Blog > What makes a confident facilitator?

February 3, 2009

This is a blatant plug for my facilitation training.

Anne Pattillo and I have created Facilitating With Confidence as a form of succession planning – we want to pass on what we have learned about facilitation to others. Anne and I first met about 10 years ago at a dusty, windswept place about an hour’s west of Melbourne called Bacchus Marsh. We were both there to learn about Open Space Technology. Since then we have crossed paths at conferences and other training programs. During that time we became friends and discovered we had similar philosophies regarding facilitation, albeit with different skills.

In the last couple of years we’ve found opportunities to work together – here in Australia and in New Zealand.

And this time last year we created a new business called Facilitating With Confidence. We’ve delivered and have taken part in a lot of facilitation training programs. We always learn something. When we have delivered two- and three-day training however, we noticed something. Participants would go away full of enthusiasm, armed with some new skills and well-intentioned to practice and develop as a facilitator. Then they would call us and ask us to come and do the ‘difficult’ jobs. We would encourage them, cajole, suggest they had the skills themselves, yet they would still ask us to come and facilitate. They had everything except confidence. We wondered if it was possible to structure training with confidence at its core.


So that’s what we’ve done. There’s plenty of processes, and we model facilitation practices – yet the focus is on developing individuals to have the confidence to grow as a facilitator, practice and, well, facilitate. We take an improvised approach to the training – adapting and moulding it to the needs of the group. We’re pretty happy with what we’ve created. People who have done the course so far are pretty happy too. We provide on-going support and encouragement through our Facilitating With Confidence web site, especially the blog, ¬†personal contact and our private social networking groups.

We have a public course coming up soon in Melbourne. Details are here. Places are limited and time’s running out. For you, and for us!

Photo credit: Sean McDermid, iStockphoto

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