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

How do we know when to push back or go along with our participants? In this video Eric Boggs talks about the importance of knowing your learning objectives and using them as a guide to decide when to flow and when to push back in facilitation.


  • look at your objectives
  • think about the group experience as a whole
  • push back if actions are a black to your intended objective

To check out Eric’s latest project click here.


Question: How do you know when to push back or go along with a participant?

EB: “Look at your learning objectives. Whether they are on paper, on in your mind’s eye, or in your heart. What are you trying to get after?

And if I’m doing a week-long kind of float-and-bloat kayak trip in Baja and the objectives are to have a good time and tell jokes then let’s do that.

But if the objectives are to unlearn racism or to work in community health in rural communities, those should be your guide.

And so those for me are really reassuring because, you know again I don’t want people not to like me, but I need to know where I am pushing from. Am I pushing back because I don’t like your attitude or your accent? Or am I pushing back because I think what you’re doing is a block to the group experience as a whole?

Those learning objectives help me, they are good footing for pushing back.”

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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