Facilitating with Confidence

I'm part of the international team offering the course Facilitating with Confidence. We've offered this in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Thailand to a wide variety of audiences from the private and public sectors.

The aim is to help facilitators explore together how to improve their practice, with an emphasis on practical activities that provoke reflection and sharing. We draw on our experience working in many different environments and cultures to support participants.

Moving away from one-to-many formats

We believe that face-to-face meetings need to achieve things that can't be done more effectively in other ways. This means moving away from formal presentations and top-down instruction, towards a much more participative approach. In other words, getting away from hub-and-spoke models where a small number of people dominate, to distributed models in which all participants can engage. Over the training we demonstrate the importance of this approach and explore in a great many ways how to use it in a variety of contexts.

Visceral learning

People can study models and theories in textbooks or online. In a live training, we believe the emphasis must be on setting up dramatic and surprising experiences. We use activities drawn from improv theatre, gestalt therapy, playback and forum theatre and action learning to make the training engaging and challenging.

Cross-cultural approach

We've offered this workshop to a huge variety of audiences - a recent workshop included 40 participants from 33 different countries. Activities are designed to be accessible to people from diverse cultural traditions.

Topics covered include:

Understanding the role of a facilitator
Facilitation principles
Involving everybody
Getting information and making decisions
Designing events
Selecting appropriate techniques
Facilitating tough crowds
Dealing with the unexpected
Making difficult decisions
Working on wicked problems
Dealing with conflict

The course can be offered in the form of the three consecutive 2-day workshops, or a five day workshop. It will be delivered by myself and co-facilitator from our international team.

This was really a productive week. Thanks to Viv and Johnnie for your excellent facilitation, highly appreciate your meaningful engagement. - Participant from Nepal
Just facilitated a workshop wth many of the methods that you showed us! was myself surprised how enthusiastic & moved the participants were. Thanks Viv & Johnnie - Participant from Switzerland
Yesterday we did a workshop in Gizo Islands. The aim was to revive a committee that was inactive for more than 3 years now. We tried out the 'no tables' approach which was well appreciated and we tested an activity to try out the distributed model, I was impressed by the outcome we recieved. All participants spoke out and at the end of the meeting we achieved most information we need and a new executive was also elected. - Participant from Solomon Islands

(We have a facebook group where past participants share more of their experiences. Please contact me if you'd like an invitation to join.)