inter-arise.com Enabling Effectiveness: Facilitating Collaboration and Capability

February 13, 2013

The Art and Practice of Group Facilitation

THE ART AND PRACTICE OF GROUP FACILITATION

Accredited with the Services SETA

group facilitation

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Our goal is to prepare you to plan and lead conversations and group processes in your organisation or for your clients. Our intense, three-day workshop enables you to strengthen:

  • Your ability to connect with others and deepen your skills
  • Perform as an effective facilitator
  • Become a more active listener and effective leader
  • Design group processes and construct activities that engage people toward achieving shared objectives
  • Manage group diversity and conflict
  • Enable others to feel purposeful and valuable when participating in a workshop/meeting

COURSE OUTLINE

A Recipe for Successful Facilitation

This an examination of the key factors that contribute to effective facilitation: an appropriate environment, clear agendas and objectives, efficient use of time, powerful stakeholder engagement, leadership, and excellent skills.

The value of facilitation will be explored as well as its contribution to generating broader team effectiveness beyond the workshop or meeting.

Participants will also understand other practical elements necessary to make a facilitated workshop/meeting successful including tools, pre-workshop preparation and communication, ice-breakers and energisers, documentation and review, and more.

Facilitation Roles and Responsibilities

In this conversation, we explore the roles of the facilitator and the power of facilitation as a skills-set to bring out the best in people.  We also explore the roles played by others in a facilitation context including the workshop sponsor, participant and scribe.

Participants will learn that the successful facilitator projects trustworthiness and neutrality, and directs focused effort at preparing for the workshop. They will examine their personal biases in order to remove them while serving as facilitators.

Understanding Participant Styles

Using an Creative and Problem-Solving styles assessment, we develop a deeper understanding of our own and others creative and problem-solving styles.  In this way we create awareness of how we could be designing group processes more effectively, as well as how we could involve participants in ways that enable them to feel engaged and interested.

Group Dynamics

Group dynamics and motivations can vary on many levels, and participants will learn how to guide the group to a level of cohesion quickly so that participants engage with shared objectives and solutions, rather than individual motivations. They will use role-plays to practice engaging people in dialogue, feedback, and testing for consensus and understanding.

The Point of Power is Always in the Present Moment

Participants will get an opportunity to deepen their communication skills including embodying confidence, practicing deep listening and building rapport with participants through body language and appreciative conversations.  A very meaningful exploration focused on self awareness and connectedness with others.

Getting Results

Keeping group members focused so they can get their desired results takes skill. This section shows participants how to move beyond roadblocks, difficult personalities, and incomplete information so they can help group members work collaboratively toward a goal. Using sample cases, participants will try their hand at remaining neutral and facilitating workshops.

Managing Diversity and Conflict

People can sabotage a group process by interrupting, being negative, physically or mentally leaving, or dominating the conversation. They could also unconsciously sabotage the process if they feel that they’re not being included or heard.  Conflict can easily arise when there are differing motivations and perceptions.  These behaviours and situations makes the facilitator’s job a challenge at best. Learning how to manage participants who don’t want to be there, who are dominating the discussion, or who are being difficult, is an essential skill of top facilitators. This section explores handling difficult people and challenging situations in a workshop.

People Who Can, Do: Preparation and Practice

This discussion involves participants facilitating various kinds of processes: strategic planning, idea generation, and consensus decision making. Participants will experience what makes a facilitated session effective. They will know how to remain neutral, accommodate different styles, be flexible, build consensus, and dispel their fears.

Facilitator Treasure Chest

An exploration of various tools and techniques that can be applied to diverse objectives and group settings.  This session will also explore divergent thinking, convergent thinking and facilitating sustainable cooperative processes.

From brain-storming to De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to graphic facilitation and ice-breakers, participants will get to experience a variety of techniques and processes to add to their treasure chest.

COURSE DURATION:  3 days

INVESTMENT: R 6995.00 excluding VAT

DATE: 27th February to 01st March 2013

Who should attend?  Facilitators, Trainers, Business Analysts, Teachers, Meeting Hosts, Project Managers , Team Leaders, Managers – anyone who works and regularly meets with groups to achieve objectives.

