Common wisdom says that “Practice Makes Perfect” and if not perfect, it makes progress.  The same principles hold true for learning facilitation skills.  The topic of group leadership and facilitation skills has generated countless publications, articles, and training programs, each holding theories or methodologies with practical and valuable applications.

At CiU we align closer to the work of Sam Killermann and Meg Bolger and their approach to facilitation described in their book “Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation”.   Key word: “magic”. Key concept: “you know it when it happens”.  Key message: “it’s a nuanced skill that requires practice.”

So true! The first time I associated ‘facilitation’ with ‘nuanced’, I experienced a wave of recognition, as if the two words had been made for each other. Together they made so much sense in the context of facilitation skills and group leadership.

There is something intangible about successfully facilitating group processes, team meetings, townhall discussions, or individual conversations. If asked, of course, we could be logical and factual about the steps we took, activities we delivered, agendas we prepared or the criteria for choosing topics or content material.

But what creates memorable learning experiences, those rare times when learning becomes alive, and participants beat with one heart in a timeless room – those moments are something else.  We all know it when it happens.  Yet, trying to explain, operationalize, or streamline the experience of the “what” and the “how” that made it possible; that is an entirely different thing.  And that’s because memorable learning experiences have elements of the magical and the concrete all woven into a captivating tapestry of skillful facilitation.

One of our graduates from Habitat for Humanity Canada explains it succinctly, “I did not realize until taking [the CiU] training that facilitation is an art that needs practice and study” and that when applied, “we learned from one another and created some great connections. (Dawn – Homeowner Services Affiliate Staff).

At CiU we agree with Dawn wholeheartedly.  Most people don’t realize the importance and usefulness of learning facilitation skills and how they can be a turning point to unlocking opposing groups’ positions, creating brave spaces for expressing tender truths, or lifting a collective joy rising from learning to work and play together.

Acquiring facilitation skills is a worthy investment of time and effort, and in the case of CiU training, it also comes packaged with a dash of magic and an abundance of useful training resources.  If you are curious and would like to discover your own magic as a facilitator, all you need to do is checking the training schedule for suitable dates.

Tuition fees are covered by a grant from ESDC and the course is free to participants for a limited time.  This could be one of those rare moments when you can learn or enhance your facilitation skills and be touched by a dash of magic. We hope to see you in one of our training sessions!

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