Back Forward Index Search History Bookmarks Notes Logout Help Settings Add Note Add Bkmk Print

Tool: Co-facilitation

Typical use (type of issue/project)

To determine whether and how to co-facilitate with someone.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself as a facilitator and with your co-facilitator.

Tips for effective use

Consider whether you may benefit from facilitating with another person by using the tips below. Use the guidelines to work with the other facilitator to draw up your ‘contract’ on how you would like to work together. This can be as formal or informal as you like depending on your relationship.

Signals of successful use

Used to determine whether co-facilitation is appropriate in the circumstances and to build a strong relationship with that person so there are no surprises when it comes to how you work together.

Signals of unsuccessful use

After completing the exercise you don’t know whether you should co-facilitate or you feel the ‘contract’ with your co-facilitator is unclear.

Links to other tools

Response feedback, Ways to change state, Facilitator assessment and Contracting (Consulting).



For workshop-style approaches, you may want to co facilitate if

  • You may feel more comfortable co facilitating based on your level of facilitation experience and comfort with the materials.
  • You are not a leader and will be supporting leaders in transitioning their teams to deliver a large change programme.
  • You are delivering a lot of material at once.  Different styles of delivery can be more engaging for participants especially over a long delivery period.
  • You are delivering to a large team or group of people (if your group is above ten participants it is recommended that you have two facilitators).

If you choose to co facilitate, when selecting who you will work with, consider facilitation style – different styles can add variety for the participants and enrich their learning. 

When co facilitating it is important to contract on how you will work together. Use the contracting guidelines below to guide your discussion.  Other things to consider are:

  • Which sessions will you deliver?
  • Who will get handouts, equipment, venue sorted out?
  • How do you feel about your co-facilitator interjecting?
  • How do you want to be supported if things don’t go well in a session?
  • How would you like your co-facilitator to intervene if they think it’s necessary?
  • Confidentiality?
  • What is important to you?
  • What feedback would you like and when?

There may be other things you would like to include in your contract.  Add these to your list. 

Contracting guidelines

  1. Responsibility for the contract is 50/50.
  2. Parties freely enter the contract.
  3. Contracting is a relationship activity. You both need to get something from the interaction.
  4. All wants are legitimate. You can say ‘no’ to what others want from you and they can say ‘no’ to what you want. You must state your wants and needs to get them!
  5. You can contract for behaviour but not for feelings.
  6. You can’t ask for or contract for something the other person does not have or control.
  7. You cannot contract with someone who is not in the discussion.
  8. Write down contracts where possible.
  9. Social contracts are always negotiable. Contracting is an ongoing process not a one off exercise.
  10. Contracts define what will be delivered, when and how.
  11. Contracts require good faith and good fortune.