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Hello! I am excited to be a part of the community of Facilitators. Just joined today!
Hello everyone! My name is Jason and I am an expat 🇺🇸 living and working in Beijing, China. I work in a private school, but also 'moonlight' as a workshop facilitator 🕝. I have organized and run a few 'design sprints' 🏃♂️ within the context of senior leadership in schools. Most of the time our topics are about 'community optics' or 'curriculum'. However, as a 'design' educator I use sprints with students as well. Cannot wait to connect and collaborate! 🤝 I also created and host a podcast all about the 'design' of education if anyone is interested then please give me a shout! And happy year of the rabbit!
@Jakub Michalski I'm super interested to find out more about this. As a former school teacher, I love hearing how people incorporate workshops and facilitation into schools. Would love to give your podcast a listen sometime @Jason Reagin
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!
@Katrien Schepers I'll think of an easier way to display this 😅
@Jeff Panning we were thinking of doing that initially (and might still) but we wanted everyone to engage and comment on this post first 🙂 It’s nice to see everyone adding to it for now.
Hi everybody, it is a great pleasure to be part of this community. I have no much practical experience in workshopping. Yesterday, I had a chat with customer of mine that shared he has a lot of ideas in his head but lack of structure and needs help with that issue. How would you recommend me to start and what kind of workshop to propose to him, what exercises would be best to include?
Hey @Virzhiniya Georgieva! Great to have you in the community. Could you tell us a little more about this? Does he want to solve a challenge or problem or what's his goal? Will you be running this workshop with him and a team? A really great workshop that is designed to help any team solve any problem is AJ&Smarts Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ for short). This can be run in 90 mins and the first exercise is called the sailboat which is an idea generation exercise. This might be a great one to allow your customer to generate multiple ideas and then the next exercise in the LDJ allows you to hone-in on and focus on particular challenges that need to be addressed. This workshop is explained in this video. I think this could be a great one to run with your client.
Just wanted to say hello and say that I am grateful to be a part of this community!
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?
@Serena Snoad I really like this! I can tell that these sort of questions would create a very welcoming/commuinty feel. Thanks for sharing 😊
@Johannes Berner Some really great ideas here! The emotional monster cards is a great one and I can see how it would build connection and empathy within a group. Also, the LEGO riddles is amazing! The picture you've attached, is that the 3 little pigs with the wolf outside? 😄
Hello facilitators! I'm looking for recommendations on improving speaking and communication skills, which I believe are essential to any job and especially to facilitation. In particular, I'm interested in learning: - How to make interventions concise and clear - How to engage the audience and make a lasting impression - How to discern the appropriate timing for interventions particularly in meeting/workshop settings. Any tips or resources you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Apart from the amazing recommendations already mentioned in this thread, I highly recommend David JP Phillips and you check out his YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@DavidJPPhillips
Hey there! 👋 Facilitator Club is THE community for Facilitators or those who want to learn the skill of facilitation, where you can… ✅ Talk about facilitation and workshops (like the Design Sprint!) ✅ Talk about facilitation careers and how to build one (and make $$$ as a Facilitator!) ✅ Share workshop/facilitation insights, experiences, and resources ✅ Ask the AJ&Smart team questions about facilitation & workshops! This document contains important information about getting the most out of this community, so please read through everything before you get started! 👇👇👇 💃 How to get the most out of the Facilitator Club community 🕺 Really happy to have you here, hope you love the community as much as we do! Lots of love, The AJ&Smart team 💛
@Tadeja Jan Welcome to the community!
@Aigerim Tashmatova Hey! Also, the books Gamestorming by Dave Gray et al, Liberating Structures and Funretrospectives have great ideas for workshop activities!
Hi everyone! As someone from an education background, I found observations incredibly useful to be able to see what I've learned in action, and it got me wondering whether observing a workshop or facilitation session is a thing. Is it a done thing? I know it's something I'd massively benefit from, and would love an opportunity to see a facilitator in action in order to tie things together visually. I'd love thoughts from experienced facilitators who pivoted into facilitation from another industry/career path.
Great insights so far! I believe volunteering to co-facilitate a workshop is a great way to develop your facilitation knowledge and skills. @LaYinka Sanni You could even put a post up about it in this group letting people know you're available to co-facilitate a workshop or even ask people if they would let you observe one to gain some knowledge and experience. This could be in-person or virtually. I'm sure people will be willing to help 😊
During workshops, Sometimes i experience a sense of losing control over the process / participants. I'm interested in hearing about how you handle such a situation.
