Hello Facilitators👋 I'm really curious about where everyone is from. I'd love to make this a mega post where we can see how diverse the Facilitator Club community is. Who knows, you might find a lot more people in your area than you thought! Once I have lots of answers on this post, I want to make a nice graph!
One of the great things about what we do is you can do it as an employee or go out and become your own company. Whilst the later comes with amazing benefits there are a lot of areas that need to be considers… Like - What does it take to set myself up as a business or do I just contract in. - If I am setting myself up as a business am I a sole trader.. registering by business - Defining your purpose and setting clear goals yearly, quarterly - Defining your target customers, products, services and financials. Whilst this is a passion space for a lot of us, you still need to understand your revenue needs. - Branding and marketing - What do you need to set yourself up… physically, technology - Contracts for engagements - How to build a pipeline, managing you customer base Making sure you get work life balance! Would be interested in hearing and learning from each other on what made sense for you and what you would like to share with the rest of the community…
Hi everybody! I am a new member of this community and I am eager to engage with all of you on the concept that involves integrating the principles of Futures Thinking with conventional workshop methodologies, ultimately fostering more sustainable and impactful workshop outcomes. What are your thoughts on that?
A participant of a workshop I am going to run tomorrow and on Tuesday just wrote me a message that they have had some traumatic experience and currently find themselves unable to speak in front of a group 😱. Of course my activities are mostly built around together alone exercises, but since on this occasion 2 teams that don't really know each other come together for the first time, I was planning on doing a quick round of introductions. Now I have 2 ideas and would like to hear what you think of them, your suggestions for modifications or totally other suggestions (I'm new to this facilitation game and don't know as many exercises): >>> Creating business cards - each participant creates their own business card, with picture, fun facts and work related facts and we simply hang them up as a gallery and look at them. For this person, this one would probably be easier than my next idea. Time: 10 minutes to create, 5 minutes to look at >>> Guess what: I write each participants name on a board (we are 7, including me - I am the team leader, but also facilitating a workshop to create a marketing plan for next year). I'd ask everyone to write down the jobs they do on individual post-its. Then I collect all the notes and stick them up randomly OR just hand them the stack of notes. The group then organizes the post-its (chaotically, all together in front of the board) the way they think is right. They are allowed to speak to each other. In this way, the participants really engage with the roles and people, as well as getting to know each other while organizing the board together. My hope is that this doesn't count as "speaking in front of the group". At least the person doesn't have to engage (as much), but also is challenged a little bit. While it is important to me to create space for this situation, this is not a therapy session. Time: 10 minutes to write notes, 15 minutes for me to put up and for them to organize I have to go out for a bit now, but will have a look here later tonight. Thank you! 🙏
@Ömür Yanıkoğlu Thank you, that sounds like fun! I'm wondering if I could incorporate that in the "business card" idea and have them write 2–3 of their main roles (job related) and the 2 truths and 1 lie (personal). And then they could dot vote on the business cards, after I hang them up. I love the playful introduction of that! Thank you for your idea and for taking the time to share it!
