Part of a project manager’s job description is facilitation — drawing out the best in a team and paving the way for a project to succeed. But you aren’t born with these skills, nor can you earn them with a diploma. Facilitation requires ongoing attention to nine disciplines, including detachment, engagement and even a sense of wonder.
In most meetings, a variety of negative dynamics can hinder progress. Good facilitation skills can go a long way in turning great people into great teams and enabling smart people to make smart decisions. Here are six vital facilitation techniques.
Maria stands in front of the class, composed of 30 managers on day two of a four-day leadership training workshop. This day’s section is an inquiry into personal values. The class is working in groups to coach each other on clarifying their individual values. One of the members calls Maria over and asks sarcastic…
Focusing on how the topic is introduced and encouraging participants to discuss what they are learning and come to their own conclusions helps participants to apply and implement learning immediately.
Training games are a form of experiential learning typically used to facilitate dynamic group processes. They encourage participant involvement and interest in training content. Facilitators can customize published games to suit their specific training needs, and when off-the-shelf games are not suitable, they can create…
This issue discusses a variety of creative facilitation techniques to be used in training. It is based on the premise that workplace learning happens in a variety of environments, and therefore demands a multitude of training options. These environments include on-the-job training, one-on-one instruction, classroom setting, synchronous online, and asynchronous online. This issue will help you understand which facilitation techniques are best suited for each environment and how to implement each technique. It also provides advice and guidelines for adjusting to sudden changes in a training environment, ensuring the facilitator is always prepared.
A how-to guide for successful group facilitation to champion learning, encourage interaction, and promote the spread of ideas. 10 Steps to Successful Facilitation explains how to address the different learning styles to be a more effective facilitator. Learn how to construct questions to stimulate conversations, the importance of keeping on topic, and the characteristics of an environment that encourages interaction. Strategies for resolving difficult situations and handling difficult participants are included.Part of the ASTD 10 Steps series .
Welcome to ProjectsAtWork’s Executive Report (Vol. 1, No. 11), the newsletter for professionals engaged in high-level, enterprisewide project leadership. In this issue, we identify essential technology-oriented capabilities needed to manage global project teams … present a PMO facilitation model that combines the more common support and supervision roles … and share some basic lessons on crisis leadership. Also: a white paper from MKS on the successful implementing of an application lifecycle management solution.
Transferring a team deliverable from continent to continent carries with it additional risks in addition to those expected from co-located workforces. There are planning and facilitation tactics you can use to mitigate these risks—and even build improved collaboration in the process.
Risk facilitators play a critical role in the risk management process, leading discussions that identify, assess and develop responses. To be effective, facilitators not only understand risk principles and processes but also projects and people. And they are adept at three facilitation styles, knowing when each is most appropriate.
Bringing the customer into the requirements process is a key to success in every project. Sometimes, however, their expectations are unrealistic or even contrary to their best interests. Along with good facilitation, there are ways to negotiate with customers that give them the option to say “no” without you having to insist on it.
Beyond technical skills, success on Agile projects depends on productive self-organizing teams, according to Esther Derby, a respected consultant on teamwork, Scrum implementation and retrospective facilitation. Here, she shares some best practices for developing and supporting self-organizing teams.
How to Do PNF Stretches to Improve Flexibility. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and is one of the best methods for improving passive flexibility. In only a few minutes, it is possible to make drastic and enduring…
We know good facilitation skills: Ask don’t tell, and encourage discussion among participants, not just between you and the participants. An instructor needs to play devil’s advocate to challenge people’s thinking. Yet when they move from the traditional classroom to the virtual classroom, many facilitators r…
Yesterday I’m with a financial services client and partway through the morning’s sales training I do a “confession session” where reps share their most embarrassing moment. It’s a very funny time. This slide (pictured here) is up on the screen and during the break a woman walks up. “I’m very offended by that image.” “You are?” People start to gather when they hear the energy in her voice. “Yes, it is very obvious that the man is looking up her skirt.” “Are you serious?” I say. Then silence as everyone around peers closely at the picture. A man says, “But he has no eyes!” She retorts, “He is looking up her skirt and it is very offensive.” I’m shocked and struggle with whether to make a witty comment or a sarcastic one, then resign myself to “I’ll have to get that guy a male psychologist.” Here’s the thought for you training pros: What kind of baggage is she bringing into the training? Because you’ll teach salespeople to be aware of what kind of baggage their prospects bring to the selling table. Everyone has concerns, complicated by biases in their background. Your job is to discover what they are, allay fears and get learners to change behavior in order to improve performance. How flexible are your facilitation skills? Are they great? If not, why not? Your ability to uncover the heart and mind of the sales training attendees will help you paint a picture of prosperity for them. At that point they are prepared to engage, practice and adopt new learning.
