Specializing in the design and delivery of transformative, experiential education.

Authentic Facilitation

For facilitators with some experience.

There is a great need for authentic learning environments. Individuals and groups are longing to get to the places where genuine transformation and change can occur. To offer this, facilitators must create an arena of safety and openness at the same time. Too often we emphasize ‘results’ and don’t give enough time for groups to process and unfold their character, values and feelings. Authentic Facilitation is created by welcoming the elements of safety, open dialogue, unpredictability, learning edges, deep emotion, differences and most importantly, by the leader’s own comfort with these elements. Authentic facilitators lead with their own humanity and guide without trying to control. Standing in the way of authenticity are concerns about being negatively judged, creating divisiveness or conflict, loss of control or becoming mired in process without reaching concrete outcomes.

This course supports participants to develop a fluid, responsive facilitative style that aligns with the goals of their existing facilitation work. Adult education and appreciative inquiry methods will be used. Identify your strengths and learning edges, learn new techniques for encouraging deeper levels of communication and expanding possibilities in the groups you facilitate. We’ll practice a facilitative leadership that balances the accomplishing of goals with the skills to welcome unpredictability, emerging possibilities and deeper levels of communication and emotionality. Strengthen your abilities to build dynamic, effective learning containers where experiences of depth can happen and to more skillfully bring your gift of facilitative leadership to your work.

Themes of Focus:

  • Creating a Safe, Flexible Container: Starting well by bringing authenticity to introductions, intentions, group agreements and meta-skills.
  • Effective Interventions:  Stepping in clearly to overtly direct an aspect of a group's process.  May include encouraging, supporting, redirecting, reframing, challenging, questioning, clarifying, requesting or forbidding. 
  • Dealing with Conflict and Difference: Disturbances/conflicts among participants, facilitators, or both.  Surge of unusual levels of emotionality and setting/re-stating boundaries when suddenly needed.
  • Overarching Emphasis on Guiding Without Controlling: Staying on track and letting the group self-organize and follow its own flow.
  • Eldership: a deeply democractic attitude holding all viewpoints with equal importance - the personal, the collective and the universal.  The ability to use one's facilitator power to connect with the wisdom of all people and fields.

Past clients include:

  • BC Teachers' Federation
  • BC United Church Youth Ministry
  • BC School District 39
  • City of Eugene Recreation, Oregon, USA
  • Naramata Centre
  • Outward Bound Canada
  • Pearson College Seminar on Youth Leadership
  • Respectful Relationships
  • The Natural Step
  • YES program