Facilitate Better Mid-Year Update
News about podcast appearances, workshops, and forthcoming resources
Approximate reading time: five minutes; 1042 words.
I abhor self-promotion. People who declare themselves to be “Thought Leaders” or “Influencer” make me cringe.
But I also know it is useful to share one’s work that might be of value to others. Once or twice a year I do so in a brief Substack post. Today is one of those days.
Here are links to some of my recent efforts that I think might interest you, as well as a little news about the months ahead.
A Nod to the Pod
I recently joined Dave on his Reboot IT podcast to discuss facilitation for technology leaders in an episode entitled Connecting the Dots between Facilitation and IT Success. Dave teased out some good info that I think is relevant beyond the tech audience, particularly anyone who has to manage projects that involved input from a lot of other people.
In the early days of Facilitate Better, Kiki and I had a more comprehensive chat about key facilitation skills and why I think everyone should develop them. The YouTube recording of that pod has time stamps for different questions/topics we discussed, so it is easy for you to pop in and out based on your interests.
I’m always happy to be a podcast guest. If you’d like to check on my availability for yours, send me a message.
Core Facilitation Skills Workshop
I’m often approached to lead a facilitation skills workshop that will provide a solid foundation for participants. The half-day outline below is a typical content flow. Client outcomes and participant responses to a needs/interests survey help customize it.
For an international association, I’m adding a content segment focused on culture and context considerations. Another group wanted to stress deep application of the content, so we added a segment to help participants identify specific situations they wish to facilitate differently in the future and what that would look like in action. You get the idea.
I compare the session (and its content) to dining out for tapas or small plates: you get an excellent taste of a variety of topics, any one of which you might also enjoy in an entrée-sized portion.
This session is particularly popular as a pre-conference workshop or a professional development offering for association leaders: board members, committee chairs, select staff, and key volunteers. While most of these association leaders have to facilitate meetings, many have had little to no guidance in how to do so effectively.
The PDF above contains the evaluation summary from a recent half-day session for an association’s leaders. Three highlights:
100% of the people said they’d recommend me as a content leader;
The adjectives participants most frequently used to describe the session were: engaging, useful/helpful/practical, fun, inspiring. and
The comment that makes me blush: “It was content PACKED. Even as we were reviewing concepts didactically he was modeling various facilitation techniques in real time. And then called attention to them. He is incredibly skilled and I would recommend him to any organization.”
Let me know if you’d like to chat about me doing something similar for your organization. Full-day sessions that allow for more topics to be covered and a deeper dive into any content segments also are possible.
Five Efforts On the Facilitate Better Horizon
Facilitative Leadership is a phrase you hear every now and them, and I’ll be leading a session on it for a corporate board next month. When I address this topic, I blend my focus on making it easier as the essence of facilitation with some of the well-researched beliefs, behaviors, and models of effective leadership. In short the key question is: what does your leadership need to make easier in order to help your organization produce and sustain better results?
I continue to chip away at the writing of two resource publications: (1) Priming the Work: A Guide to Effective Use of Icebreakers and Other Teambuilding Activities; and (2) Making It Easier: How Anyone Can Facilitate Better Discussions, Decisions, and Results. It is possible that a draft version of #1 may be available by year’s end.
I’m in final draft mode for a self-guided worksheet to help people my three-questions framework for making it easier. It will be available as a downloadable PDF at some point this fall. If I get particularly inspired, I may do a short video or audio clip to guide people through its use.
Expect a Train-the-Trainer kit for my “Lenses and Mental Models” exercise to be available for purchase this fall. This activity focuses on helping individuals identify the lenses (their roles, experiences, identity elements, et al) that significantly influence how they make sense of (and engage with) the world around them. They explore how theirs compare to those of their colleagues, the implications for their role and efforts, and when they may most need to guard against unconscious or implicit bias.
It is an incredibly useful activity, one I commonly build into the content flow for retreats, board or committee orientations, or any workshop where increased self-awareness would be beneficial. The kit will include detailed facilitator instructions, a content outline, sample slides, and a participant worksheet for the activity.
I’m deep in the planning process for a facilitation skills workshop that a company is going to provide this fall as a gift to (and investment in) a mix of its clients. While holiday fruit baskets and cookie assortments are nice, I personally think a professional development experience is a more valuable appreciation gift, one that will pay far more dividends in the future. Message me if you’d like to talk about this possibility for your clients.
What Would You Like To See?
Have ideas of facilitation resources or learning opportunities you’d like me to consider developing? Got a topic or two you hope I address in a future Substack post? I always love hearing your ideas. You can email them to me directly.
© Facilitate Better and Jeffrey Cufaude, 2022. All rights reserved.
To affordably license any Facilitate Better content for reprint on your site or in electronic or print communications or to contact me regarding customized facilitation skills workshops or consultations, email me or complete this form.