@Ömür Yanıkoğlu Yes, I think the more confident and experienced I get, the more happy I will be to tweak exercises 🙂 It's so interesting how a challenge like this one (someone saying they won't be able to participate with speaking) makes me think about solutions that still include them and how that might actually give the entire group a lovely experience. I hope so, at least! And I agree - exercises should not get too complex 😵
I recently finished FF (it took ages, because of health issues) and held my first workshop (hooray). I am so happy and proud. Reading a post by @Jérôme Bertrem about his upcoming first workshop made me think of sharing my first workshop experience and I am also writing this to reflect. Maybe it'll be helpful to other beginners. ✔️🎁✔️My main takeaway (if you don't have time for a novel): Fail and fix. This basic attitude to all communication also applies to workshop facilitation. Yes, I have forgotten to mention things. Yes, I could have been clearer. But I managed to fix it. Would it have been better if I hadn't forgotten? Possibly. But: It doesn't have to be perfect to be better than most meetings. So even as a beginner, I can make a difference. And: workshop facilitation is FUN! ✔️🏁✔️If you are interested in the rest: I am the head of marketing in my company and I want to make meetings better. Mostly for myself 😅, but also the team and the company. It was a cross-departmental workshop and I came out feeling energised and happy. Which was great, as I went in feeling quite stressed because it was also the first time I had used Miro, and I was a bit uncomfortable taking on this different role amongst my colleagues. But all in all it went really well. ✔️👷♀️✔️The workshop: The topic was gathering information for a persona project we were starting. We wanted to gather input and questions from all departments so that we could put together a representative catalogue of questions to ask and assumptions to prove or disprove. With 8 participants and the remote location, the group was a bit bigger than I would have liked for my first time. I spent ages thinking about the structure, the topics to cover and preparing the (huge) board (see screenshot), but it was fun and well worth it. I'd set up an agenda, a playground, a workspace for each participant, a space for everyone to put their top 3 sticky notes from each category, an effort/impact matrix and a parking space. The 🎵 playlist I had made during FF came in handy. I had recorded and sent out a Loom beforehand (also a first), showing the basic functions and introducing the Miro playground, as most of the participants were new to Miro.
@Jérôme Bertrem Oh yes, I am enthusiastic about this new tool I've learned! I am often worried about getting things wrong - so it was very useful to see that I did, here and there, but in the end it was a win. Which basically is life... 😄 Lots of little failures hopefully leading to a mostly good experience. Enjoy your first workshop - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for no difficult participants! 🤞
Hi all! Since this is a community to support facilitator(s) (freelancers), I was wondering if some of you combine your facilitation skills with another job or function. This just can be anything really! 😊 And if so, what are your experiences with this combination? Is it sometimes tricky to be a facilitator and simultaneously an executor of actions discussed during facilictated sessions? To give more context, I am currently working as a webmaster for a Marketing team while having finished a web design course. At own initiative, I want to introduce workshops to ease meetings, have clear goals and actions. But I might be biased as a executor to be the facilitator as well.
Hi @Jérôme Bertrem I am in a similar situation as I am a marketing manager in my company but I want to make meetings better (both for myself and for the team and the company 😅). I recently did my first interdepartmental workshop after the FF training and it went really well. One thing I noticed is that I didn't have the confidence to be as direct with my colleagues as I would have been as an outsider. For example, when we were using a version of the effort/impact scale in the decision phase, people started discussing, bringing up new issues and so on. I felt that I would have restricted this much more if they were not my colleagues but strangers. In the end, the workshop took longer. I solved the problem by telling them 10 minutes before the official end that we would not finish because of the lively discussion (I put a positive spin on it, I do work in marketing after all 😂) and gave them 3 options how to continue. They all wanted to carry on right away because they were having fun 👍 and they felt that it was useful and beneficial. Even though it got a bit derailed, it was a great experience for them and for me. Enjoy your first workshop! It doesn't have to be perfect, it will still be better than most meetings.
For quiet some time I’ve asked myself now if freelance facilitation is only something for extroverts. Especially because of the additional marketing aspect that comes with it which requires additional human contact. Am I right or are there any freelance introverts in this community who are happy with it?
Your question has really made me think, thank you! I remember watching a music class in primary school years ago, with a very quiet teacher and a room full of 3rd graders. And they were hanging on his lips, they didn't want to miss a word he'd say. 😍 Because he was really there with them, interested in them, wanting to support them. So I think it's not about extroverted vs introverted – it's about being present.
