentious discussion.