January 18, 2013

Shared Purpose and Vision in Empowering Teams To Thrive

Shared Purpose and Vision in Empowering Teams to Thrive

What makes one team higher performing than another? What is it that pulls individuals together into a cohesive team, enabling them to work together more effectively? Like all successful partnerships, key ingredients of an effective team include:

  • A shared purpose
  • A compelling image of a positive future – a shared vision
  • A common understanding of what action is required to stand in purpose and realise the vision
  • Understanding each others’ motivational preferences and complimentary styles

David Cooperrider, creator of the strength-based Appreciative Inquiry methodology, coined the term “Positive Image, Positive Action”.  When we have powerful, positive images of our possibility that are aligned individually and collectively, we are compelled to take action that moves us toward the experience of what we imagine.  This in essence is the power of a meaningful purpose and an inspiring vision.  Key attributes shared by all great leaders include the ability to fuel people’s drive through the possibility of an inspiring vision and the mechanisms that enable them to feel valuable.

Research into the use of graphics or imagery in creating/assigning meaning to information reveals that the process:

info visualisation PEEST

We know from neuro-sciences that every idea or thought that we have is a mental model.  Everything we do, create, choose, act on, first starts as an anticipatory mental image.  Think now about your car … your home…. a child or friend ….something of importance to you.  You get that an image is what you notice, right?   If our mental models are strong enough, they:

  • Guide our actions and behaviour
  • Influence our communication
  • Stimulate mental connections
  • Engage our physiology (horror movie…racing heart-beat….get the picture?)

Our brains filter information based on our mental models and what we are focusing on.   Visually representing the team’s strategy and referring to it often in communications, conversations and other business activities will strengthen the team’s association with and connection to its purpose, vision and objectives.  Most powerfully, it will  create a collective mental model within the team that generates focus, clarity and energy for the intended journey.

Most businesses have a purpose or mission statement, a vision, and a set of objectives for achieving the vision.   Rarely do they nurture mechanisms that enable teams to determine and develop the link between those statements and their own purpose and vision.  Mostly, the objectives are translated into targets which become the springboard from which operational activity takes place and is evaluated.

Focusing purely on driving targets can become meaningless, as can a company vision perceived as being imposed, and since we humans are meaning-making beings, this could translate into less than inspiring cultures and sub-optimal performance.

The most successful visions build on the individual and collective visions of  employees across the company.  Shared vision reflects shared purpose, and both are important for motivating people to learn and collaborate as they create a common identity that fuels focus, connectedness and energy. This strengthens the probability that team members will be more committed to outcomes, work together more effectively and share ownership for making things happen.

Our-Approach_01_215

Another important consideration in enabling a team to elevate its capacity to achieve its vision and to contribute organisation value, involves harnessing and aligning individual traits.  For example, the Disney strategy of Dreamer, Realist and Critic aligns glass half full and glass half empty people, as well as big picture and detail oriented people.  Aligning individual styles and motivational preferences will help to address the unconscious patterns in people that could lead to sabotaging behaviour.

The process of discovering a purpose and birthing a vision together, enables team members to internalise their connectedness and goals, and forms a platform for focused team activity.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Article written by Vasintha Pather.  Thanks Dr Sally Vanson for your input and insights 🙂

Copyright Inter-Arise Facilitation Solutions (Pty) Ltd

The Visionary Teams Workshop:

 ‘Visionary Teams’ is an inspiring workshop for your team to co-create its vision and focus for the year ahead.  Using interactive and collaborative processes,  inter-arise facilitates a half-day workshop with your team to:

  • Engage around a shared purpose
  • Co-create a vision that is meaningful and inspiring
  • Identify the building blocks that will enable success
  • Align the differences in the team to maximize success

At the end of the workshop, we produce a visual representation of your team’s strategy that will serve as a powerful resource to strengthen connection with, and evaluation of, the strategy through the year.

e-mail vasintha@inter-arise.com or admin@inter-arise.com to enquire further and/or to set up a conversation

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December 12, 2012

Connectedness and Effectiveness in Business

Connectedness and Effectiveness in Business

Recently, as a speaker at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) conference, I shared the latest research relating to social connectedness, a particular passion-topic of mine, and indeed, what inter-arise’s value is really all about.  Companies have spent, and still do spend, an extraordinary amount of time and resources focusing on individual development and although this is of course necessary, I think we mostly ignore the rest of the equation which is why our talent optimisation and organisation effectiveness sums don’t often add up.   What I mean, is that we ignore the collective – team – development, which is the missing step in achieving shared effectiveness.