Wow! 4 weeks ago, my colleague @Ryan de Metz and my team at AJ&Smart welcomed the first cohort of students to the first coaching call of our new program, Facilitation Fundamentals. Four calls later, we've made connections for life and will really miss chatting with this bunch ☹️ So what was my biggest KEY takeaway from these coaching calls? 1. Community is EVERYTHING Facilitation and Workshopping are relatively new concepts and can sometimes feel like a lonely career path. In these coaching calls, we noticed the boost it gave our students when they were among like-minded people who were equally passionate about facilitating and workshopping themselves. It was great to see our students come together, sharing tips and advice about Facilitation and workshopping, empathizing with each other's challenges, and celebrating each other's successes! Thanks Cohort 1 (I wish I could tag all 130 of you here but the post would be tooooo long😅) for your engagement, support, and enthusiasm over the last few weeks. We do not doubt that you all will master the world of Facilitation, and we look forward to staying connected with you in this community.💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛 If anyone is interested in joining the next cohort for this new program, DM me or my colleagues @Ryan de Metz or @Jakub Michalski, and we can provide you with more details. DISCLAIMER: In this picture, we were all dancing to the song 'Celebration' by Kool and the Gang 😎🎊😂
Let's accept it - workshops not always go as planned, and we are always dealing with 'oh-no' situations (at least me!) So I thought to share and also learn from everyone's failures but with the mindset of 'failing forward' - every mistake can turn into a stepping stone for success in the future. I'll start with one learning from this week, and I'd love to hear your lessons learnt too! [plan] In an online workshop where participants from various countries were expected, I did an ice-breaking exercise where I shared a screen of a white world map and asked colleagues to put a stamp on where they are at the moment. [what happened] it took forever for some participants to find out how to stamp and annotate on zoom, while some got it immediately. So it wasn't smooth. Lots of scribbles on the white board too. And, actually majority of them were from the same countries so the activity didn't really serve the purpose of showing the diversity of participants. It fell flat and made it a not-so-cool start of the workshop. [lessons] - keep the technology super simple, especially if you aren't sure of the level of familiarity - have some back-up questions/activities, in case one question didn't spark interest,
@Susanne van den Berg I reminds me a bit of myself - for me I have identified it as perfectionism and have talked about it in therapy a lot 😄 It has been useful to identify why I established this strategy of always having to do things right and the negative self talk afterwards in my childhood. But maybe it's not the same for you. Just wanted to share in case it helps knowing you're not alone in this. At times I have experineced it as downright debilitating.
Hello there! I'm brand new to Facilitator Club and of course felt compelled to diligently follow the suggested activities (who doesn't love activities right?!) and write a little introduction to myself and how I have come to be in this wonderful place with all of you wonderful people. Some career/work-related facts and stats: - I have worked for 1 company my whole career (17 years and counting!) - I have held 5 different 'job titles' in that time but in reality have probably done 10+ roles - Most of my roles have been IT-related, from the helpdesk, through software development and PM'ing to Head of Data and Analytics and all in the UK arm of the company - My current role is where I pivoted slightly from IT and moved into digital transformation across the global supply management function Some me-related facts and stats: - I am super creative and have an inordinately long list of hobbies - I can't get enough of learning about new things, and I LOVE hearing other people talk about the things they know and explain them to me with passion. Like their love for their subject is like a song for me. - I am a mother of 2, age 5 and under which makes work-life balance... interesting but has lead me to have a strong word with myself and make sure that the work I do (and need to do for myself) is something I really love and that really speaks to my values of connection, making a difference to people, making them feel valued and moving them forward. - I work from home (with all its pros and cons) which is near Manchester, UK What brings me to this wonderful place? When I returned back from maternity leave to my current role and didn't settle back into the daily grind I knew it was time to seriously rethink about what my values, passions and strengths were and start on a proper journey towards them - and although I have never had any official job title of facilitator, or coach, or workshopper or anything like that the areas that I always find myself drawn to and the experiences I remember most fondly generally link back to the beginning of projects, or starting committees, or leading groups on a short-term project (basically, new shiny things at the beginning of their life).
Are also facilitators here who are freaking nervous and anxious before their meeting, session or workshop starts? Do you have any advise how to not freak out before? 😅 Although I would say I am always pretty good prepared and my sessions are running smoothly I get so anxious before, struggle with my imposter syndrome and expect the worst to happen. As soon as the meeting starts I get very calm and confident, so it is actually the time before which is really stressful for me although I really love what I do and I love the role of the facilitator.
Love reading all the different ideas on here. And especially love to read that it's just a part of the process I kind of just have to accept. Well, I love and hate that at the same time... I have not officially facilitated a workshop, but have co-facilitated self exploration retreats and what worked really well there for me, was to have the first exercise be something that helps the group and me(!) arrive in the space (the room-space and the mind-space) and feel where each person is at in the moment, before going somewhere (new ideas, new shapes of collaboration...) together. I can imagine doing that in the workshop context, as well.
