Facilitating a Session on How to Facilitate

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Thanks to the great people involved in Communities of Practice at CQUniversity Australia, I was recently asked to deliver a two-part session on 'how to facilitate'.  I called this Facilitation 101 - Theory and Prac.

The session was targeted at CoPs Champions - the people responsible for facilitating the work of the Communities of Practice.  The theory went for half a day, and we covered:
  • The Facilitator's Role - including self-examination and discussions about confrontation, nurturing and some 'do not's.
  • Facilitation Skills - covering personal, interpersonal (c/o Covey) and process skills; stressing the challenge of 'being in the moment' while being the person responsible for the process.  
  • The Facilitation Process - which was a modified problem solving process.
  • Facilitation Tools - in which we discussed, and used, tools for convergent and divergent thinking.
The 'prac' involved everyone coming back the next day for another half day.  Each participant facilitated a 25 minute session using one of the tools from the course materials - brainstorming; Forced Analogy/the dictionary method; von Oech's Creative Whack Pack; the affinity diagram method; flowcharting; the nominal group technique; or De Bono’s six thinking hats.  I also made special mention of the tools in the Stanford d.school Bootcamp Bootleg and IDEO's Human Centered Design Toolkit.

The whole thing was an absolute blast.  Thank-you Dr Peter Reaburn for giving me this opportunity!