Facilitating by Heart

A 5-part training series shaping authentic, effective facilitators

“Facilitating by heart” implies that one has all the tools and skills necessary 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. People who facilitate by heart care not only about getting the task accomplished but also 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 of all sessions is required
Session 1: Building the Learning Community, Overview of the Facilitation Model, Agenda-Setting, Apr 22-23
Session 2: Utilizing Different Learning Patterns, May 20-21
Session 3: Centering, Deep Listening, and Skillful Questioning, July 29-30
Session 4: Transforming Conflict, Sept 9-10
Session 5: Decision-Making, Facilitation Feedback, Oct 7-8

Time: 8:30am-4:30pm

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

Cost: $1,350 (down payment of $675 at time of registration)

REGISTER ONLINE» or by phone at (608) 262-7942

Questions? Contact Barry Orton at bmorton@wisc.edu or (608) 262-2394


The series will support 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.

Our approach to training is to create a safe, collaborative learning community where you can bring your full self to the learning experience. We use process-oriented, interactive facilitation methods that address all learning styles. Our teaching methods include dialogue, self-reflection, experiential activities, theory, case studies, modeling, coaching, practice using the skills and tools, and fun. Attendance in the series is limited to 25 participants so we can create a learning environment where you feel comfortable participating and where we can attend specifically to your needs by offering individual feedback and support.

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 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 has facilitated trainings on a broad range of human relations issues since 1982. She has taught on 3 college campuses and managed 2 nonprofits, and she brings passion and a healthy sense of humor to her work.

Denise Jess has facilitated trainings on a wide range of human relations issues since the mid-1980s, including teaching in a learner-centered classroom for 11 years. She is committed to creating inclusive environments where all voices are respected.