Facilitating by Heart

A 5-part training series shaping authentic, effective facilitators

Facilitating by heart implies that one has all the tools and skills that are needed to facilitate with comfort and proficiency, from memory or “by heart.” It also means that the facilitator brings a strong sense of integrity and authenticity to the situation: paying mindful attention to the work of the heart. Someone who facilitates by heart not only cares about getting the task accomplished, s/he also cares about how the work gets done. A facilitator by heart is able to “read the pulse” of the group to sense what individuals need and what the group needs as a whole in order to work productively and collaboratively.

At a glance

What: 5-session training series

When: Attendence at all sessions is required. Five 2-day sessions, April through October of 2018, view details below»

Time: 8:30am-4:30pm

Where: The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison map»

Cost: Standard: $1,850 | Gov/Nonprofit: $1,550*. Lunch included. (Down payment of $750 at time of registration). *This rate is available to nonprofit and public sector organizations, government agencies, and nonprofit educational institutions. For questions about eligibility, please contact the program director.

Or by phone:
Call 608-262-7942 or 800-725-9692

Questions? Contact Laura V. Page at laura.page@wisc.edu or 608-890-3627

2018 brochure»

UW Credit Union Senior Vice President Rob Van Nevel on why he sends his employees to UW-Madison Continuing Studies "Facilitating by Heart" training year after year.

Interested in more testimonials about how "Facilitating by Heart" can change your workplace for the better? View more videos below.

The series supports you in learning how to:

  • Create inclusive environments that encourage multiple perspectives and full participation of all group members.
  • Understand and capitalize on group members’ learning patterns.
  • Use centering to find the mental/emotional clarity to respond effectively to group process.
  • Listen without judgment to understand others’ perspectives.
  • Ask questions that foster shared understanding.
  • Work successfully with conflict to achieve more innovative, sustainable solutions.
  • Use practical tools for effective agenda-setting, decision-making, and managing data.

You learn in a safe, collaborative learning community where you can bring your full self to the learning experience. Your instructors use interactive facilitation methods that address all learning styles. You experience teaching methods such as dialogue, self-reflection, experiential activities, theory, case studies, modeling, coaching, practice using the skills and tools, and fun.

Project Manager with UW Health at The American Center Stephanie Sobczak on how "Facilitating by Heart" can teach anyone to be an authentic leader.

The series is limited to 24 participants so you feel comfortable participating and your specific needs are met by individual feedback and support.

Please note: your attendance is required at all sessions. The series is sequential, with each session building on the skills and tools taught in the previous session. It is not an option to pick and choose which sessions to attend—you must attend them all.

Who you'll be working with

Your instructors have more than 50 years of combined experience teaching, facilitating, and consulting with educational, human service, healthcare, governmental, and business organizations. They specialize in communication skills, team development, conflict transformation, diversity issues, and perceptual thinking patterns.

Kathy Germann (MA, Ohio State Univ.) has more than 30 years of experience teaching, consulting, facilitating, and coaching with more than 300 client groups across the country, and served as an ad hoc instructor for UW-Madison for 24 years. Germann also taught on three college campuses and was an executive director in the nonprofit sector. She brings a deep sense of passion and a healthy sense of humor to her work.

Denise Jess (BS, UW-Madison) is the CEO/executive director with the WI Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. She also operated a consulting and coaching practice that facilitated training on human relations issues. Jess taught elementary-aged children and has authored published curricula for all ages. She is deeply committed to supporting learners in creating inclusive environments.

Session descriptions

Session 1: Building the Learning Community, Facilitation Model, Agenda-Setting
April 17-18

UW-Madison Colleges and Extension training coordinator Shoko Miyagi on how "Facilitating by Heart" training creates more warm, well-rounded humans in the workplace.

We model how to create an effective work group as we establish a learning community. Discover the importance of maintaining balance between the dynamics of task and process, as well as their implications for group development stages and agenda design. You also have the opportunity to prepare a meeting agenda to use in your organization.

Learn how to:

  • Create group agreements to establish a productive work climate.
  • Apply a model for the stages of group development.
  • Design outcome-based agendas with clearly defined purposes.
  • Select multi-modal processes to enhance participation and achieve agenda outcomes.

Session 2: Utilizing Different Learning Patterns
May 15-16

The Perceptual Thinking Patterns PTP™ model is a concrete tool that teaches how people learn, process, and communicate. Learn how to use visual, kinesthetic, and auditory methods to accomplish the tasks of organizing, integrating, and creating information. In order to support effective group processes, facilitators need to understand how people with the 6 different patterns approach these tasks.

