Practical ideas for facilitating workshops & people development

2013-05-28 16.14.35“To lead a workshop we must first understand the people who are in it.” A wise quote from Brian Stanfield.

If we are asked to conduct a workshop for a client group one of our important tasks is to find out about the people who will be participating so we can prepare appropriately with their needs in mind.

The ORID provides a good framework for thinking this through, starting with the facts. How many people will be in the group? How long have they been associated with this organisation? What age demographic are they? What are their qualifications? What time of the day do they normally attend work? What is their knowledge of this topic?

Followed by some reflective questions; What is the mood of the group in relation to this topic? What are the personality styles of the members of the group? How are they feeling about participating? How cohesive are they as a team? What barriers may get in the way of their participation?

And some interpretive questions; How important are the outcomes to the group? What are they keys/influences to how the group operates? What previous experiences have they had with this type of process? How well do they respect each other and work as a team?

Armed with this knowledge a facilitator can then go through the decisional phase and plan the process to engage the group. How will I build the group rapport? How will I engage all styles? What processes will I use to engage the group? What behaviours will I need to be aware of and have strategies to manage should they arise?


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