From the BlogSubscribe Now

My Coaching / Facilitation Toolkit

I was asked recently to document what’s I use for my toolkit when I’m at a client engagement. I’ve experimented with many different options and materials over the last year and so I’ll share with you what I’m currently using.

Before I show you the list, I want to share my philosophy that your toolkit needs to be simple, yet flexible. You never know what might happen during the course of a meeting you are facilitating, therefore you need to be prepared for anything. I’ve found that having an assortment of simple, yet highly effective basic materials gives me the flexibility I need to pull off almost anything.

Let’s begin:


Toolbox(es) – I have found using a common toolbox to be a great container for all this stuff. Bonus: it’s tons of fun to carry around and get strange looks from people. A toolbox appears very unusual to creative workers and helps encourage diversity of thought.

I use a 20″ toolbox as my main kit, and a 12.5″ toolbox as my grab-and-go kit.

Both my toolkits

Let’s begin with the small toolbox.

I use this one to facilitate meetings for up to 8 people, like simple retrospectives, or other meetings where I don’t need the full capabilities I have available to me.

12.5" toolkit (link is to a similar, but yellower toolbox)


12.5" toolkit full of stuff


Here are it’s contents:

Dry erase markers in both standard (Red, Green, Blue, Black) and other pastel colors. I walk into unknown meeting situations all the time. Are there markers? Do they still work? How badly damaged are they? Keeping my own set with me ensures I won't be scrambling.

Fine Point Sharpies

Planning Poker Cards

1" Painters Tape (sticks well enough without taking paint off the walls) Good for taping up papers, making grids, timelines

3x3 Post it notes - your most vital creative tool

Poker Chips - Used for coin games, placeholders, other creative ideas. I use these a lot to play simple coin puzzles while waiting for everyone to show up to meetings.

3x5 index cards (blank) - a most essential tool

Drafting Dots - useful for sticking and moving things on a whiteboard or on the wall without tearing the paper when removed

6 sided dice - just for fun and games


The Large Toolbox – I use this for more complex meetings, usually involving some highly creative activities. Enough for 20 people.

Large 20" Toolbox

Large Toolbox - Full of Fun!

The contents:

Star Post Its - Fun, fun fun

1" Painters Tape

1 - 2 boxes of Fine Point Sharpies

Sharpies of Many Colors - Black and White only is boring.

4x6, 3x5 index cards of various kinds

Scotch Tape - Need

Stickers - Everyone loves getting a sticker for doing a good job! Oh, also dot voting.

3x3 Post it notes of many colors - keep things visually interesting

Brightly colored 3x5 index cards - Liven things up!

Pastel 4x6 index cards

Paper Clips - Build fun things, clip things together, the possibilities are endless!

Super Sticky colored Post Its

Foam Sticky Shapes - Unleash creativity

Pipe Cleaners - Build shapes, also helps people focus who need to keep their hands busy during meetings

Rubber bands - shoot people, bind things together


Bonus Material:


Pencil box with Crayola Markers, Scissors, sharpies, pens -- useful for storyboard activities and other drawing fun

Bucket of tennis balls - useful for the Ball Point Game

Misc Games - useful for estimation, taking a break, or other made up fun

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon


  1. So very organized looking. Is this just cleaned up for company or always like this?

    I have one colleague that has a helium tank. And another that has a collaboration room in a box. It works well if you don’t confuse it with the magic suitcase – they all look alike.

    • David,

      Believe it or not, that is exactly how it looks at all (well OK, most) times. I am normally a disorganized person (I like my chaos), but I need my toolkit to be ready for me at a moment’s notice. Sometimes I’ll need to throw in an unplanned activity at the last minute and so having quick access to all that I need, and knowing that it will be there for me, is essential.

      I would love to hear more about a “collaboration room in a box.”

      Magic suitcase — jealous.

  2. Toolbox – great idea. Do you use it when flying places also? Downside is extra space in the suitcase. I met another coach who has a duffle bag and several small pouches, each with some kind of material, similar idea that takes up less space.

    Drafting dots, hadn’t heard of those, will check them out.

    I also like to bring squishy balls, fun little creatures for stretching and throwing at people.

  3. Ray Niemeir says:

    Nice kit.

    I would add a generous amount of Play-Doh brand modeling compound per participant to help invoke tactile as well as verbal and visual thinking.

    1) Use it all up. Let it dry.
    2) When tempted to check the net, pick up the Play-Doh instead.

  4. Will need to put something like this together. I have most of the individual pieces around, but using an actual toolbox is pretty cool.


  1. […] My Coaching / Facilitation Toolkit   […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  2. […] indicating that a piece of string would work, it dawned on me that we have pipe cleaners in our Facilitator Toolkits.  Turns out they are the perfect size for an 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper and easily […]