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Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills - Level 2

2015 Level 2 Curriculum

Register online

Location: UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine

Minimum number of participants needed for the class to be held: 9
Maximum: 16

  • Lesson 1: January 7; snow date: January 14
  • Lesson 2: January 28; snow date: February 5
  • Lesson 3: February 11; snow date: February 18
  • Lesson 4: March 4; snow date: March 11
  • Lesson 5: March 25; snow date: April 1
  • Lesson 6: April 15
  • Lesson 7: April 29 or May 6-TBA

A seven-part workshop series designed to teach citizens to effectively lead community groups.

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills participant writing on a flipchart

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 2 objectives:

  • Observe and address facilitation opportunities and challenges that come with the multiple roles that facilitators may assume within groups;
  • Practice skills as a facilitator-trainer and receive focused feedback; and
  • Commit to building community capacity by volunteering facilitation skills to a community group or organization.

Foundations

The SYFS, Levels 1 and 2 Training Series, is adapted from the framework that reflects the IAF (International Association of Facilitators) six foundational facilitator competencies:

  • Creating collaborative relationships;
  • Planning appropriate group processes;
  • Creating and sustaining a participatory environment;
  • Guiding the group to appropriate and useful outcomes;
  • Building and maintaining knowledge; and
  • Modeling a positive attitude.

Of the six foundational facilitator competencies, the majority of the training focuses in four competency areas:

  1. participant in Strengthening Your Facilitaion Skills workshopSelecting clear methods and processes;
  2. Creating and sustaining an environment of participation;
  3. Guiding the group and facilitating its self-awareness; and
  4. Practicing self-assessment and self-awareness.

The Framework

The framework within which the SYFS, Levels 1 and 2 Curricula were developed models 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 seven sessions of learning before the Level 2 Training Series is complete.

Participant requirements:

  • Being in a community facilitating role at least once per month.
  • Discussing on-going growth as a facilitator with the trainers and other participants.
  • Honoring all participants’ requests for confidentiality.
  • Attending all sessions (acknowledging that life happens).

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 2 sticky board

Training components are interactive:

  • experiencing multi-sensory and multiple intelligence learning styles
  • establishing social, cognitive and physical facilitation climates
  • juggling and balance
  • understanding conflict: theory and practice
  • demonstrating facilitation tips, tools, techniques, and methods
  • learning the heart and soul of facilitation
  • exploring trust, collaboration and leadership

Training topics within the seven lesson Series include:

  • multi-sensory learning styles
  • multiple intelligence
  • components of safe facilitation climates
  • managing disruptive behaviors
  • conflict: views, responses, styles of management
  • relational interaction
  • facilitation tips, tools, techniques, methods and templates
  • facilitator self-care
  • self-assessment and self-awareness
  • making it look easy: discipline

When SYFS2 participants were surveyed six to nine months after their program was completed, everyone reported they had reconsidered or changed their role as a member of a group. Three-quarters of participants said they talk less, have increased confidence when facilitating, improved the efficiency of their meetings, reduced their groups’ frustration and have greater participation by members of their groups.

Folks who have taken the training have said that skills they obtained are “percolating out into the community”. These communities in which percolating has happened are, indeed, in Maine and beyond, in a diversity that we had no way of envisioning – local Quaker meetings, New England and national level Green Party meetings, in Kenyan villages, the Maine Department of Labor, local Cooperative Extension executive committees and local town selectmen meetings are a sampling of the ripples. Other expressions of the impact that these citizens facilitators notice include, they feel they are “breeding people who are excited to be in groups” and that these people who have observed and adopted skills from their citizen group leader or facilitator will then “cultivate on their own whatever it is that they are doing.”

Meet the Presenters:

Beginning in 2006, Haskell and Cyr along with Gabe McPhail, developed the SYFS Training Series into the National Curriculum, Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1. McPhail joined Haskell as a co-trainer in 2006. In 2012, Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills was recognized for Excellence in Community Development Programs for Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.

A Level 2 concept was tested in 2004 by Haskell and Cyr. In 2009 Haskell and McPhail designed a six-lesson Level 2 curriculum; modifications, including a seventh lesson, were made through 2011. In 2012, Lori Roming joined the training and editing team.

Jane HaskellJane Haskell
Extension Professor
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 was able to keep a very difficult group focused on the job and prevent difficult member from dominating the meetings.”
  • Groups I lead can work through emotion to reach calm analysis and then proceed systematically to achieve together.”
  • “I moved a group from stagnation and disinterest to a pace of enthusiasm, excitement, stronger personal responsibility among group members, appreciation by group members of concrete structure (having ground rules and an agenda and sticking to it!) and respect for individuals members.”
  • “My confidence level is boosted so I can take charge, identify problems, and sort out techniques, put questions back to the group and figure out how to let them go where they want to go so much better than before.”
  • “I have noticed that because I do better at providing agendas and opportunities for group members to add to the agenda before the meeting, and better schedule time, the group has become more focused, stays on task better and seems to accomplish more. People also now call and apologize if they miss a meeting and are eager to hear what happened! The group I am referring to has become so much more productive in moving the organization forward to the goals we have established.”

For more information, e-mail jane.haskell@maine.edu.

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.


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