Thursday, September 30, 2010

Facilitating difficult people in a supermarket!

It is 5 minutes to 8, just before closing the supermarket. Four people are queing. All of them are in a hurry and actually not willing to wait. Some of them do not behave properly. The casher is playing the role of facilitator. There are different options to deal with the difficult clients: 1. The exit option, 2. Make the group responsible or 3. Judo, make a difficult person responsible. This was the setting of a role play, while generating ideas on the question: "What are the key competencies of an effective facilitator?"

It was part of the practise of the training 'Basic Facilitation methods' and 'How to work with the KOLB learning cycle' on 27, 28 and 29th September, 2010 which was facilitated by Simon Koolwijk. Professionals working with ICCOenKerkinActie, Togetthere, Mensen met een Missie and the Theatre Embassy participated in this training.


During the training participants got acquainted with the Technology of Participation methods. These are basic facilitation methods which have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. The first day covered theoretical parts of facilitation and the second day was focused on practise. The third day was focused on 'How to develop a training based on the KOLB learning cycle'. Here the participants developed and taught a lesson based on the principles of 'direct experience', 'reflecting on the experience', 'generalisation of the experience' and 'application'. At the end of the training attention was paid to the principles of coaching. For example how to work with the GROW model. And participants got acquainted with the 7 F's on how to stimulate and optimize the conditions of the brain, while conducting a training. These principles can be read in the book Brain_work, Ria van Dinteren.
The training provided and generated a lot of inspirational knowledge from the participants. More about creative thinking and learning can be discovered at Pressure cooker and Acht uuroverwerken. 'The training was both structured and inspirational' commented one of the participants. 'It was a safe ambiance to practise and a cosy environment. We got double value. We practised but we also gained insight in some important issue of teamwork and facilitation'.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Creative facilitation in overcoming a lunch dip!

Imagine your organisation is searching for an effective facilitator, who can facilitate and deal with learning and change processes in your organisation. Three practising facilitators of ICCOenKerkinActie guided their colleague participants in identifying the key competencies of an effective facilitator. Challenged by a task, participants were asked to interview some of their colleagues outside the training room. After 30 minutes the competencies of an effective facilitator were presented and shared.

This session provided us some space to move and get outside the training room, expressed one of the participants. The whole session was composed of a diversity of creative methods; the bloopers, statue theatre, interviewing outsiders and a smily evaluation. Creative methods are very helpful in overcoming a lunch dip. It is energizing!

The creative sessions were part of the training Basic Facilitation Methods, which was held on 20 - 21 September, 2010 at ICCOenKerkinActie. ICCOenKerkinActie aims at supporting development initiatives in the South aiming at Improving Basic Services (education, health, water, food), Fostering market & economic development and Building Peace and Democracy in fragile states. Through this the organisation aims at contributing towards the Milenium Development Goals.
The training, led by Simon Koolwijk, was focused the first day on learning the Technology of Participation Techniques. These are basic techniques, developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs, which stimulates people to give direction to their own lives. The second was focused on practising and getting feedback.
The training appeared to be a fruitful occasion of exchange. Additional methods such as the 'Experiential learning cycle', 'Rich picture' and 'Back casting' were shared and further elaborated. It was a fruitful course for learning trics and tips!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Similarities between an animal and a facilitator?

How to come from an animal to the competencies of a facilitator? This question was answered by a group of 8 staff working with ICCOenKerkinActie, a Dutch development organisation which has one of its aims to contribute towards the Millenium Development Goals. The staff members participated in a two day training (6th - 7th September 2010) on learning and practising basic facilitation skills led by Simon Koolwijk.
A team of three facilitators practised this creative workshop with the key question: "What are the competencies of an effective facilitator?" Inspired by the book Creativiteit Hoe? Zo! (Author Igor Bytebier) the 5 other colleagues were asked to draw an animal which symbolizes an effective facilitator. An owl, lama, elephante, octopus and eagle were some of the inspiring animals which were shared. After that the participants were invited to associate words, through the brainwriting technique which reflected the 'ideal' of an effective and competent facilitator. Finally the best compencies of an effective facilitator were selected, written on coloured cards and posted on the sticky wall, whereafter an interesting discussion followed about the 'ideal facilitator'.


This exercise was part of the training Basic Facilitation Skills. During the training the participants got acquainted with the Technology of Participation methods, which are structured and efficient tools in getting groups focused in discussions. The training was composed of theory, discussions and practicals, including a number of energizers.
Participants commented: 'The balance of theory and practise was optimal in this course! I appreciated the feedback after practise. It was very useful. ' 'The exercise about resistance was very helpful. Deal first with the emergencies, before you further discuss the content, explained one of the participants. 'It is a course definitely a must for managers and project leaders!'