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!
@Will Stammers cool, enjoying it, but would like more interaction... With this whole incentive program to rise up in rank (and congrats for making it to level 5), it feels so inauthentic, to be totally honest with you (please don't kick me off AJ&Smart)... What I'd like to see is more of a Slack type group where we can all share and support each other, rather than a LinkedIn type feed where we're all just trying to get liked --- just being totally frank, hope everyone's ok with this... Answering since you asked
@David Newman 🤣 thanks!
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 💛
Psyched to be here! Learning so much! Thank you @Aj Smart for this club!
As a community, we really need to hone in on this and help each other out. I'll begin... Looking forward to hearing more ideas from you! https://www.loom.com/share/c0e03755743640d49f4eeb4c366fc043
@Joao Ribeiro and @Lukas Liebich what do you think?
Thanks for liking my post and video... I'd love to hear feedback @Katharina Brandenberger
Hey Facilitators! 👋 We’ve got something super exciting lined up for you! We’re hosting a live Q&A session with the fantastic @Nathy Ravez, who is not only a workshop facilitator and collaboration coach, but also a podcast host! Nathy’s life took a 180-degree turn when she chose to dive into the world of facilitation. She’s going to share her roller-coaster journey with us, and trust us, it’s a story you don’t want to miss! 👉 So, here’s the plan: 📅 When? Wednesday, May 24th at 12pm CEST. 🗺️ Where? LIVE on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85414950665 This is a golden opportunity to glean insights, ask questions, and see how you can chart a similar course. Will I see you there?
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 :-)
@Annabelle Harling definitely! Great question and I'm happy to answer... Personally, I love using the map from the design sprint... It's not like there aren't other maps or user journeys out there... It's just the simplicity that it provides...the clarity that it brings... I was working with a big team about a year ago. We were designing a custom CRM software. They were ruminating for about 6 months. I joined and in a few days, I created a very simple map / user journey... The founder felt understood. He saw his vision playing out step by step in a coherent fashion. And he praised me for it. What did I do? Nothing really. Just put all his ideas into a simple flow. And I love @Aj Smart's recommendation for this map = keep it simple. So that's one tip I can think of that worked well for me
@Annabelle Harling would love to see your strategy canvas in PowerPoint
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…
@Kerri Price such a cool and yet simple pricing sheet
@Kerri Price Yes, thank you so much!
Hey, Facilitators! 👋 Two weeks ago I designed and facilitated an internal marketing & project planning workshop for the team here at AJ&Smart. It really put my skills as a Facilitator to the test, because… - We had limited time, and a LOT to get through - The brief required me to modify pretty much every exercise - I was facilitating for a group of facilitation-pros!! I designed and facilitated a workshop that got the results we hoped for, AND that the team (and me) really enjoyed! (PHEW😅 ) I’ve attached some pictures from the session for you to check out if you’re interested, and also a “sneak peek” of the agenda I created. AND for those of you in our courses, I have something extra special for you: 👉For our Workshopper Master students: This Wednesday (May 17th) on our Community Coaching Call, I’m going LIVE to deep-dive into the exact agenda I created for the workshop, share how I designed it, and talk you through my biggest insights and learnings from the experience. You’ll get to see first-hand how I adjusted well-known exercises on the fly, how I adapted to the unexpected, and how these quick decisions can sometimes make the biggest impact! You’ll also be able to ask me any questions you have about the process. 👉For our Facilitation Fundamentals students: Don’t worry! You won’t be missing out. We’ll be recording this live call, and you’ll have access to it from Friday, the 19th of May. This will be emailed out to you! If you’re not in our programs but are interested in learning more, feel free to drop me a DM. I’d be happy to share some insights and answer any questions you might have! ✉️
@Rebecca Courtney were you using SessionLab?
@Rebecca Courtney I'm using it now for the first time to plan a workshop for tomorrow... Seriously such a good idea...
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).
@Shannon Wagers congratulations! Can you tell us more about what this is? Maybe in a post of its own? If you do, please tag me, so I see it...
@David Newman Thanks for your support and encouragement!
