Facilitation Pattern: Articulate

Posted by Doc
Mar 13 2009

I started thinking about the patterns and antipatterns in relation to each other, and will be working to fill in the balance. Not all patterns have clearly related antipatterns, and vice versa. We’ll see how it goes from here.


articulateMotto: Being clear is essential.
Belief: It’s not just important to say what I think and believe, it’s important to say it as clearly and unambiguously as possible.
Behavior: Chooses words with care, takes time to think before speaking, and is known as an unusually effective communicator.
Characteristics: Articulate, thoughtful, careful, patient


There is a wide spectrum of understandability in what people say, from “I have no idea what she just said” to “I know exactly what she meant and understood her perfectly.” At the latter end is the Articulate.

The Articulate is careful with words, believing that they have significance beyond just the words themselves. You will rarely hear an Articulate say “that’s stupid,” because stupid means lacking intelligence, and refers to the speaker, not the words spoken. An Articulate is more likely to say “that seems to me not to have been well thought out.”

Articulate facilitators are particularly good at clarifying misunderstanding and guiding participants toward effective communication. They choose their words with care, thinking not only about what the words mean to them, but what the words might be taken to mean by others.

Articulate participants are capable of getting their ideas across easily, and frequently are turned to by others when the group is struggling to reach group understanding or consensus.

[ Related antipatterns: Orator, Implication ]

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