Here’s some of the research that I shared at the conference:

People who perceive themselves to be socially connected – have a strong internal sense of belonging and in social relationship with the social world –  are generally better able to manage their own emotions and display higher levels of inter-personal trust.  Interestingly they also tend to have stronger immune function.

On the other end of the spectrum, people who perceive themselves to be socially disconnected appear to be more prone to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.  They are also a risk factor for a number of illnesses and forms physiological dis-ease.

Scary when we consider how small the relative effort is that organisations in general direct at focused team wellbeing and effectiveness, when what the research is clearly indicating, and indeed what we already instinctively understand, is that the more supported and healthily connected we are to others, the happier and healthier we actually are…..and of course the more motivated and effective we can be.

At an individual level, here’s some fascinating information revealed through the field of Psycho-Neuro-Immunology, about the immune health of a positive vs a negative mind-state:

Positive vs Negative mind states and Immune Function

In an environment of high stress, demotivation and low gratification, the physiology of the individuals experiencing this can be negatively impacted.  If this is compounded by a culture in which support and team cohesion is lacking, this makes for an extremely unhealthy environment.  The PNI research  shows that cognitive function becomes less effective in a stressful, demotivating environment.   So, companies should be aware that performance too will be negatively affected no matter how many carrots or sticks are dangled.

Our cultures need to begin supporting people differently, in a healthier, more holistic way for the good of both individuals as well as teams.  This is how we will begin bringing about true organisation effectiveness.

“Collective consciousness in everyday life: A functioning collective consciousness is recognizable in many settings—in relationships, classrooms, groups and organizations, communities, nations, and increasingly in the overall human family. Although subtle and easy to overlook, collective consciousness is a pervasive and powerful force in our everyday lives”

– Duane Elgin

 

The Marikana Mirror

At the end of October 2012, Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) hosted a panel discussion on what Marikana and consequent events mean for South African industrial relations.  The title was “Marikana – A Turning Point in South Africa’s Industrial Relations”, and interestingly, what crystallized instead was the appreciation that rather than a turning point, Marikana is really a mirror, a reflection of who we are as a nation and how we engage people.

Some of my key take-aways from this most valuable and important discussion, I would like to share with you as they apply to all of business.  What was most moving, given the shocking tragedy that was Marikana, was the positive and uplifting possibilities that our national mirror could reflect instead.  If we focus on strengthening  connectedness and dialogue with the intent of generating solutions out of collaboration, we could begin to see a very different reflection in the mirror.

LEADERSHIP
Leaders need to become more aware of making their vision more accessible and visible within the broader organisation.  Fostering a shared vision is a powerful way of engaging people.

CONVERSATIONS
Skill people up and prepare them to have tough conversations.  We have to answer the question “What are we prepared to give?” in order to generate a more engaged, progressive and supported workforce.

We must acknowledge and meaningfully engage the inter-dependencies between people and teams, and indeed companies and institutions.  Marikana has shown us just how intimately components of broader economic and social systems are integrated into peoples’ experience and expectation, and that it is a mistake to deal with them as separate and disconnected.

Be clear and honest about what the issues are and demonstrate a clear way forward that people can relate to, and participate in meaningfully.

TEAM SA
I loved this one, and was inspired by the excitement and energy in the room at its mention.  Above all else who are we and what do we want to create as a nation?  Above all else we are Team SA.  We must begin to hold ourselves high in this intent and start shaping solutions and contexts as Team SA, rather than with an attitude that we cannot make a difference.

COLLABORATION SKILLS

We are at a stage where it is paramount to develop skills in collaboration, stakeholder relationship management and dialogue.  Being able to listen, understand, share, respond and collaborate in creating solutions are what will enable us to flourish in a healthier, more sustainable way for the good of Team SA.

 

It has been a tough and extremely growth-oriented year for many.  So many lessons, and in them, such opportunity for us to expand as human beings for a higher purpose,  for the good of many.

From us at inter-arise, we wish you an incredibly joyous festive season, we  thank you for your connection and support during the years past and those ahead, and we trust that 2013 will be a year of sharing, supporting and strengthening together.

Vasintha

 

What’s happening at inter-arise

Our next session is on the 20th December 2012 from 14:00 to 16:00.

For those of us in the office next week, join inter-arise at Wakaberry Frozen Yoghurt Bar at Lonehill Shopping Centre for a couple of hours of delicious, festive indulgence as well as sharing interesting information on “the science of connecting – what the latest research reveals”.
The yoghurt’s on us :).

