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  • Academy of Design Thinking

5 MegaSkills you should develop as a Design Thinking Facilator

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

As a Design Thinking Facilitator you are using the mindsets and processes to model, coach and guide the teams to create great outcomes for customers. A facilitator has a wide range of tasks to perform in order to ‘make things easier’ for people who participate in a facilitated discussion.But what are the megaskills you need to develop as a Design Thinking Facilator? 


Empathy is at the foundation of the human centred approach to Innovation. It is important to develop your empathy muscle in order to be able to understand at a deep level all the stakeholders involved in the challenge. Your key methods on how to develop empathy are :

  • Asking Questions

  • Active Listening

  • Observation


Communication is all about Listening and Speaking. And as a design thinking facilitator you’ll need both especially in the following areas:

  • Effective communication with stakeholders;

  • Clearly communicate instructions;

  • To facilitate discussions and conversations;

  • To inspire through stories and examples.


Curiosity is a key design thinking mindset. Someone who is curious is more likely to approach new things, asking questions with the intention to understand instead of reacting by being afraid and stereotyping. Curiosity can help you:

  • by developing self-awareness you are able to grow as a facilitator;

  • when encountering others curiosity is essential for empathetic and constructive communication.

There is a very simple formula for being curious

Active listening + reserving judgment + good questions = Curiosity

Plan/Design/Manage Process

As a Design Thinking Facilitator you are in charge of planning, designing and managing the process that takes a group of people towards the goal. It is very important understanding what the objectives of the session are so you can work towards achieving them. 

Once you know the objectives, it is time to select the proper facilitation techniques. It takes a lot of preparation, creativity and flexibility to create group processes that ensure inclusivity, engage the participants and foster a safe collaborative space.

Managing Group Dynamics

The most enjoyable and at the same time the hardest part as any facilitator will tell you, is managing people. You may use the same agenda and same activites, they will feel different as any group takes them to different levels. Both exciting and scary! Managing the group dynamics starts way earlier in the journey, when you are preparing to facilitate. The more you know about participants in advance, the easier it will be on the day.


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