Facilitating by Heart: Session descriptions

Session 1: Building the Learning Community, Overview of the Facilitation Model, Agenda-Setting
April 22-23, 2014

How a group begins can set the tone for how well it functions together. We will model how to lay the groundwork for creating an effective work group. We’ll take the time to discover your goals and honor what you need to do your best learning. We’ll share our approach to facilitation and outline the processes we’ll be using to support you in and between sessions.

You will learn how to:

  • Build the foundations for successful work groups.
  • Develop and apply group agreements to create safe, inclusive meetings.
  • Apply a model of the stages of group development when facilitating a group.
  • Design agendas that foster effective task accomplishment and that honor multiple 
    learning styles.

Session 2: Utilizing Different Learning Patterns
May 20-21, 2014

The Perceptual Thinking Patterns (PTP™) model is a concrete tool that teaches how people learn, process, and communicate. We 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 learning patterns approach these tasks.

You will learn how to:

  • Understand the components of the PTP™ model.
  • Identify your own and others’ patterns.
  • Discover your pattern’s biases in facilitation.
  • Use PTP™ principles to create inclusive and effective group experiences.

Session 3: Centering, Deep Listening, and Skillful Questioning
July 29-30, 2014

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

The ability to listen intently with one’s 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.

You will learn how to:

  • Use the skill of centering to enhance your abilities to guide group process.
  • Support group members in checking out assumptions that may be influencing their thinking.
  • Use encouraging responses and inquiry-based questions to elicit and understand multiple perspectives.

Session 4: Transforming Conflict
September 9-10, 2014

Many of us may 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, then work relationships can be enhanced and more innovative, lasting solutions can be found. In this session, you will have an opportunity to reflect on your attitudes and behaviors in conflict and increase your comfort in working effectively through interpersonal and group conflicts.

You will learn how to:

  • Distinguish between positions and needs.
  • Find common ground and achieve win-win solutions.
  • Apply PTP™, centering, and deep listening in a conflict situation.
  • Apply conflict transformation skills and tools with work groups.

Session 5: Decision-Making, Facilitation Feedback
October 7-8, 2014

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.

You will learn how to:

  • Examine the implications of different decision-making approaches in low and high stakes decisions.
  • Intervene when a group struggles with decision-making.
  • Use a model for participatory decision-making.
  • Improve your facilitation skills.
  • Address challenges to applying these skills/tools.