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!
Someone (sorry, can't remember who) was talking about this in an earlier post. I think the general consensus was decks/cards can be useful when you're just starting out and want to build a toolkit of ideas quickly, but that there's more to facilitation than activities/exercises. I think there's something to be learned from everyone and everything (including cards/decks), but they are only one part of the puzzle. Use the tool that works for you!
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…
Sorry guys---I've been MIA for a few months and see there's a tooooooooonne of people wanting the template (who knew it would be so popular). I've completely lost track of who I've sent what to. Sooooo....if you want a copy of the template, please DM me--that way I can see who I have missed. Thanks!
I'm curious to know what kind of facilitation everyone does...? While I recognise that Facilitation Skills/ Principles apply across all types of facilitation, I've seen a lot of posts/comments around Design Thinking, Design Sprints, UX... Apart from supporting facilitators to hone their craft, I do a lot of facilitation in the Community Engagement / Social Impact space. Strategic Planning, Community Consultation, Partnership Brokering... that kind of thing. I'm keen to see the breadth of facilitation that's in this community.
@Brent Meersman in my experience, your business will build over time and you'll naturally find your niche as you go. Start by focussing on one thing, and then let your 'set of workshops' develop over time. While it's important to work out what you want to be famous for, facilitation in and of itself is skill. Positioning yourself as a 'general facilitator' (or magician) to begin with isn't a bad thing. You can be an expert in facilitation, and design different workshops depending on what the client needs. Back yourself and just get started. It will naturally evolve as you go along.
@Andrew Phan I think that's the sign of a great facilitator. Being able to use various methodologies, work in different industries and design different types of workshops. Facilitation is the act of making something easier or possible--and that takes so many different forms.
I would like to create a facilitation kit for on the road and also a organised kit for in house. I'm wondering what kinds of things everyone would put in their kits. I can come up with: - Sticky notes 🗒️ - Sharpies 🖊️ - Voting dots 🔴 - Time timer ⏲️ - ... ...and also where do you put all those things in? Is it a plastic box, a suitcase or something else? Please leave your thoughts in the comments, maybe my new kit is created by all of your input.🙂
Sometimes when people hear the word 'icebreaker' they cringe or might feel super anxious about taking part in one. Yes, icebreakers can make you feel a bit awkward initially, but they are proven to help enhance relationships and encourage creativity. 'Icebreakers can help increase team bonds, boost performance and creativity'—Harvard Business School study Integrating icebreakers into your workshops or meetings is a great way to get everyone relaxed and ready to participate. But how do you choose the right ones so that you avoid those dreaded awkward silences? Here are my Top 2 Icebreakers that are easy to implement (in-person or online): 1. My First Job Ask everyone in the group to write down their name, their first job, and what they learned from that job. Then go round the group and have everybody read theirs out. 2. Pointless Questions Prepare a few fun questions ahead of the workshop, then go round the room and have everybody take turns answering the questions. It’s as simple as that—you don’t even need to write anything down! Here are some question suggestions to get you started: - If you could invite a celebrity over for dinner, who would it be and why? - What is your most prized possession and why? - You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life. What do you choose? Here are some more icebreakers for you to explore! What's another great icebreaker that I can add to my list?
@Daniel Ferdinandusz I use picture cards as a connection/icebreaker activity too, but the question I ask depends on the workshop. I might say, "Choose a card that represents.... - The energy you're bringing to today's session. - The role you play in this team. - What's been happening for you since we last met together. - What you're hoping we can achieve in this workshop. Metaphors (in the form of Picture Cards) are such a helpful way to start conversations.
If you missed the @Aj Smart session yesterday on the 3 secrets to building a successful facilitation career, the following three books were recommended. I found the discussion of group dynamics really interesting and all this time and who know there was science to back up the skill. But I digress…. Here are the books that were recommended by @Rebecca Courtney . What other books are you reading.. or can recommend to the group?
My absolute favourite icebreaker is called draw a duck, it’s as simple as it sounds. 🦆 1️⃣ Give everyone post-its and a sharpie 2️⃣ Give them 60 seconds to draw a duck 3️⃣ Have them all put their ducks on the whiteboard 4️⃣ Briefly review your ducks as a group. That’s it. I love it because it’s a quick and effective way to inject a bit of fun into the start of the workshop. Plus, it lowers the bar for visualising ideas later, showing that ability to draw doesn’t matter. Want to practice? Grab a post-it and drop a picture of your duck in the comments, then tag someone in Faciltiator club do the same! 🦆 I'll start us off in the comments! 👇
In any meeting or workshop, I always start with some kind of activity to engaje people within each other and with the theme of the event. My favorite is Blind Portrait: a game where, in pairs, people try to draw each others faces, but without looking at the paper! That way, anyone can make a drawing full of character and surprises. In the end, each person have to choose their favorite drawing and introduce themselves with that! What about you?
