/ facilitation

Facilitation methods: Rathole, Parking lot and Hand up

Today I want to begin the series about facilitation methods. Those posts will be signed by facilitation tag. Enjoy!

Facilitation is a process to improve the productivity of meetings or group work. This process is run by a person calls facilitator who manages the sessions using proper facilitation methods.
Firstly I want to present three practices that can be used to keeping the discussion on the right topic: Rathole, Parking lot and Hand up.


During a meeting or a training, people start discussions. It’s needed and nice, but sometimes the conversation is a little off topic and starts being boring for some participants. In that case, someone who wants to stop this conversation rises his two fingers and flex them in a pulsed way (like a jumping rabbit). One person raising his hand means warning (like the yellow card), but two people or more causes stop discussion immediately (even during the sentence). Participants of discussion can finish it during the break or networking session.

Parking lot

Next proposed method is a Parking Lot. You can use it to check what people expect from a session or gain other ideas from the crowd. To do this you need:

  • one clean flipchart/board as a parking,
  • sticky notes.

In the beginning, members of meeting write their ideas on sticky notes (one idea - one sticky note). Then everybody pins ideas on the parking lot and group them in during pinning. This should take no longer than 20 minutes. After this time you have a lot of ideas and expectation from a session in sets.

Hand up

People are working in groups or break just finished and you want some attention? Just raise your hand. Anyone who sees this should stop talking and raise his/her hand. After a while, discussions stop and you can continue your part.

That's all for today. I hope it will be useful for you and improve your meetings.