This is nothing new... It's been mentioned before... But I've tried it and so I feel it's helpful to share with this club: Recently, I had a workshop planned but my client decided that instead of having everyone in the meeting at the same time, he decided to sparse everyone out in 30 minute increments. I didn't know what to do but I decided to continue with my original plan of running an LDJ workshop. So, I began each meeting with asking the other person what they liked about the company, what their challenges were, and then we focused in and drilled down into isolated challenges... We didn't get very far into the challenges, we weren't able to vote on the most pressing challenges, and we weren't able to generate solutions -- let alone create an action plan... But this sailboat exercise really provided a lot of insight into the company + lots of ideas. Most of all, it was a great ice breaker for acquainting myself with this company. What are some of your ice breaker hacks? Please share, as I'm on the lookout for my next one!
@Jakub Michalski Hey, thanks! I've had several years of teaching... Let's just say that all those years of not being improvising well and being beat up by kids half my age prepared me for these improtant moments!
Recently, I gave a small presentation at a local tech meetup. After my 10-minute speech, I opened the floor for Q&A. Then, we all naturally transitioned into this one big round table discussion. But to break the silence and get everyone talking, people shouted ideas for going around the room and sharing something. So, I immediately blurted out: "Say your name, your first job, and what you learned from it." I needed to assist the first person and provide some hand-holding, but after that it caught on. After we went around the room, they wanted to do it again -- this time: "What's your current job and what are you looking for." They came up with that! Talk about iteration and innovation! It was a tremendous hit! The first person shared that he's soon concluding a BootCamp and is actively looking for an internship or job. What's your story with similar ice breakers?
@Salah Bouchma well said. Embrace the icebreaker!
@Shannon Wagers Thank you! This is exactly what I need to be thinking about. Especially in light of what @Aj Smart teaches about starting strong and ending stronger
Hey Facilitators! We're excited to introduce a new category in our community called High Fives 🙌. This space is dedicated to celebrating all of our wins in Facilitation and workshopping! We believe that sharing our successes is an important part of building a supportive community. It not only allows us to recognize and celebrate each other's achievements, but it also inspires us to continue pushing ourselves and each other to do great work 👏 So, whether you just closed a big deal, ran a successful workshop, or helped a client achieve their goals, we want to hear about it! Don't be shy, share your wins with us in the High Fives 🙌 category, and let's cheer each other on. Remember, every win, no matter how big or small, deserves a high five!
One recent win for me is that I was running an LDJ workshop for small groups of 2-3 people. Even though I only got to do the first 2 steps with many of these groups (meaning, just to jot down the positives and challenges), they appreciated it so much. Surprisingly, it gave me lots of insight into the organization, even though we only did part of the workshop. So 💪
I was thinking today about how everyone loves gamification! Everything from hotel and airline points/miles, to micro-credentialing. So, I am curious if anyone has tried this sort of thing with their workshops? I know it would require a lot of upfront work, but I can see real value in it! Thoughts?
I've heard of making two teams in workshops to compete against each other. People love gamification. What's more, just the act of everyone keeping to the timeboxing of workshops and adhering to the rules is in and of itself a gamified experience. So I don't believe we need to get all caught up on doing all this extra work. Just come with a good attitude and they will enjoy it. But I'm sure people here have lots to say about gamification, so I'm all ears!
Anyone coaching parents/parenting? I've got a passion to help families and would love to walk alongside someone.
This sounds like a great idea! What do you mean coach them, like do a design sprint with them? 😁 Please explain
How important is knowing your audience to you when conducting a workshop? What do you do to prepare yourself when meeting with various people from different backgrounds?
Not important at all. Just a good open attitude. People appreciate that and know you're respecting them. For many, workshops are a new thing and will feel awkward no matter how much prep you do to learn about their culture. I say go in fresh. Worry more about coming prepared with your workshop materials and techniques and achieving your goals
I have been working as freelance trainer/consultant and did not opt for a permanent job. I struggled a lot in making myself a brand even I was not getting money from trainings but I rejected good salaried jobs because I had belief on myself that one day my one day income will be more than the salary I am offered. Now I am in middle of my career still much to go far. How many of you faced same situation I would love to know about your short stories?
Yea, @Hina Nisar I hear you... Been there, done that... For me, my mindset is that I'm happy to do freelance work but stay open or even pursue at the same time full time employment at a regular company.
Greetings! I'm new the community. Currently I facilitate classes to help people in drug rehab centers or who are incarcerated. My classes focus on relationship building to include knowing what safe relationships are, healthy communication skills, and co-parenting. I also facilitate financial literacy course. I'm a retire Army Veteran and a Chaplain.
