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!
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,
Thank you all for sharing. I always need some time to recover, before I can learn something. If I really went down in flames I am unable to sleep. Sometimes even for days because I feel guilty towards the group, or angry at myself for not seeing something straight away. It litterally haunts me until I find a way to process what happend. What are some of the ways you recover, and how does it help you?
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of a community like this is to openly share failures and have a laugh about it 😀 What were some of your most memorable fails to date throughout your facilitation journey? Either yours or that you witnessed first hand! Let’s hear it! I’ll start in the comments!
I set up a meet and greet event to reconnect after the holidays. It needed to be a hybrid event because of people being all over the globe next to the community that works in the head office. We made it breakfast so the east could participate with Europe. This immedeately cut out the Americas. But the real problem was that I did not test the set up. We had standing tables for the live participants to hook up at and on each table was a laptop with a Teams connection for the online participants. We created break out room in Teams to circulate the onliner and also mixed out the live participants to have new groups each 20 mins. Groups had conversation prompts to help start a good conversations but were free to choose topics. I thought what could go wrong in a simple meet and greet?! Well a lot of things as it turned out. The sound of the laptops was drowned out by the live groups at the tables so people drifted out to other rooms to be able to hear their online colleagues. The breakout rooms spontaniously disconnected, bringing people back in the main room which now had now live participants in it. We could not inform the whole group of what was happening and what needed to be done to fix it, because they were all over the place. It was just a mess. In end only a few online participants left, and there had been good conversations, but I felt awful afterwards, completely drained of energy.
Been looking into some solutions for hybrid facilitation (some people are in the meeting room, and others are online) Some common recommendation for IWBs are Jamboard (Google) and Surface Hub (Microsoft) I also found a startup called Vibe, who makes Vibe board as a more affordable option Wonder what are the pros and cons of conducting facilitations with an IWB? And anyone has suggestions for choosing an IWB?
@Akshay Chillal Do you use a touchscreen TV for this or are participants working on laptops? I could image that virtual post-its on a large screen would work, but how does that tie in with working alone together? I have so many questions about how to organize the logistics of a hybrid session, I don't know where to begin.
I was wondering: Do you have any tips & tricks to improve the chances of your workshop results? I mean outside of the “core” workshop design (e.g. what exercises to use, what participants to invite etc.) Here are three that come to my mind: 1️⃣ Make Sure Everyone is Well Rested Because we make worse decisions when we’re tired. 💡 Don’t start your workshop at 8 am, don’t make it too exhausting and plan frequent breaks. 2️⃣ Make Sure Everyone is Well Fed After we eat, our dopamine levels increases. Dopamine helps nerve cells to send messages to each other. Exactly what you want for your group in a workshop! 💡 Don’t be cheap - saving money on lunch or snacks will cost you in form of poor decisions! 3️⃣ Change the Environment During the workshop - if the group sees what they see every day, their thinking will be tied to what they think every day. You know how all those top execs always have their strategy retreats away from their office? They’re doing it for a reason. 💡 To get fresh ideas, change the environment. Anything else? Let me know what other tricks you use to improve your chances!
Plan some form fysical activity, especially for all day events. Could be anything. Like an after lunch walk, or a reflection walk. Really any exercise that requires standing up and moving around the room. Even moving furniture around for the next exercise can help to avoid after lunch dips or early morning start up issues that require more than just coffee. I find it keeps people more engaged. Being engaged fysically also helps disconnected team members to reconnect to the group and the goal of the workshop.
I still think that even if we call it the basics, that these are all very valid points and important to share. I have been to plenty of workshops and have seen plenty of facilitators lose sight of these basics/tricks. Wether it was because of inexperience or just cutting corners, or to save time, it is easy enough to lose track of the basics. Maybe the here message is that you can't just set up a workshop and expect good results. You need to really put in the work to hit ALL the bases if you want to succeed.
Just joined the community and wanted to wave hello to you all. I live in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and just started out facilitating in my new job. I found out it is hard to just start doing it. So I came here to learn more about what makes a good facilitator. And how I can become better.