I just signed up and want to introduce myself. I'm new to all of this. But I am a facilitator at heart. I just didn't know it and I didn't know this was even a thing. 😊 I’ve always loved supporting people to live their potential, get to know and express themselves and thrive. I used to be vocal teacher and loved doing just that in that context, helping people find and use their voices. I’ve been a choir conductor, and bringing together all the voices and making sure everyone is heard and the singers breathe together and follow the same rhythm – that was amazing! I am often reminded of that time when reading about facilitating. After that I was an international product manager for musical instruments, which was super unexpected and particularly challenging for my imposter syndrome 😏, as I didn’t have any training whatsoever. I have a passion for psychology and therapy and recently have trained and worked with NARM (NeuroAffective Relational Model™), an approach focusing on attachment, relational and developmental trauma. I am so curious about how all of these human experiences play out in workplaces and think about how we could be and work together in better ways if we had better understanding of ourselves and empathy for each other. Which is why I am so excited about having found facilitation. Maybe this is where it all comes together? Currently I’m leading a beautiful team at a publisher for childhood education. I think it’s pretty clear I'm a generalist 😄. I love seeing the big picture and then zooming in on what matters (and let someone else deal with that 🤭). And I look forward to diving into the Facilitation Fundamentals course! My impostor syndrome is already kicking and screaming 🙄, reading about all the accomplished facilitators on here throwing around buzzwords I've never heard of. But that’s okay, I’m a beginner and I look forward to learning!
Thank you so much, @Bryan Guzmán! Your words and kindness really speak to me and touch me! I love the idea of being a master questioner and I think my therapy training will come in very handy there, as it is also non-directive, so lots of quesions, no advice, really more the role of a guide, much like in facilitation. I need to understand that this sort of mindset also applies in this "business" context. At work I'm used to being the one having to find the solutions to problems. It sounds so relaxing to be in the role of the guide instead. Looking forward so reading more from you!
With almost 1800 members in this group so far and with all the various backgrounds and experiences in here, I want to try to put what we’re learning in the world of facilitation and workshopping into practice with this new challenge! I will be posting anonymized client briefs (repurposed briefs from past clients of AJ&Smart) over the next few weeks and I would love for you to design a workshop to meet these briefs. I have attached our Agenda template that you can use to complete this task. In the comments section, you can write the same headings in this template to give you some guidance. This template follows AJ&Smart’s 4C’s Framework for structuring ANY workshop. So...what is the 4C’s Framework? We’re glad you asked! The 4C’s stand for Collect, Choose, Create, and Commit. The 4C’s Framework can be used to design any workshop regardless of topic, length, or outcome. If you want to get the full breakdown of how it works and how to use it in your workshops, you can download the Workshopper Playbook, where we explain everything in detail! 🗣️So, let’s hear from the client: “Hi! I’m Jack, the product manager of a small team at Dream Big Corporations. I manage a team of 7 developers. Lately, I’ve noticed that this team is finding it difficult to connect and are regularly misaligned on decisions being made for the company. In particular, I have noticed there’s a lack of trust between group members, and they tend to blame each other if work isn’t completed. I am looking for ways to improve the culture within this department and empower these individuals to work together as a team, trust each other and deepen connections. I would like you to run a 3-hour workshop at our HQ in Stockholm. At the end of the workshop, I would like to have a list of team-building activities or suggestions that will help improve trust and connection within this department. My main goal is for this team to trust each other and to communicate more effectively moving forward."
@David Newman I love your 3 ice-breakers! They’re hilarious! Since I am new to this, I had never heard of Lego in this context, but that makes so much sense. I want to be a participant in your workshop 😁
@Rebecca Courtney Thank you so much, this means a lot! And please, steal away! 😄 I had so much fun designing this and am super grateful for this challenge. On my own I would not have thought I could already give this a go at such an early stage. And it's good to get a sense of how much I could enjoy this, if I went and did it for real... 🤭