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The more diversity there is within a group, the greater the potential for exchange, inspiration and learning from peers. People however are only willing to activate this potential if they feel safe and respected. Therefore before engaging more deeply with the content of a seminar, facilitators establish appropriate ground rules based on basic democratic and human principles. When facilitators demonstrate that they take the democratic principles they are promoting seriously through their actions, this raises the feasability that participants will as well.

Ground for Trust

Trust is a condition for that people feel safe and empowered to involve. Especially in heterogeneous groups in which participants and facilitators may feel uncertain the facilitation needs to build a ground for trust development.


Trust is the certainty that at any stage of the shared learning process, everything will happen according to the values of mutual respect, autonomy, and personal freedom.

This necessitates that everyone is allowed and free to monitor his or her own goals and needs and decides what to do based on these values.


Trust may develop when people are informed or if they can inform themselves about the motivations, goals and decisions of others. Only those individuals who have all the relevant information can and want participate in an optimal way. This includes transparency in terms of our motivations and goals as facilitators and of the institution providing learning. The second important aspect of transparency is clarity about conditions and rules on how to work together.

Rules and Conditions

Both facilitators and participants have certain rules in mind, which is fine. But even if as facilitators we think that our rules might be the best for the group, what makes us think that way? Instead of imposing rules on participants, participatory learning processes enable participants to discuss their wishes for rules and goals and expose facilitators to negotiating them.

Created By nez


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"One of the most decisive factors for a successful training is the group and how individuals feel in the group and on the training. That is why we work always on this level."
A joint project of the Competendo Community. Implemented with financial assistance of the European Union