Published: August 25, 2016   Updated: September 16, 2016

Why is it so important to have a beginner’s mindset when you are doing facilitation? Meg Bolger shares her thoughts on what it really means to meet your participants where they are at.


  • invite people to share
  • react in ways that affirm risk
  • never (ever) shame a participant

Check out more of Meg’s facilitation work including free curriculum on creating LBGTQ-inclusive environments here.


Question: Why is a beginner’s mindset important?

MB: “The reason that it is so important to have that kind of beginner’s mindset because you cannot meet people where they are if you’re just talking about what you find interesting, or what you’re really passionate about, or if you haven’t laid a foundation.

The majority of people we are working with that is exactly where they are, they are at like a 101 level or earlier. And if we are speaking in 301 terms we have this huge gap between us. And some people are going to be like, “OK, I’m with you,” and most people are going to be like, “What are you talking about???”

So yeah for me that beginner’s mindset means that you’re appropriately responding to where your group is. You’re building that foundation, you’re laying what’s in place before you can build up. And that you’re being aware of the information that you’re sharing, and is it what they need or is it what you want to share.”

Written by FacilitatingXYZ Team

This is the account that the FacilitatingXYZ team uses. FacXYZ is co-facilitated by Meg and Sam, and brings in expertise, knowledge, and lived experience from facilitators far and wide. Read more about us here.

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