@Shannon Wagers Great tips here! @Hind Bayane Setting and getting expectations at the very beginning of the workshop normally addresses many issues that may arise. Setting ground rules together and making a social contract can be very effective too and if you feel you're losing the group, you can always remind them of the rules that you all agreed on together. Some of these rules can be 'no devices', 'trust the process', 'no judgement'. Explaining your role as Facilitator at the beginning can be really helpful too. As @Shannon Wagers said, letting the group know that you may need to push / pull them in a given direction as I see fit (e.g; shorten or lengthen an exercise). That you'll be moving on discussions if you feel they're unrelated to the outcome of the workshop.
Hi Everyone! So much experience and expertise in this community ... thrilled to be a member. I have a four-hour (same day) virtual session coming up and after the hour lunch break, I begin with energizer that gets the participants out of their seats and have a laugh. I have done ... find objects, eye yoga and the “after lunch shuffle”. Please what are your ideas? Thank you for sharing! Take care.
@Nancy Lhoest-Squicciarini I love this! There's so many ways you can adapt this activity. If you ever use it and especially your new version of it, let me know how it goes!
@Nancy Lhoest-Squicciarini I'm so glad to hear it went so well! Great call on letting them know it had to be at least 3 meters away! I need to try your version of this soon. Having music playing too is a game changer 🎶
Hello community. I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina. My training is eclectic, I have a degree in international trade; Actor; Mago and for a few years I have been training in topics such as Innovation, Agile Methodologies, design thinking and I am studying the career of ontological coach. My interest in becoming a facilitator and generating networks. My weakness is that I don't have a very good command of the English language, but I always find alternatives to understand. I read the book SPRINT by Jake Knapp (in Spanish...) and I am open to talks in Spanish. Thank you so much
hi guys, Some of you know me from the Workshopper Master community, some not. So I choose to introduce myself as this community grows so fast and I am happy to be here! Here is my video and you can find me on Linkein posting almost daily about exercises used in workshops and trainings. I started on top of my part-time corporate job freelancing as well and still learning how to do marketing and how to find clients that need my help. So the experience I have, (more than 200 workshops in the last 2 years) and learning now the "how to find people who need me" part :) I am happy to connect with you!
I was off to India, New Delhi for training, just missed interacting with you guys,every post and every comment is a new learning, from the other side I managed to network with people from over 20 countries which was amaaaaazing experience :) :) :) Now I back to learning with you :) :) :)
Hi community! 👋 I've been working as an Agile Team Coach/Scrum Master & Facilitator for five years now. The company I work for is based in Cologne (so, I often visit the city) but live in Erfurt, the center of Germany. I'd like to connect with you for exchange of experience, tips, sharing insights of the day to day job, meetups and more. 🙋♀️
During our virtual meet-up last week, we were reflecting on and sharing our learnings from running our first workshops. The conversations were fascinating and each person shared something completely different. My first workshop experience was amazingly terrifyingly wonderful! 😂 I was asked to run a workshop for 60 people at a retreat that we as a company had organised in Italy. My biggest fear was public speaking. I had always believed that I could NEVER stand up in front of a crowd of adults and speak, yet there I was... Beforehand I was super nervous, pacing around the place and looking over my agenda a number of times. But then the weirdest thing happened. The minute I started talking to my audience, this sense of calm came over me. I started to feel comfortable, excited and I was getting energy from the crowd. Maybe this is for me, I thought to myself. Of course I made MANY mistakes but I didn't care. The audience understood I was new to this and they made me feel soooooooo comfortable and supported (shout-out to my amazing audience at the Workshopper Master Retreat, I love you all 💛). Looking back on it, I loved it. It was so much fun and most importantly, my participants had fun! Check out the video I recorded reflecting on my 3 key learnings from running this workshop which I've added to this post. I would LOVE to hear your stories/experiences and key learnings from running your first workshop in the comments. Feel free to record a quick video if you'd like 😊
@Elisabeth Jimenez glad to hear this has been helpful. If you need any help with your first workshop, let me know and I'll try to help as best as I can 🙂
@Felipe Moraes Thank you. It's so nice reading things like this 💛
After going through couple of videos from @Aj Smart youtube channel, I feel learning to facilitate is really going to help me in my career as a UX/UI Designer. But my question is where can I learn about it? Where can I learn those tricks, where can I learn to build a 'robust' toolkit?, etc. You know the internet is an ocean of knowledge, but I can't read/study everything, so if you know any resources to follow please let me know.