One of the first things many L&D professionals learn is the basics of great design and facilitation—both key for achieving desired outcomes. But in an era of increased accountability, if those outcomes are not measurable, you might be missing some big opportunities. So you have to have tools that can move you from organizational “order taker” to strategic business partner. This is where the idea of learning transfer comes in. ASTD has been studying learning transfer and disseminating some great content on LT for quite some time. But over the last year or so, we’ve been partnering with the Fort Hill Company to bring L&D professionals The Learning Transfer Conference. This is an interactive day-and-a-half workshop that kicks off a 10-week learning program. I actually attended the Arlington, VA, conference in October of last year and learned A TON with several dozen professionals from across the US, all of us broken into small groups (at round tables) enabling plenty of brainstorming, sharing, problem-solving, and of course, networking. The essence of the program is learning to apply the Six Disciplines (or “6 Ds”) of Breakthrough Learning with the goal of improving the business impact of our efforts. The facilitators, Roy Pollock and Cal Wick are terrific and very engaging (and I am an English major FYI). They do a great job of interacting us, and it doesn’t all just take place during the conference itself. The online coaching element opens possibility for further interaction with the facilitators and other participants for two months after the workshop itself. As a Community Manager, it’s great to get a glimpse into what you all do each day and learn about what’s important to you. This conference was a great experience for me and the attendees I had the pleasure of meeting, and I hope you’ll check it out sometime this year if you haven’t already. And there is still time to register for Atlanta! I dropped the dates down below. Atlanta, GA — April 4-5, 2012 Chicago, IL — June 19-20, 2012 Denver, CO — October 2-3, 2012 Learn More.
Yesterday I’m with a financial services client and partway through the morning’s sales training I do a “confession session” where reps share their most embarrassing moment. It’s a very funny time. This slide (pictured here) is up on the screen and during the break a woman walks up. “I’m very offended by that image.” “You are?” People start to gather when they hear the energy in her voice. “Yes, it is very obvious that the man is looking up her skirt.” “Are you serious?” I say. Then silence as everyone around peers closely at the picture. A man says, “But he has no eyes!” She retorts, “He is looking up her skirt and it is very offensive.” I’m shocked and struggle with whether to make a witty comment or a sarcastic one, then resign myself to “I’ll have to get that guy a male psychologist.” Here’s the thought for you training pros: What kind of baggage is she bringing into the training? Because you’ll teach salespeople to be aware of what kind of baggage their prospects bring to the selling table. Everyone has concerns, complicated by biases in their background. Your job is to discover what they are, allay fears and get learners to change behavior in order to improve performance. How flexible are your facilitation skills? Are they great? If not, why not? Your ability to uncover the heart and mind of the sales training attendees will help you paint a picture of prosperity for them. At that point they are prepared to engage, practice and adopt new learning. Check out the digital Infoline Sales Training that Drives Revenue for more ideas.