@James Preece wow, this sounds incredible, I'd love to hear more about your work
Following on from a recent post from @Bertha Barrera and @Sabrina Habib, maybe we can begin a sub-community of academics, or those with a PhD who might be outside of academia... as a support group or something? Might be curious to see areas have come from. To start: my PhD research was in colonial British film policy in the Asia-Pacific region to the 1920s and 30s, and the resistance against Hollywood. And I also have a MFA in Film and Theatre. Have been bouncing from one short-term contract to the next for the last 10 years as I don't seem to 'fit' anywhere. What is your research in... and what is your focus now?
Hi all, I'm currently preparing a co-creation workshop where I will be facilitating some journey mapping together with real (future) users for a user flow that only exists as a concept yet. The users don't know each other. Basically the journey activities are set and I will go through the expectations, pain points, gain points and moments that matter with the users. Goal is to get user feedback at this early point in the development phase. Now I need the advice from this great community on two points, I'm currently struggling with: - When running journey workshops with internal teams, I always introduce a persona and we will look at the journey from the persona's perspective. As I now have real users, I'm not sure if this is necessary as they don't have any business perspective or might even be hindering, because they might feel like it restricts their thinking (like: I would find this and that bad but maybe the persona doesn't so I'm not gonna say it). On the other hand side, the persona might enable them to speak in more truth because it's not *them* saying something. - Usually I would have people write down their expectations/pain points/gain points and post to the wall step-by-step, row-by-row. For the real users I'm not sure if it's the best way, because I would *like* to have some discussion and get more insight into their thought process which I feel could be restricted by silent brainstorming. On the other side I feel like silent brainstorming could be nice for more shy people especially in this set-up where the users also don't know each other. Also, we don't have a ton of time, so silent brainstorming + extensive discussion is not an option. One option might be combining e.g. two journey activities to save a bit of time. Any best practices and thoughts? :)
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?
While I love all these icebreakers... One of my favorite is the sailboat. No, not the entire sailboat exercise. Just the beginning. Start off with what's working. I have found this to be very beneficial with one client. It changed the whole mood. He was much more into discovering what could be improved rather than apprehensive.
To all the folks working in Corporate Innovation domain, just wanted to check from this elite group of facilitators - What kind of facilitation you have been doing majorly? It could be multiple items as well, but wanted to understand what's that 1 thing which you are passionate about and you do your best while facilitating 😊 Looking forward to see your responses !
22 members have voted
@Jakub Michalski 4C's! 💪
@Donna Benjamin never heard of this, would love to hear more about it
I'm curious what y'all use to bring silence back to a room (e.g. after a breakout discussion)? With the first program I was trained to facilitate (Search Inside Yourself) we used a singing bowl like the pic attached. Works like a charm, but definitely has a mindfulness vibe and isn't perfect for every setting. Are there are tools, techniques, etc. that you've found work well?
@Jonathan Courtney sometimes we need to do what our 1st grade teachers did to get us quiet 😁
A place to learn from and support each other (paraphrased from @Rebecca Courtney from today's ad hoc meetup call)... For the longest time, I thought this group was some kind of glorified LinkedIn / FaceBook group to just try and generate "likes"... But now I am so happy to learn that this is all about learning and sharing with each other... This is great news! 🎉 We can shamelessly share our winnings and shortcomings... We can ask for advice or share some of our own tips... What a wonderful thing...this facilitator club 😁 Just wanted to let everyone know 🧠
@Rebecca Courtney ok sounds easy enough
@David Newman happens, but a good place to be
Howdy! For those of you here who are freelance facilitators, I have two questions: - What's been the most effective method of getting clients? - What kinds of workshops/sessions do you sell the most? I'll go first: - What's been the most effective method of getting clients? --> Creating Youtube content - What kinds of workshops/sessions do you sell the most? --> Innovation Workshops Cheers, Jonathan
@Marie-Christine Messier thanks!
@Matteo Cassese this is niching down, and I like it! It's workshopping to solve very specific parts or processes of companies... It's more than 'you know your business best and we can help you solve your business problem' It's 'you know your business best and can solve your own business problem...you just need help communicating with one another, and we can help with that'
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!