Hey @Divyansh Pandey! There is some great suggestions already in this thread so thank you everyone for sharing. I was in the same boat as you last year, wanting to learn everything I needed to know about facilitation but not knowing where to start. That led me to deep-diving into alllllll of the research around facilitation which eventually led to the creation of our brand new course, Facilitation Fundamentals. This course teaches Facilitation from the ground up. This could be the perfect ‘shortcut’ to your learning! Below is a short description of it; Facilitation Fundamentals is a comprehensive, deep-dive Facilitation training for those looking to master Facilitation “from the ground up”. This training will take you through AJ&Smart’s brand new ‘Triple-T Method’, teaching you the Theory, Techniques, and Tools used by the world’s best Facilitators, helping you become a well-equipped, confident, professional Facilitator in no time. What’s included: 1. An 4-hour immersive video training 2. Our 160+ page Facilitation Fundamentals Workbook 3. 4 x Coaching call with our Facilitation Coach 4. Official certification If you’d like to find out more about the course you can sign up to the waitlist right here >> https://go.workshopper.com/ff-waitlist
One of my favorite books of all time is 'The Power of Moments' by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. In this book, Chip and Dan talk about improving experiences for others, and they explore what makes occasions unique and memorable. Psychologists have found that, when we reflect on our experiences, we tend to remember two moments in particular: The "peak"—the best moment of a positive experience—and the ending. Peak Moments are things that happen that are out of the ordinary; they're unexpected and a bit of a surprise. These moments disproportionally impact how we remember an event. These moments make us feel excited, motivated, and surprised! So here's the question for all of us: Are we paying attention to these moments as facilitators? Are we consciously creating peaks for our customers or participants, or employees? You could run an average workshop, sticking to the agenda, and everything would run smoothly. BUT, if you've designed your plan to include a few peak moments throughout, people will remember this workshop to be incredibly special and memorable. They're more likely going to want to have you facilitate another workshop for them in the future so that you create this unique experience for them again. ❓So how can you create these peak moments in your workshops❓ 💪 Start your workshops strong: Make sure you make the group feel welcome when they arrive at the workshop. What we did in a recent workshop to create a peak moment at the beginning was we made a welcome poster with every participants name on it in fun colourful writing. We also had a little goodie bag on each persons chair for them to take home. This was filled with simple things like a notebook, sharpie, post-its and our own AJ&Smart stickers. Another workshop we had everyone wait outside the room, we blasted some high energy music and let the participants in. We high-fived each person as they came in and everyone was super pumped before the workshop even started. 🎉 Celebrate wins/milestones: Throughout your workshops, make sure to celebrate when a group finishes an exercise with a simple high five. Get everyone up and out of their seats and praise their efforts by taking a nice break outside of the office space. Take them to get ice-cream or go for a nice walk together. In a recent workshop, we rented an ice-cream van and let the group know that on their 15 minute break they could go grab an ice-cream and sit in the sun. This is a peak moment that they won't forget!
@LaYinka Sanni I love a good freebie! And it can be something so simple and I still am buzzing with excitement 😍
@Shaul Nemtzov Great ideas! Thanks for sharing😊
How do you make your slides/whiteboards look really professional & not too "home-made"? I find the Designer function in powerpoint is very helpful, but it doesn't always work for slides that are more complex than simple text & pictures. What other options are there to improve slides? I have pretty good ppt skills but I do want to be a team coach not a graphic designer :-)
We here at AJ&Smart go reallllly simple when it comes to slides. Normally we just use a white background with black text and sometimes we add images. We don't like to overcrowd the slides with too much text so as not to distract peoples attention away from the message you're trying to portray. Have a look at this amazing video by a friend of ours David JP Philips. He talks about death by powerpoint in his TED Talk. So basically, what not to do with your slides 😂
"Turning thoughts into words sharpens reasoning. What's fuzzy in your head is clear on the page"-Adam Grant Reading this made me think of one of the core principles of workshopping which is explained in detail in our Workshopper Master Program at AJ&Smart ⭐️Core Principle 2: Discussions are Visualised⭐️ ⚡️It can be very difficult for a group of people to keep more than a few pieces of information/data in their heads at once. ⚡️The Facilitators job is to remove this burden by helping a group visualise conversations in a standardised way. ⚡️This means helping individuals to capture and visualise relevant information (writing/drawing ideas on post-its and placing them on the wall/whiteboard in a structured way) that can be recalled later on in the workshop. ⚡️Visualising conversations also allows the more shyer members of a group share their thoughts and ideas. I love this illustration by PJ Milani (@milanicreative on instagram). I feel it highlights the importance of using writing as a tool for thinking and how necessary it is to visualise conversations during workshops. I would love to hear what you think about this in the comments 🙂 What other benefits can visualising conversations during workshops/meetings have?
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.
