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What is Facipulation?

Facipulation is the application of facilitation techniques used in an attempt to manipulate a group towards a pre-determined outcome. Facipulation is basically tricking people into thinking they had a choice, when you were really cleverly steering the meeting to achieve a pre-determined outcome.

This is a common concern expressed by non-facilitators, who may worry that intentionally designing meetings to achieve desired outcomes will box participants into agreeing to something they never actually wanted.

While it is true that meeting design and the use of appropriate facilitation techniques will absolutely change a meeting's outcome, experienced facilitators know that groups do not tolerate tactics designed to "trick them" into adopting insincere positions. Yes, a nefarious individual can facipulate a group once, but these ill-gotten results rarely make it into practice outside the meeting, and the group quickly loses trust in that facilitator.

When asked about the risks of facipulation, experienced facilitators reply "Facilitation doesn't work that way anyway. People who try it find that it's just a good way to get fired!"

For some useful examples and a counter perspective, please see the links below.

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