Know your basics — while working with groups

Nils Schnell
Mar 24, 2017 · 3 min read

Do you know these moments where you do just a regular training or you moderate the 3rd retrospective during the week? You feel so used to it that you start working with autopilot? That is the moment for, where you should hear the wake-up call and rake the control-wheel again. You don’t know what to do? Focus on your basics!

The essentials of keeping good quality

The essentials of keeping good quality and not everything for granted is to know your basics. With basics I really mean the groundwork. My observation is, that experienced trainers and facilitators often stop doing the little things, the obvious things at a certain level. Like (good) visualisations, self-reflection, improvement and taking feedback seriously. In my experience, you can narrow it down to the three categories, communication, group dynamics and reflection for improvement. A professional in this case is for me an experienced facilitator or trainer who picks up these topics over and over again for improvement (Kaizen). Let me walk you through my thoughts:


A professional is able to find viable ways of addressing their thoughts. A way to give all audiences a “real” chance to understand. Not an explanation, that works “most of the time”. That is not good enough!

Wording matters. Always!

Group dynamics

A professional is able to see each new group as an ecosystem itself. One size definitely fits not all. Of course it gets easier to work with groups. But you should not fall into a modus, where it is ok that some groups don’t harmonise. Of course that is happening, but you should always give your best on the field. Which means it is your job to support, to find ways.

You are the expert for the process!

Reflection and improvement

A professional knows of course about lifelong learning. But truly derive goals for improvement and always asking for feedback (and considering it) is something that often stops. Because you know already what went good and what could’ve been better. But: Don’t forget your blindspots, your biases. Feedback and reflection can always help to improve, even for you as an expert. Use this chance! For me it is part of our profession and our duty to the people we work with.

Know your basics, never stop investing in your basics!

I really believe that it is one of the greatest job you can do — enable people through facilitation and training. You can create this magic moment, where something changes. Where something new arises. For a person, for groups.

Our duty is to do great work — because it matters, because it can be a game changer!

Your Nils

PS: Wanna reflect on how you practical agile approach is? Are you really a true Agilist? Here you can find a nice wake-up call from Caro Henderickx.

Executive Coach — Professional Enabler — Trainer

Originally published at on March 24, 2017.


We post about ModernWork topics.


We post about ModernWork topics. Innovative formats, new methods, mindset and reflection, leadership and group-dynamics

Nils Schnell

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ModerWork Expert, Executive Coach, Leadership Enabler. Train-the-trainer Trainer & viability embracer. Loves to travel the world as well as deep discussions.


We post about ModernWork topics. Innovative formats, new methods, mindset and reflection, leadership and group-dynamics