🎓Don’t facilitate and contribute at the same time. It is hard to play both roles well. Because the facilitators act as authority figures throughout the exercise, their contributions will be taken at a high regard (which defeats the purpose of many of our UX collaborative exercises). Better to stay neutral. If you do not have the luxury of a dedicated facilitator, try rotating facilitators for each activity. The benefit here is twofold: (1) you avoid recurring bias, and (2) you build up a facilitation competency within a team.
Iterate and improve this model after practice. Just as we iterate on our end products, we should iterate on our own processes. After guiding a group through an activity, document what went well and what didn’t. Where did participants ask you the most questions? Where did you find it hardest not to insert your bias? These insights will help you improve your practice over time.
Observe other facilitators. The quickest way to learn as a facilitator is to experience other facilitators. Everyone has a unique style. Observe others and analyse on how they present, execute, and reflect on an activity. A skilled facilitator has a framework that he or she feels confident adapting to any exercise.