Learn how to:

  • Learn how our minds use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities to organize, process, and create.
  • Discover which of the 6 patterns matches the way your mind learns and communicates.
  • Explore the biases, gifts, and challenges of each of the 6 patterns.
  • Discover ways to create mutual adaptations between different thinking patterns and the benefits of diverse perspectives.

Session 3: Centering, Deep Listening, and Skillful Questioning
July 24-25

Centering, the ability to remain grounded, reflective, and attentive to what is happening in the moment, is a foundation skill that can strengthen your ability as a facilitator. When you facilitate from center, you are better equipped to perceive group process and take actions that will support the members’ needs.

The ability to listen intently with your whole self is another essential skill. Effective facilitators recognize when people are operating from assumptions and use non-judgmental questions to help clarify perspectives and foster shared understanding of the issues.

Learn how to:

  • Use a tool for checking out assumptions before they escalate into conflict.
  • Discern between observable data vs. “spin.”
  • Center to access your best thinking and engage with integrity.
  • Use encouraging responses and questions of inquiry to elicit and understand different perspectives.

Session 4: Transforming Conflict
September 11-12

Many people want to avoid conflict, yet it is a natural aspect of group dynamics. When handled with integrity, the energy of conflict can be used to improve trust and communication among group members. When all group members’ perspectives are honored and common ground is achieved, work relationships can be enhanced and more innovative, lasting solutions can be found.

Former Capital Area Regional Planning Commission deputy director and director of Environmental Resources Planning, Kamran Mesbah, on how his "Facilitating by Heart" training was a "truly transformative experience."

In this session, you have an opportunity to reflect on your attitudes and behaviors in conflict and increase your comfort in working effectively with conflict.

Learn how to:

  • Examine the impact of your history with conflict on your current responses to it.
  • Distinguish among the 4 basic responses to conflict.
  • Excavate beyond positions to identify and express underlying needs.
  • Find common ground and generate win-win solutions.

Session 5: Decision-Making, Facilitation Feedback
October 9-10

One of the biggest challenges work groups face is in making effective decisions. In day 1, you’ll learn how to address the tension between closure and further exploration, create shared understanding of the problem, and facilitate lasting solutions.

Day 2 will be an opportunity to synthesize and practice everything you’ve learned. You’ll receive concrete, practical feedback on your facilitation skills. You’ll explore how to address resistance in the workplace and how to build support for ongoing application of your new skills/tools.

Learn how to:

  • Understand the benefits of an explicit decision-making rule.
  • Assess the pros and cons of different decision-making rules.
  • Use a tool to discern the level of agreement.
  • Apply your learning to designing and facilitating a group meeting.

Series details and general information

Location: All sessions will take place at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison. The workshops are from 8:30am-4:30pm with registration at 8am. Parking information will be sent with your registration confirmation. The Pyle Center is accessible to people with disabilities.

Fees: Cost for the 5-part series is Standard $1,850 and Govt./Nonprofit $1,550. This fee includes lunches, extensive handouts, and the book, The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. Some scholarships may be available. (Please contact Hannah Wagner, 608-265-4267 or hannah.wagner@wisc.edu for scholarship information.) A down payment of $750 is required when you register. You will be billed for the remainder of the fee by the first session. Please note: attendance is required at all sessions. The series is sequential, with each session building on the skills and tools taught in the previous session. It is not an option to choose which sessions to attend—you must attend them all.

Registration deadlines
: Attendance is limited to 24 participants. Please register early to secure your place in the series.

Cancellation policy:
If you must cancel and do so up to 10 business days prior to the program, you will receive a full refund minus $250. If you cancel less than 10 business days prior to the program, or do not attend, you are responsible for the entire fee. Please visit here for our full cancellation policy.

Accommodations: Please make your own travel and lodging arrangements. Maps and information on lodging and parking are sent with your registration confirmation. Information about overnight accommodations can also be found on our Visitor & Information page.

Parking: You receive parking information with your enrollment confirmation. Day-long parking permits are available for enrollees on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking ramps and surface lots are located within a few blocks of the Pyle Center.

Additional parking and transportation information (including parking maps) can be found on the Visitor Information page from UW-Madison Visitor Information. Visit: vip.wisc.edu/plan-your-visit/parking

Approved continuing education credits

Credits will be awarded upon full day participation in these workshops. This program falls within the subject matter identified by the certain organizations for continuing education credits. Click here for details»

If you have a disability and desire accommodations, please advise us ahead of time. Requests are confidential. University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming including Title IX requirements.

For more information: Contact Laura V. Page at laura.page@wisc.edu or 608-890-3627