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.