As more and more workshops and meetings are being held online, it's important to understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with virtual facilitation. I have found that one of my best practices for virtual facilitation is to create a structured agenda and to stick to it. I also make sure to use interactive tools such as breakout rooms and polls to keep my audience engaged. Another tip that I follow is to actively monitor and manage group dynamics, as it can be more challenging to read the room when working remotely. From building engagement to managing distractions, how do you ensure your virtual workshops are productive and effective? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below and let's start a conversation about virtual facilitation best practices.
@Will Stammers me too! I avoid Hybrids as much as possible. Can I do them...sure. Do I think they are genuinely worth it...the jury is out. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Sometimes it's better to do one workshop online (for those who can't make in-person) and one in the room (for those who can).
@Amy Luethmers we run a couple of bootcamps. One on Building a Facilitation Business, and one on Workshop Design. These are usually run as 90 minute sessions once a week for six weeks, but we keep getting asked to run them as 6 x 90 minute sessions over 2 days. This might work for the Workshop Design one, but the Building a Facilitation Business Bootcamp has homework that needs to happen in-between. So, I guess I'm saying it depends on the workshop. Plus, regardless of how it might be for participants, you need to think about how YOU--as the facilitator--will be feeling after 2 full days online. You need to be fully engaged too!
Hello facilitators! 👋 For remote facilitation, do you use Miro, Mural, or Figma and why? Do you create templates in all of them? Or do you stick to one? I have realized I am creating different boards across all 3 and think it might be best to consolidate to one. 🤔 Hope this post can also shed light on best practices for everyone when choosing !
@Tomoo Okubo I agree with keeping it simple. I use the simplest tool I can for any given activity. There are still lots of people who are not overly confident with digital spaces, so we need to keep it as simple and accessible as possible.
I am trying to create a free short workshop that can help me sell a bigger workshop or more workshops to many clients. Have anyone used such an approach. If yes would you do the first one for free and use as a lead generation tool for future ones?
In my previous facilitation business, we would run express style public workshops that would give people a taste of what to expect. It worked ridiculously well, because we were giving multiple people, from multiple organisations a chance to experience our workshop. We ALWAYS got work out of them as a result.
@Louis Childs great question. In my last business we offered a range of training programmes, as well as facilitation services for things like Strategic Planning, Community Engagement etc etc. Our express style public sessions were usually training based e.g. we would take a full day workshop on fundraising, and turn it into a 2 hour taster session. Or, sometimes we would run an Idea Generation session on an issue that was common for most organisations. They would get to experience a 2 hour express session, and see the possibilities of what that might look like for their own organisations.
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?
@Johannes Berner Oh it's definitely a performance that I dial up or dial down depending on the situation. That said, I do think I'm always authentic in my nature. If I'm left to my own devices I think I sit somewhere in the middle of introvert and extrovert---so I'm just intentional about which way I swing. It's never tooooo extreme one way or another.
Hi everyone, I am French, located in Munich DE (2/3), and Grenoble FR (1/3). I started doing facilitation as a UX lead and migrated to workshop creation and facilitation also bringing change management and innovation into the picture. I am currently interested in visual practices like scribing https://www.u-school.org/visual-practice#vp-programs (from Theory U) and how it relates to workshop facilitation. Are there any visual facilitators in the group? I have no scribing experience but I used to draw a lot during boring meetings, so I think I should give this a try 😁 Looking forward to interacting with the group.
This is not a paid promotion lol 😂 Ever found yourself being provided a space and you notice there’s not a whiteboard insight..: I came across these during lockdown and after down in Melbourne Victoria we had a good stint of them my whiteboard withdrawals were kicking in week 2… Magic Whiteboard Sheets Stick on Wall - A1 Static & Portable White Board for Walls, Doors, Windows, Fridges, & Glass - Easy Clean, Plain White Dry Erase Board for School & Office https://amzn.asia/d/1wXozOB The pretty much stick to any surface.
Ah...I love a good room hack. Here's another one.... Ever been in a room where there is no clear wall space for posting flipcharts? Flip a few trestle tables on their side and you have some instant walls. Albeit low walls, but at least somewhere to post the flipcharts!