Here are some of my ideas: + first impression + lasting impression + give a genuine compliment + have fun!
I remember hearing how Jonathan Courtney extracts workshops from books. Sprint, as a book about Sprint workshops, is an obvious example. What I'd like to do is create a generic methodology/workshop for doing this transformation systematically. The idea outcome would be workshops/workflows that speed up attaining nrew skills and utcomes What steps could I use to read and process a book, or only part of it, and turn into a practical workshop...and what underlying principles shoud I comsider? Say. take Atomic Habits and turn it into a Habit Design workshop, or Effective Data Storytelling Brent Dykes) and turn it into a Data Story Workshop(s) that transforms research raw data into a data story. Got any thoughts, methods, mindsets?
@Martin Silcock such a good idea! Well, to start, there's the 4C's workshop framework that AJ&Smart have come up with. Let me know if you want more info on this and I'll share their links to the YouTube videos and their book (the Workshopper Playbook). Plus, when you get to level 3, you'll unlock the mini course explaining this framework. With it, you can create any workshop. But your thinking is great! And I think you're onto something. We can take anything and turn it into a workshop. The definition of a workshop for me is starting from not knowing to knowing and taking action on things together or even alone but using a process that takes you from one step to the next.
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 ?
@Shannon Wagers nice! Would love to learn from you... Lots of questions in the posts here in this club, and would love to hear your perspectives
@Shannon Wagers 💪
We love conducting Design Sprints remotely! There's lots of benefits in doing so, but there are some drawbacks. One of those is the Storyboarding exercise. This has always been a struggle for us, but we've been successful incorporating an iPad/Apple Pencil into the process to sketch or wire framing in Figma and sharing that progress in real-time with the client/DS team. I'm curious though how others have handled this difficult step in the process....
@David Finnegan ok thanks for explaining. What do you mean by a "test flow?"
@Jason Ruud nice, thanks for explaining!
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 👇
@David Newman exactly! Like someone said, this is more than a club. It's like a community
@David Newman "what is the value to them if we can help them make a decision/achieve a result much faster and more effectively than if they kept doing things the way they do now" Love it! Also, someone just posted about this (https://www.skool.com/facilitatorclub/sprintsinnovation-for-non-tech?p=c3457f79)
For about three years now, I have run most of my 2+ hour workshops with the assistance of SessionLab. I am not affiliated, just a happy user sharing a tool. Before SessionLab I would set up the agenda for the day in a table in Word, with notes and responsibilities, and more notes, but timing was always a pain, because I might change something and all my planning was off. I designed 18 day coach training like this. Then my colleague pointed me to SessionLab that does all this in the most natural way. It helps with timing, you can move stuff around easily, park items for later, assign facilitators, differentiate between break-out rooms, and dozens of other things that are really wonderful. Here's a video walk-through - also shown below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI6m2P2mZPY And when I was ready to do my first Design Sprint, I found an AJ&Smart 4 day Design Sprint 2.0 template that I could just work from - see image below for actual screenshot from the app. https://www.sessionlab.com/templates/design-sprint-2-0/ And the Lightning Decision Jam workshop is also in there along with dozens of other templates to inspire better workshops. https://www.sessionlab.com/methods/lightning-decision-jam-ldj My tendency is always to personalize wokshops to my preferences and style, but having the template and the fabulous design of SessionLab has really saved me time before workshops and allowed me to focus more on the people than the tools during the workshop. What tools are you using?
@Johannes Berner I would love to see how you do this in Apples Numbers
@Johannes Berner thanks!
The first time I ever facilitated a workshop, I was terrified. I had never been in charge of keeping a conversation on track before, and I certainly didn't know how to handle silence.Silence is a fundamental tool for facilitation. In fact, it can help teams to better collaborate and come up with creative solutions for highly complex problems. At first, silence may be seen as a challenge to participants, but over time, they realize that silence allows them to listen more carefully and think more deeply about their proposals.They also understand that silence gives others the opportunity to do the same, and as a result, everyone becomes more thoughtful in their interactions and produces better results. Working together-alone is a way to use silence. Walking meditation is another. How are you using silence in facilitation?
Can start off with a breathing exercise to prime the group for silence and intention
@Kerri Price wow, sounds interesting... Who needs workshops when you have all this meditation? 🤣
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UX Designer helping companies with workshops