June 20, 2014

The One Skill Everyone Needs

At its most basic, facilitation makes it easier to get things done.

Effective use of facilitation skills helps build better relationships and discussions which then yield better decisions, greater commitment, and hopefully, improved results.

But we still think of facilitation as a specialist role, usually an individual brought in from the outside to help a group.  And that makes sense for specific types of discussions or sessions where a true neutral third-party as a facilitator will be a catalyst for better outcomes.

But when that person leaves, the need to help gets things done remains yet the facilitation skills needed to do so do not.

That's a problem I've seen repeatedly in my more than 20 years of being that third-party facilitator.  So for many years, I've presented in-depth facilitation skills training programs to help more insiders gain the competence and confidence to do on a daily basis what outsider facilitators come in and do on an episodic schedule.  Looking back, I'm thrilled that these programs have helped thousands of individuals adopt the values, skills, and beliefs of facilitation and become more capable at individually putting them in play in their own work and organizations.

But given the VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) most of us find ourselves nowadays, the need to exponentially increase the number of people adept at facilitation is very high.

I want to help.

So during International Facilitation Week, October 20-26, 2014, I am going to do something people have asked me to do for years: conduct a facilitation skills Train-the-Trainer program.  The goal?  To provide individuals all of the content outlines, facilitation tips, slides, handouts, and other support material they need (along with the knowledge on how to use them) that they can then use to teach their colleagues (staff, volunteers, members) to be facilitators.

If you believe that your organization has unrealized potential to have better discussions and make better decisions, I believe this program will provide you the tools and support necessary to help make that happen.

This inaugural effort will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Washington DC on October 22, 2014, and attendance is limited to 25 individuals in order to ensure everyone gets personal attention for their specific needs.  If interest is strong it is possible I will do similar programs at other locations in 2015, but that's not guaranteed.

If you think you'd like to attend, please complete this simple form to request an invitation.  Invitations will be sent to all who do so on August 1 and you will have two weeks to register before I publicly share the registration link with all others.

I've tried to price the program to reflect the value I believe the materials and training offer, as well as keep it reasonable enough to allow smaller organizations to access its benefits.  If you'd like to attend, but can't quite make the full registration fee, talk to me and I will see what we can do.

As I've said before, anyone can ... and everyone should ... engage in facilitative contributions in both their personal and professional lives.  I am excited to have this opportunity to hopefully make that possible for thousands of more people beginning this fall.  I hope you'll join me.

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