Watch the



Book your



Build your






Session: Facilitation Patterns & Antipatterns

Wednesday, 10:15 - 11:05
Track: Collaboration

Facilitation Patterns and Antipatterns

Facilitation skills are essential for anyone. In fact, everyone facilitates whether they know it or not! Do you work on a team, manage an organization, or otherwise work with others? The opportunity to facilitate will come up.

Steven “Doc” List will lead you to explore the common patterns & antipatterns that come up in facilitation, for the facilitator and the participants. We’ll have some fun by taking on roles, and exploring the behaviors that work and that don’t work. The session will include some time on specific activities and techniques that can be used for effective facilitation.


The first third of the session will be a short presentation about the fundamentals of facilitation, meeting participation, and behaviors, and an introduction to Doc’s Patterns and Antipatterns work.

The next third of the session will be spent in discussion/interaction. Attendees will be grouped randomly, and each group will hold a discussion. Before the discussion, each group member will be given a pattern/antipattern to represent, and they will be expected to behave as their pattern/antipattern in terms of motto, beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics. The rest of each small group will then be encouraged to identify each other group member’s pattern/antipattern by name at the end of the discussion.

Two discussion rounds will be held, with each group member being assigned two patterns/antipatterns in the second round.

This will be followed by large group discussion, specific stories of experience, and/or with discussion of how to deal with, encourage, discourage, or otherwise address that pattern/antipattern, whether exhibited by self (facilitator) or participant.

The remaining time will be spent reviewing specific activities that can be used to mitigate or moderate undesirable behaviors, and how they apply. Sources will include Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby and Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka.

Example Patterns and Antipatterns

Note that more detail is available on my blog at

Antipatterns: Superhero (rescuing, caring), Professor Moriarty/Evil Genius (conniving, manipulating, conspiring), Gladiator (combative)
Patterns: Neutral, Guide, Curious George (asking, not telling)

Learning outcomes

•    Recognize patterns and antipatterns in meetings and facilitation
•    Apply some specific techniques to address antipatterns
•    Learn activities and techniques to use to facilitate meetings


• Recognize patterns and antipatterns in meetings and facilitation, • Apply some specific techniques to address antipatterns, • Learn activities and techniques to use to facilitate meetings

Steven "Doc" List

Steven List (generally known as “Doc”) is currently a principal consultant with ThoughtWorks, with a career in software technology spanning three decades. Doc's long-term focus is on the core skills and strategies of management, leadership, team-building, and individual growth, and is an experienced presenter and public speaker, business and agile coach, trainer and workshop leader, and Open Space facilitator.


Øredev founded by: Jayway

Contact us | Archives | telephone: +46 (0)40 - 602 3134 | fax: +46 (0)40 - 127276 | email: