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Even as we started to develop this Facilitation Skills program with CMOE, we struggled. Early on, I remember getting on phone with Steve Stowell to just talk out some of issues because it was so different from anything either of us had seen in consulting industry. Steve and I continued to struggle with how we should put this course together, and what it should look like, because for me, it is really on that soft side. It is not a skill. It’s being able to use your intuition and read a group and read dynamics in a group and know how to react to flow of what is going on in a group, and pull people in or help to redirect other people if they are not contributing in a positive manner, again without controlling group.
Q – So is there just not a lot of material out there on Facilitation Skills?
Julia –There is a lot of courses out there on Facilitation, but nothing like what CMOE has created. If you look at what is out there on market they don’t have same focus that CMOE’s course does. A lot of what we were seeing out there under name of Facilitation Skills is really meeting management. There is a big difference. This is really more facilitating group interaction or ‘high performance’ facilitation.
Q – What is target audience for Facilitation Skills?
Julia –The plan was that it would end up being for everybody. The original goal was to first give skills to management, and then give it to all employees. When managers were first going through course, feedback we got was that it would be extremely useful for team members to have same skills. It would make facilitating group so much easier if everyone understood what was going on in terms of task, climate, and behavior.
Q – Can you see any improvement in your facilitators as a result of being committed to Facilitation Skills Workshop?
Julia –Absolutely! The people that were in first class have definitely noticed an improvement in their facilitation skills. We haven’t done any structured observations, but just from our ad hoc types of settings where they are leading group and I am a part of group, I have definitely seen an improvement. I think it plays out, not only in terms of a structured meeting, but also in how they go about doing their jobs on a day-to-day basis, because principles that are taught in Facilitation Skills, as with Coaching, go beyond just structured setting. Yes, I have seen a lot of improvement in those people, and it mainly has to do with their confidence level.
If you would like to learn more about CMOE’s Facilitation Skills workshop titled Leading Groups to Solutions, please contact a CMOE Regional Manager at (801) 569-3444 or visit their website.