Highlights from the ICA Group Facilitation Methods course

I just completed ICA’s Group Facilitation Methods course in Vancouver.

I was pretty excited to finally get some theory behind all of my experience. We worked on two methods in particular:

  • Focused Conversation Method
  • Consensus Workshop Method

Some of the highlights of the course included:

Use of an installation to demonstrate the focused conversation method (basically using Objective, Reflective, Interpretive and Decisional questions to guide conversation around a question/subject/event/issue). Not only did I get to experience being part of a focused conversation audience, but, I was able to see value in how installations can demonstrate diverse thinking/experiences amongst a group and inspire profound/creative thinking around future actions/take aways.

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Toys (?!)

Each table had a basket of toys accessible to participants during all times. In the beginning, it was a mystery if we were able to do something with the toys or not. Most of us chose to leave them alone, however, after awhile we realized we had permission to play with thems. On the second day I indulged. However, I felt a bit embarrassed after choosing toys that made noise or created a distraction while the facilitator was speaking. In hindsight, I believe the toys were there to create a playful setting, and perhaps to keep us busy when we finished a task earlier. However, I am not totally sure. I will consider using baskets of toys in future workshops, but I would limit any toys that make noise.

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Practicing the Consensus Workshop Method:

Practicing the Consensus Workshop Method in small groups resulted in some really rich information about Collaborative Work Environments and How to Contribute to Individual Health and Wellness. An individual brainstorming session on these topics lead to collaborative categorization and naming of our ideas. We all felt like we had achieved some really practical insights. For instance we identified that the following can contribute to individual health and wellness:

  • Celebrating work and life (balance, recognition of successes)
  • Incorporating break time into your life (time for yourself)
  • Body care (exercise/meditation)
  • Putting joy into your life (have fun and do things you love)
  • Reflection time (journalling, “tech” turn off, mental health time outs, positive people, express feelings)
  • Rest and recharge (lots of sleep)
  • Fuel yourself (good food and beverage)

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