facilitation & training
What We Do
We are facilitators and trainers with deep experience in designing and delivering effective group processes. We have facilitated small and large groups for corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations.
A typical session involves:
- Identifying the purpose of the workshop and structuring the session to achieve that purpose.
- Warming up the group prior to the day so that they are engaged and ready for the session.
- Running the session, maintain a clear focus on the purpose and outcomes.
- Closing the session, including reporting back from the participants and next steps.
The things that make our facilitation more effective are:
- We are able to identify what is going on in the room, and are prepared to name it to challenge and provoke participants.
- We link everything – exercises, activities – back to the purpose for gathering.
- We create the context for the group, but the group writes the script and does the work.
- Our long experience and track record – we have 20 years experience in leading groups.
- Our ability to quickly develop a strong rapport with participants, creating a context where they are engaged and willing to follow the group process.
We also deliver ‘Masterful Facilitation’, a nationally recognised two-day training program which is dramatically successful in improving the performance of facilitators and provides them with a range of tools and methods for facilitating groups. We schedule regular training sessions or can adapt the program to deliver in-house for a minimum of groups of 8. Please call us to register your interest in this program.
Case 1 – Marketing Team, Fast Moving Consumer Goods
We were engaged to facilitate a conversation in the group about improving performance and team behaviour. We designed a process to work on real situations, specifically to learn from those events where team members knew their behaviours needed to be different.
Our first step was to seek the group’s permission for 3 to 4 stories that illustrated when the team was not being effective. As part of the warm up, we spoke to each of the team members individually and asked them to what extent was the group having the conversations that matter, and if those conversations weren’t happening, why not. The group generated 12 stories, and the team manager selected one, titled ‘Breaking in a new CEO’.
We worked with the group to enact a scene where the team became completely passive and silent in response to overt aggression from the ‘CEO’, and then paused the scene to ask the individuals what they noticed. The group identified that none of the members was relating to anybody else, and they all assumed that they knew what the CEO’s core concern was.
The group then made an agreement that is was okay to check each time whether they had the core concern right, rather than make a false assumption. We then participated in management meetings to coach the team on their processes, and using coaching in the moment, coached the group to identify the core concern of their conversations.
The team was both relieved and excited about the possibility of clearer communication, and learnt that it is their job to work for the core concern.
Case 2 – Open Space Facilitation, Approximately 275 People
We facilitated an in-house conference for a not-for-profit organisation. The organisation was dispersed, and staff were required to effectively manage themselves. The task was to work with the group so that they had the tools to manage themselves in this large group context, and accept an approach that assisted them to be self managing. It was also important to structure the session so that the group owned the decisions and outcomes from the conference.
Our approach placed a strong emphasis on early ‘sociometric’ building. It was important for the individuals to feel linked to the organisational purpose before proceeding to the task. A key challenge was to get effective report-back from the break-out groups so that attention was sustained and in a way that enabled the group to have a shared sense of ownership and community. We achieved this by requiring all the reports to focus on actions that the group would take (‘I’ or ‘we’ statements, not ‘you’ or ‘they’ statements) and specifically prohibited wishlists or aspirational statements (e.g. ‘everybody should write to the Prime Minister’).
The conference strongly achieved its aim of helping develop a self-managed community with diverse interests that was able to have the conversations that matter. The conference generated a list of concrete actions that the group members agreed to undertake. Participants left feeling that their collective contributions would make a difference to the target groups they work with.