Blog Posts

What Will I Get from a Facilitation Shindig?

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Based on some of the questions around the Shindig series, here are some more details about the 2017 sessions and what you might get from attending.

More details about the design & why here:

There are 5 themed sessions throughout 2017 –
March 9th Writing
May 4th Movement
July 6th Outside
Sept 7th Emotion
Nov 2nd Closing

Each session begins with a welcome and check-in and closes with reflections & actions. Each session has a “themed” part and space in the afternoon for Peer reflection sessions or experiments from participants – this is where issues of design or approach or personal development can be raised and worked through.

Writing (March)
The focus of this session is on using writing as a form of  personal reflective practice; as well as looking at writing exercises we can use with groups to generate discussion and commitment.

Movement (May)
Focussing on movement in the room  and some of techniques around getting people moving and talking. We will look at techniques like Constellations and how to work with these. We’ll also look at “Movement” in the widest sense – how people move through narratives and phases.

Outside (July)
How can we use outside spaces for facilitation? What does it generate? We’ll explore methods such as Street Wisdom and Group Walks – again, the techniques and the How/ Why practicalities of running these is part of the learning.

Emotion (Sept)
How do we work with and through group emotion?
How do we maintain our emotional wellbeing and resilience when working with groups?
Looking at transitions and the use of timelines with groups as a means of mapping and expressing emotion; we’ll also look at managing our emotions “in the room” and the connection between head/ heart/gut as we work.

Closing (Nov)
How do we end well? Both in the sessions we run and as a group?
Often the sessions we run have generated so many ideas and actions – how do we frame and support ongoing commitment and energy so the conversation doesn’t just die?
What does closing well lookalike?

What will I take away from the sessions?
The take-aways are hard to define for each individual. What I’m aiming for is to support a group of practitioners to walk away with a variety of tools and techniques which they have explored thoroughly and are ready to try; Practitioners who have a deeper sense of confidence and understanding of themselves “in the room” and who have a network to call on for design or reflection for many years to come.

We work in a lovely big open space at Mad Labs in the Norther Quarter, Manchester with good coffee & an open invitation to try stuff and think about stuff and work with issues or concerns.

For Season Tickets (all 5 events) – apply here or if you are interested in attending a single event – apply here

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Introducing… the Facilitation Shindig

by Julie Drybrough @fuchsia_blue

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Earlier this year I spent a day in a room with a group of people I respect beyond measure as we walked through the process and methods we were going to use to facilitate teams of leaders in a FTSE 250 over a period of months.

The purpose of these leadership sessions is the good stuff – the simple, yet not easy, good stuff – that thing of getting highly skilled, smart, experienced folk to let down their guards a bit, to know each other and to work together in different ways to their current ways of being. Looking to shift intractable issues through building relationships, by thinking and working together, by equipping these leaders with alternative methods for talking and acting… it’s stuff that takes time and care and tenacity and skill.

Some things struck me on our walk-through day.
I was struck by the sheer pleasure of being in a room with really good facilitators, hearing others’ thought processes and learning from each other. We worked hard. We laughed. We pushed each other. We questioned. We developed the process together. It was like the best rehearsal ever.

I was struck also by how lonely it can be in the work….Sometimes facilitation is you. In a room. With a whole bunch of strangers/ near strangers, trying to achieve a thing – and whilst it’s one of my favourite places, it’s also… kinda nerve wracking (especially if you are doing it properly, I’d argue).

I also was struck by something I’m currently mulling on as “Genuine Practice”– the importance of folk who reflect and learn and experiment and in order to improve their craft. Those who diligently show up in life and in rooms with groups and who work with care and consideration to create outcomes and change. Practitioners who can drop everything planned and knit something utterly unique and needed in the moment, because they have taken the time to build their skill and personal capability – the ones who are doing their 10,000 hours to get to mastery…. And how deeply I value that Genuine Practice.

And how I’m becoming increasingly intolerant of Shiny, Showy Post-Truth Change Gurus taking up airspace without ever proving themselves or their theories. I need my Emperors Clothed these days. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

And I was struck by the increased importance of well designed face-to-face work to generate conversations and change.. that our work future means there are likely to be fewer and fewer chances for folk in organisations to convene.. and when they do, that time is precious….and brilliant facilitators are what will make that time purposeful and useful and productive and thought-provoking and behaviour-shifting….

And so a beginning idea came into being – Rather than being wistful, how about I created time and a place for those of us who facilitate to gather? To celebrate and work on Genuine Practice? And how about it was a joyful thing – something about the love of the work and learning from others?

And so after much doodling and deliberating and asking folk stuff, the Facilitation Shindig has arrived.

The first gathering is on 19th January 2017 in Manchester….
Beyond this there will be 5 more in Manchester throughout 2017. In March, May, July, September and November… With a bonus social Winter gathering in December or beyond.
The intention is to run more, in other cities or internally in businesses…but one step at a time.

Each Shindig this year will be themed around a word.
The words for Manchester 2017 are: Writing ( March), Movement (May), Outside (July) , Emotion (September) and Closing (November).
What we do together within those words will depend on who attends the Shindig and how they interpret that word.

You can buy Season tickets for all 5 events, or Pay-as-you-go single event tickets here

or Register your interest & arrange a phonecall to hear more

The intention is to work with care and challenge, to practice and experiment and learn from each other. If you are interested in the Shindig in any way shape or form, please do get in touch – I’d love for this grow and to have a thriving community of practice.