Here’s a blog post from guest blogger Neville Pritchard, from ASTD International Partner The Learning Sanctuary in the UK: The Learning Sanctuary held its second meeting for ASTD members and prospective members at Olympia on January 26. The room was kindly donated by Principal Media Ltd, the organisers of Learning Technologies Conference & Expo held at Olympia on the following two days. Once again we had over 30 attend a lively and interesting meeting where discussion was extensive. We opened with Gordon Bull (ASTD Board member) explaining how to maximise ASTD e-membership benefits before we split into sub groups. We explored technology based learning developments and when to utilise what; the need to focus on performance impact and to utilise an appropriate mix of measurement models depending upon the purpose of measurement and reporting; the increasing need for L&D to ensure high quality consulting skills; trends in the use of coaching and the need for individual and coach responsibility; links to informal learning and ‘letting go’; the need for collaboration, coordination and integration in implementing L&D initiatives; considered goodpractice.com research into leadership development trends; and explored the group’s pressing issues within the management of learning. Each topic was visited twice as groups rotated around a choice of subject every 20 minutes with facilitation being delivered by members with specific expertise and interest in the subject areas. As a full group we also considered what research we felt would help take the profession forward. An example amongst a number of topics we included was: – What types of learning delivery actually lead to best improvement and response from learners? – How do different types of role or function influence this? – Is this influenced by the type of industry an organisation operates within? – Content/training methodologies different to roles, types of business, types of department – Comparing delivery models It was a fabulous meeting with high quality debate and an opportunity for members in the UK to network and consider key issues with other L&D professionals. Neville Pritchard
Are you ready for global cultural differences? Do you know how to read your international participants? An audience with no questions might be very engaged, and an audience with side conversations might be very engaged, too. In this session, you will learn key differences that make a difference in training design and facilitation, and how to adjust to be a successful global trainer. We will primarily look at cultural differences using culture general approach, but we’ll also introduce a culture…
Meet ATD Facilitator for the Training Certificate Program, Nelson Santiago. Through modeling of the best practices and latest techniques in training delivery, discover the 4Ps of training: Purpose & Assessment, Planning & Preparation, Presentation & Facilitation, and Performance & Evaluation. Amanda Smith, ATD Community of Practice Manager for Learning & Development, sits down with Nelson to discuss why this course is so popular among L&D professionals and what learners can expect.
Whether you are teaching locally with a global audience or globally with a local audience you have to know how to adjust your own ‘cultural uniqueness’ so who you are doesn’t interfere with your audiences’ ability to connect with you. In this session, learn from global master trainers who will share stories and best practices from various regions of the world about their facilitation experiences.
Data analytics tools promise high-level evaluation. But what if you don’t have a six-figure budget for your evaluation, and still want to assess impact on job? What if you’re using blended learning, which includes facilitation that doesn’t show up in data? This session will walk you through how one company used a cloud-based evaluation tool to assess the quality of facilitation of a national program and the impact on job. The speakers will cover the evaluation rubric that was developed to give…
This online course will help you identify the causes of challenging behaviors, determine the specific facilitation skills required to handle them, and lead you into your next learning event with a higher level of confidence.
Are you looking for a way to facilitate synchronous Web-based Training (WBT)? This issue will delve into the differences between online and classroom facilitation, along with how to prepare, design, and facilitate an online class. Learn how to not only impart knowledge, but also use techniques that will help learners comprehend and utilize that knowledge.
Is your organization planning a large-scale change initiative? Do you know what needs to be done to manage and facilitate this process smoothly? And just as important, do you know how to alleviate the fears of those going through this process? Change can be messy, scary, and challenging. But with the right process, tools, and facilitation efforts in place, it can be a smooth and positive experience. This issue of Infoline will provide you with the process, tools, and tactics you need by walking you through the eight simple steps of a change process and ultimately will provide you with the know-how you need to become a skilled and knowledgeable change agent.
Answers the three key questions for new trainers: What does a trainer do and why? How can the skills be developed quickly? How does a trainer apply knowledge? Trainer Basics provides a clear, concise explanation of the training function. Veteran trainer, George M. Piskurich, explains the basics of instructional design, adult learning, needs analysis, evaluation, presenting, and facilitation. It is a great tool for training beginning practitioners and subject matter experts new to the training field.
The Teach With Style methodology is a dynamic model built around four “instructor styles,” each supported by strategies and tactics that you can use in the classroom. This book will help you improve certain facilitation techniques and skills while enhancing your natural strengths, for a balanced, fresh approach to adult instruction that will accelerate your students’ learning.
For every trainer, presenter, or facilitator who’s ever “lost” an audience, or had the nagging sense he or she missed the mark, Crash and Learn is part handbook and part inspiration. Motivational speaker and classroom guru Jim Smith Jr. covers just about every possible mistake a presenter can make and then offers readers positive and effective ways to remedy the situation. The more than 600 suggestions included in this volume cover all facets of classroom presentation mistakes from facilitation and room set-up mistakes to motivation, difficult participant, and audiovisual mistakes to storytelling and evaluation mistakes. Each of the lively and entertaining responses to these common mistakes know as “Jim’s Gems” offers the reader direct fixes that can be implemented immediately. Jim Smith Jr. Talks About Crash and Learn
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