Monday, January 11, 2016

Five Essential Elements in Your 2016 Facilitation Toolkit

I love the start of a new year and reading all the posts on trends from the last year, and possibilities for the new year. If you have not viewed my 12th annual year end Group and Teams program call where I cover some of the 2015 trends I saw you can view it here on blab or YouTube. Last week's blog post included three priority areas for group and team coaching. You can read that post here.


For today's post I thought I would highlight five essential elements in your 2016 Facilitation Toolkit. one of my missions this year is to expand the work I do with coaches in refining their facilitation skills and confidence. As many of you know, later this month I will be launching the Learning Lab and Design Studio, a multi-month group coaching program created for those of you who want to expand your work in the areas of groups and teams, and expand your coaching business. It includes group coaching support, a Facilitation lab, some 1-1 time with me and more importantly a growing community of other professionals. Cost is $250 US/month and will be of interest for those looking for some ongoing support, ideas and accountability read more about the Learning Lab and Design Studio here, and/or download a flyer here. 

This year, here are five essential items for your faciltiation toolkit:

1. Post it notes - Post it notes continue to be a favorite of mine and have been so for decades now. They are a great tool to elicit participation from all group members, see connections and focus thoughts. Read this 2008 post I did entitled Post It Notes: A Facilitators Ally.

2. Visual Decks - For many years I have been using visual cards and photographs with in person and virtual groups. A wonderful "conversation sparker" across differences, photos help group members create new perspectives, insights and connections. Whether you are using Visual Explorer, the JICT Deck, Points of you - The Coaching Game, or Conversation Sparker (my deck) consider the many ways you can use cards as openers, closers, or as the main focus of the session.  In late November I released the 40 Ways to Use Visual Cards E-Resource, which includes detailed instructions on 40 ways to facilitate activities with cards (from goal setting, to innovation, to strategic planning, to closure) and also five worksheets you can use "as is".

Working with visuals was also my focus of the Design Studio Blab #6 - View it here.

3, A selection of virtual platforms - having at your ready a selection of virtual platforms can make a big difference. Whether you decide to set up bridgelines, Skype, a Zoom platform, Web Ex, Go To Meeting or other platform, feeling confident in using them and translating some of your in person offerings to the virtual domain can make sense for those who don't want to, or don't have the resources, to travel to participate.
In a few weeks I'll be kicking off the first of four Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensives for 2016. This is a fifteen hour Virtual Train-the-Trainer for those who want to expand their virtual skills and confidence facilitating in the virtual realm. WE'll be meeting Thursdays from 12 - 3 pm ET from 2/4 to 3/4. Click here to learn more or reserve your spot (4 spots open)

4. A variety of back-pocket ideas - You never know what's going to be needed when you work with groups and teams. It's always a great idea to take stock of the different activities and resources we have at our disposal. Spend 15 minutes this week doing an inventory of what you have available and/or going through some of the books/resources you which are accumulating dust. What might you bring into an upcoming session?

5. A community of other practioners - Developing your own network of follow faciltators/coaches and trainers is not only good for business when you want to scale your work, it's also really important in terms of ongoing development. Consider how you will invest in your relationships with other practitioners this year, and also expand your skill base.

What other resources would you recommend for a 2016 Facilitation Toolkit. As always, feel free to comment below.

Best wishes,
Jennifer

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPCC, CPT
GroupCoachingEssentials.com | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2009) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
(416)996-8326
 
Upcoming programs include:
Group Coaching Essentials teleseminar (8.75 CCEs) starting Thursday January 14th at 1015 am ET (Thurs 1015 - 1130 am ET Jan 14 - Feb 12th)
Learning Lab and Design Studio (6-12 months) - starts Fridays later this month. Download a brochure.
Virtual Facilitation Skills Intensive - Thursdays 12 - 3 pm ET - Feb 4- March 4 (15 hrs) online

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