Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills - Level 1
Upcoming Level 1 Curriculum dates and locations:
UMaine Extension Penobscot County, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor, ME
Wednesdays, Oct 2 & 23, Nov 6 & 20, Dec 4
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
At least nine participants need to register for the class to be held.
Facilitation skills are not routinely learned and practiced. If you have ever been in a role that you wished you had more skills or practice for, then Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1 is for you.
Fun, creative, and thought provoking, the SYFS, Level 1 Curriculum is a dynamic and comprehensive five-Lesson facilitation Training Series full of activities, “lecturettes” and potential aha! moments.
This training series is designed to help you…
- build stronger dynamic groups
- run more effective meetings
- have increased confidence
- practice techniques you can use
- increase your awareness of what & who makes your group work
As a team member or chair, we are expected to produce results in collaboration with others. This is not always easy, and the skills of facilitation are not routinely learned or practiced to be effective in our work.
What is facilitation?
It is the design and management of structures and processes that help a group do its work and minimize the common problems people have working together.
Facilitation is therefore a neutral process (with respect to the content and participants) that may focus on:
- what needs to be accomplished
- task design, flow and sequence
- communication patterns
- appropriate levels of participation
- group energy, momentum and capability
- the physical and psychological environment
By participating in Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1, you will:
- Learn facilitation skills identified by you and other participants
- Observe facilitation challenges, such as constant change, competing priorities, changing team members, limited time and carefully guarded resources;
- Practice skills in an experiential setting and receive feedback in a safe environment;
- Complete a self-assessment;
- Receive a resource notebook; and
- Commit to building the capacity of your community by donating three hours of facilitation time to a group of your choice.
The objectives for the SYFS, Level 1 Training Series are for participants to
- Learn core facilitation competencies
- Observe facilitation challenges such as constant change, competing priorities, changing team members, limited time and carefully guarded resources
- Practice skills in an experiential setting and receive feedback in a safe environment
- Commit time to build community capacity by volunteering facilitation skills to a community group or organization
Day 1: The Basics
- An introduction to facilitation
- Core values of facilitation
- Working agreements
- Thinking & learning styles
- Decision making options
Day 2: Facilitating for Success
- Role of working agreements
- Stages of group development
- Core facilitation beliefs and practices
- Behaviors that hinder and help groups
- Balancing relationships and tasks
- Developing a meeting design
Day 3: Facilitating in Action
- Achieving desired outcomes
- Generating, narrowing ideas and action planning
- Identifying core facilitation practices
- Recognizing and redirecting difficult group situations
- Assessing facilitation strengths and weaknesses
Day 4: Facilitation Challenges & Opportunities
- Implications of assigned work for groups
- Using the Left-Hand Column
- Making interventions using The Diagnosis-Intervention Cycle
Day 5: Facilitating in the Wider World
- More decision making options
- Clarifying Circle consulting method
- When to use outside facilitators
- Time donation contracting and evaluation
During the training, participants list questions they would like to have answered by the end of the series. In the last session, they work in small groups
and are able to develop answers to the group’s questions. Learn what participants have been asking — and are able to answer at the end of the series.
The SYFS, Level 1 Training Series is based on foundational facilitator competencies developed by the International Association of Facilitators. The majority of the training focuses in three competency areas
- Creating an environment of participation
- Guiding the group process and
- Encouraging creative thinking
The framework within which the SYFS, Level 1 Curriculum was developed from Best Facilitation Practices. The overall format of the Curriculum embraces a solid adult education model where learning unfolds progressively, sequentially and experientially. The Curriculum allows for this to happen in the course of the each Lesson and, more complexly, continuing through several weeks of learning before the Training Series is complete.
Meet the Presenter
The Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills (SYFS), Level 1 Training Series was initially developed in 2001 by Extension Professionals Jane Haskell and Louise Franck Cyr. Beginning in 2006, Haskell and Franck Cyr along with Gabe McPhail, developed the SYFS Training Series into the National Curriculum, Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1. Haskell will facilitate Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills Level 1.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Jane brings over 20 years of experience in the design and implementation of experiential community development programs for youth and adults. Over the years she has launched several innovative Extension programs, from Voices, a school-based enrichment program for teens, to the Mid-Coast Home-Based Business Conference, the first statewide conference for home-based business owners in Maine, to producing and hosting Doing Business, a live, public affairs radio show. As a result of her community facilitation work, her latest innovation is the collaborative creation of Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Levels 1 and 2. The Training Series is designed to help local citizens as well as professional staff learn how to get work done more effectively and efficiently in group meetings. Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1 has been used to train scores of volunteers and staff from over 30 organizations in Maine, and is now being used to train new Extension staff as well as citizens in other states. It has been identified as a curriculum by the National 4-H Learning Priorities to Build Effective Organizational Systems. Jane is working collaboratively to research the societal impact of having skilled community facilitators. She is a member of the International Association of Facilitators and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.
Participants have said:
- “I invest more time in preparation and to better identify those people with personal agendas.”
- “I have more confidence in my facilitation skills.”
- “I liked being with others . . . who are fun and inspiring and having specific ideas to put into place and a time to practice.”
- “I learned how to clarify assumptions, listen and then ask the right questions.”
- “The training offered me tools I was oblivious to before and gave me creative ways to work with tools I already had.”
For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Any person with a disability who needs accommodations to participate in a UMaine Extension program should contact their county office or program contact to discuss their needs in advance. For assistance via a TTY line call 1-800-287-8957.