Strategic Facilitation

One of the most important skills to successfully creating any change movement, including Transforming Life After 50, is engaging and facilitating community involvement in the process. Strategic facilitation requires leadership competencies that include identifying and engaging stakeholders, supporting their effective participation, and assisting the process of developing strategies and outcomes.

Strategic facilitation combines the art and skill of facilitation with the science of long-term thinking. It requires leading – empowering others to take ownership of the outcome, asking – framing the conversation by asking powerful questions, and listening – translating stakeholder ideas and contributions into impactful action and outcomes.

IMLS Fellowship Course

Strategic Faciliation

Instructor: Mary Jane Naquin [email protected]

I’ve been facilitating groups for 20 years, starting as a graduate student in the Future Studies program in Houston. In the late 1980s legislation passed requiring industry to communicate with the communities where their work would have an impact. My work grew as neutral facilitators were needed to organize meetings in areas along the Gulf Coast where many petrochemical facilities were located near residential areas. Creating an environment in which multiple views and differing opinions can be stated and explored leads to mutual understanding and builds relationships. Facilitation continues to be interesting and challenging work and has important implications for how we will live and work together in an ever-changing world.


Intentional Conversations Exercise (pdf)

The Art of Powerful Questions (pdf)

Active Listening: Hear What People are Really Saying


As part of a comprehensive study of the boomer demographic in its community, Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library conducted outreach, focus groups and stakeholder meetings to add value to its survey data and engage its target population from the beginning in its planning process.