I run training for people in a lot of different areas and one thing that consistently comes up is the importance of facilitation in just about every area of work.
I like to think I am a really good facilitator and that you will get real value for money by getting me to facilitate challenging meetings and workshops for you. Yet I still have to admit that most of the important facilitation happens within your own team.
So how do you become a better facilitator? There are some really good training courses around that I am happy to recommend. But a large part of learning to facilitate is just practicing and paying attention as other do it. And the problem with practicing on important projects is that it can be embarrassing when it all goes to cactus.
So another approach is just to turn up with this group: http://facilitatorsnetwork.blogspot.com/
You turn up with no RSVP (or ditch the meeting and go for a beer with friends with no feeling of guilt). When you turn up they hit you for $5 and then you hang around. There is some networking and there is always a facilitation by someone who wants to demonstrate some cool techniques.
The next one is on 9 November and came with this blurb:
Graphic Facilitation with Nancy White
Is there more to visual facilitation than the occasional use of a flipchart? Can we listen with our eyes and fingers as well as our ears? This session explores how images and drawing can help with the facilitation process.
Whether you are an artist or not (especially if you think you aren’t), we will be painting, drawing, smudging and crayoning. We will be getting our hands dirty please do not dress in your nice work clothes (or at least bring a big shirt to cover up).
Nancy White has worked with organisations as diverse as the World Health Organization, IBM, IEEE & the International Labor Organization. She is the co-author of “Digital Habitats” with Etienne Wenger & John Smith. Her graphic facilitation gigs have involved the Dalai Lama. More details on Nancy’s Australian visit here: http://nancywhiteoz.wordpress.com/
Venue: University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Jones Street, Ultimo corner Thomas Street. Room 5.580 Level 5, Building 10, Take the lift to level 5, cross the atrium foot bridge, walk straight ahead to room 580.
Time: from 5:30pm to 7:30pm sharp | No RSVP – Just turn up