@Akshay Chillal I love this checklist! A lot of the points you've made here are so simple yet crucial to ensure a successful session. I have yet to use IdeaBoardz and ConceptBoard! I will definitely check them out. Thank you for sharing and thanks for the playlist shoutout 🎶
@Sam Pettersson I love the fact that you have all the exercises neatly documented all in the one place to look back on after the workshop and it's great to be able to share this with participants/clients afterwards too.
As a community we should share with and celebrate each others successes and failures. So, in this thread I'm going to suggest we celebrate successes we have had, whether small or large. I'll start off. I'm celebrating the successful workshop I did with the Vietnamese subsidiary of a German company yesterday with the supervisory and management staff with a workshop I created for them "Hands-On Introduction to Creativity." I started off with my well-proven warm-up "Interview an Expert" and then went on to introduce 3 creativity exercises to help them think deeper about a particular problem, and to begin to generate ideas (5-Why's, Question Storming, Visual Stimuli). The second half of the workshop was exploring experimentation, risk, and failure with the Failure Toy. Something I learned from this is that factory workers don't appear to like expensive, high-end chocolate (I used Marou Chocolate, a high-end organic/pure Vietnamese chocolate brand for prizes).
What a great thread to start @David Newman! It's so important to share and celebrate each others' successes! This workshop sounds amazing! I hadn't heard of the Failure Toy before. Could you tell us a little more about that?
Saying hello! I 'm the Facilitator Subject Matter Expert at Procter and Gamble! I 've been doing this over a decade and have lost track of number of ideation sessions I've led. I also teach the Train the Trainer on facilitating training for all of our internal Leadership Trainings. How Might We learn from each other ?
Wow @Shannon Wagers! Welcome to this community. You have so much experience so I'm really looking forward to learning from you 😍
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,
Hey @Tomoo Okubo! Great post and you're highlighting something so important. Mistakes are ok and they help you grow and develop as a facilitator. When I facilitated my first workshop, the biggest mistake I made was over-packing my agenda. I put in wayyyy too many exercises which meant I was rushing through each one of them. What I realised AFTER the workshop was that it's ok to cut out exercises if you need to, if you feel like an exercise is going so well and needs more time. Be ruthless with your agenda and make it as simple as you can and allow buffer time incase discussions need more time 😊 Being able to reflect on what went well and what could be improved upon after a workshop/session is so important. Looking forward to hearing from more people on this one 😊
Hi everyone! I'm Alex, I'm originally from Latin America but I live in The Netherlands and work as a Service Designer. I'm currently taking the Facilitation Fundamentals Course (had to take that deal!) because I want to be better at engaging with stakeholders, help them reach consensus on services and other issues and add value to the company I work for by leading productive meetings. Very excited to be here and learn from you all! PS: I'm a huge fan of GIFs
Welcome @Alex Villacis! So glad to have you in this community and in Facilitation Fundamentals. Btw, I love that gif so much 😂😂😂😂
Hello from Brazil! Really happy to be part of the community! Being a UX Designer for many years I ended up picking up a lot of the facilitation skills along the road... I am looking forward to learning with you guys and better structure the knowledge I already have with the new ones
I am excited to be part of this community. Eager to learn and get inspiration for my daily work as project manager & org developer!
Hello everybody! I have just joined the community and really happy to be here! I am interested in Futures Studies and facilitations of foresight workshops. Happy to be part of this community!
Hello 👋 I'm looking for some guidance on running problem framing exercise for senior leaders in my organization who are key stakeholders to deliver projects to one of our esteemed client. The ask: - To decide exciting challenge themes for joint hackathon / innovation challenge - To gather respective pain areas from their everyday project deliverables (Telco Domain), - To align everyone and prioritize top problem areas - Simple template/framework needed as most of these leaders are unaware of innovation tools/practices Let me know how you might have run this in 60 mins along with process/tool PS: I'm aware of Design Thinking approach but in this scenario considering tech challenge looking for some other approaches. Thanks in advance 😊
@Akshay Chillal Would you consider running a Lightning Decision Jam here? It can be run in 1 hour. The Sailboat exercise would help gather all the challenges that this team are facing and then you can run a few more exercises which are explained in this video to help the team prioritise and align on challenges they want to solve.
Wow wow wow, what a meeting! Thanks @Jonathan Courtney for joining (and everyone else of course!) So much to learn, so much to unpack... Lots of posts unpacking this great meetup (this being one of them) Sharing some of my notes in the comments 👇
Really love this thread @Shaul Nemtzov! Thank yoU for sharing your learnings. So much was covered in such a short space of time 😊 Looking forward to the next one
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Facilitation Coach at AJ&Smart. I have a Masters in Education and I’m passionate about helping groups collaborate more effectively.
Member since Jan 13, 2023
Active 11h ago
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