Please e-mail admin@inter-arise.com if you will be joining us.

 

 

Our 3 day “Art of Group Facilitation” training workshop will be held from the 27th February to the 01st March 2013. This programme is accredited by the Services SETA at NQF Level 5.   It is a wonderfully enriching experience designed to develop a deep understanding of how to practically engage people in collaboratively developing solutions and achieving objectives.
Please e-mail admin@inter-arise.com to book or enquire.

Click here for more information about the workshop

 


A group coaching programme for Women in Leadership Development.   W.I.L.D. Wisdom is a platform for women in business to come together to support each other in generating and sustaining meaningful results rooted in connection, collaboration and contribution.  Positive results are experienced at the levels of individual, team and organisation as relationships improve, people communicate more effectively, support grows, personal development grows and overall effectiveness is enhanced across the organisation.  Contact Vasintha for more information.

 

 

A process designed to strengthen team effectiveness by stimulating enquiry into the elements that make for an effective team.  Engaging, challenging, and results-oriented.  The process has 3 steps: 1. We agree the purpose and outcomes of the process; 2.  The team play The Collaboration Game and through it generate various learnings, insights and agreements; and 3. We facilitate a planning workshop to explore key insights and to agree actions and commitments that will strengthen the team’s performance and cohesiveness.

 

 

Contact inter-arise to purchase your workshop graphic-kits, or to have a workshop custom-designed for you with a set of graphic templates.
Graphic suites contain:
Facilitator Guide detailing all you need to know to run the workshop effectively;
Workshop Design including Agenda and Handouts;
Graphic Templates.

ALSO…Contact us to facilitate or record your workshop graphically.

Click here for more information

 

 

 

July 5, 2012

Conscious Collaboration: Harnessing the Power of the Collective

… Collective intelligence allows companies to gain efficiency…. It enables companies to build on experience and avoid reinventing processes and procedures. Collective Intelligence creates the ability to adapt and apply innovations across new markets and opportunities. And it facilitates the discovery of new avenues of improvement…” IBM Global Chief HR Officer Study, 2010

A growing body of research suggests that individual minds connected in shared purpose do indeed generate a collective force that is vastly more powerful than any one individual or group of individuals. Group intention, as evidenced through the research, influences societal experiences such as crime, influences the nervous systems of people connected with each other, and accelerates learning within a group. The research results are profound; the implications for organisations, staggering.

“Our personal psychology is just a thin skin, a ripple on the ocean of collective psychology. The powerful factor, the factor which changes our whole life, which changes the surface of our known world, which makes history, is collective psychology, which moves according to laws entirely different from those of our [individual] consciousness.”

Carl Jung

The Conscious Collaboration workshop is designed to be a profound conversation beyond the nuts and bolts of how to run meetings, workshops and conversations effectively. It is about awakening to higher levels of awareness, connectedness, engagement and leadership.

Why would you participate?

  • What would it be like to work in a team that has a shared purpose and believes in a common vision and goals?
  • How would it feel to work in a company where knowledge is easily shared, and where people’s strengths are encouraged and appreciated?
  • How would it feel to connect with people deeply and authentically, and to help teams to tap into their collective capacity for achievement?
  • What kind of results would I, my team and my company be experiencing in a culture that supports the above?

We encourage leaders, managers, OD practitioners, facilitators, trainers, coaches, community builders, educators, and others interested in expanding their impact and ability to make a difference, to participate.

Harnessing the power of collective intention and action to achieve meaningful results, is one of the most important activities to integrate if we want to flourish as individuals, organisations and communities.

What will you receive?

  • Understand what social science is revealing about the collective mind in causing, influencing and accelerating change;
  • Understand the neurology and chemistry of social connection;
  • Deeper awareness of how to shape team and company cultures that support collaboration, resourcefulness and shared success;
  • Techniques for accelerating cohesiveness and results in conversations, meetings and workshops;
  • Insights for strengthening team connection and commitment to organisational vision and goals;
  • Techniques for deepening awareness and connection with self and others

e-mail vasintha@inter-arise.com to enquire

 Format:  Two-day workshop OR 6 x 2hr coaching sessions over 6 weeks

Please also enquire about our mini experience: A 2.5 hour team workshop to integrate key principles

(c)Copyright Inter-Arise Facilitation Solutions (Pty) Ltd.  All rights reserved.

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