21 episodes

Facilitation: the art of enabling a group of people to achieve a common goal. IAF England Wales brings you a show by facilitators, for facilitators and anyone interested in using facilitation for change. We'll share guest stories, experiences and methods. Plus, we'll bring you up to date on what's happening at our Meetups.

Facilitation Stories IAF England Wales

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Facilitation: the art of enabling a group of people to achieve a common goal. IAF England Wales brings you a show by facilitators, for facilitators and anyone interested in using facilitation for change. We'll share guest stories, experiences and methods. Plus, we'll bring you up to date on what's happening at our Meetups.

    FS21 How the Faciliation Profession is Changing with Trevor Durnford

    FS21 How the Faciliation Profession is Changing with Trevor Durnford

    In today's episode, Helene talks to Trevor Durnford Co-Founder at Facil Profundo, Certified professional facilitator and until January of this year Chair of the International Association of Facilitators. He is based in Uruguay.

    But before that, don't forget to check out the online meetup Facilitate the Future we Want on 17 July 2020, organised by two of the voices from last week's episode, Cat and John. Join here: https://www.meetup.com/IAF-facilitators-and-friends/events/271496819/

    Trevor talks about the biggest changes he's seen since 1993, when he first started facilitating: asking teams on the shop floor to contribute to continuous improvement conversations. Trevor tends to work more in Leadership and Culture now.

    Over the last few months, Trevor has been investing in kit to be able to deliver high quality virtual sessions, even though he was already used to the medium. It's great not to get as much on a plane, even if you like traveling!

    Him and colleagues have found themselves focusing more on specific outcomes for the clients, to provide continuous value, for example how they can become more resilient and flexible.

    Helene asks about the opportunities for facilitators. After reading some research by Gardner, Trevor has picked up on: the expectation of 50% of people working remotely in organisations, helping clients with things they don't usually do online, like having profound dialogue. 

    32% organisations are thinking of replacing permanent staff with contingent staff. Maybe there's an opportunity to help with knowledge retention in organisations.

    Finally, helping people in organisations being resilient and flexible during difficult times and developing facilitative capabilities in leaders.

    Helene wanted to know what challenges are lurking in the horizon. For the facilitator community: the belief system around not being enough work and not wanting to "bother" the clients, while actually facilitators can help when organisations start to turn.

    Engagement-driven versus outcome-driven. Organisations are more likely to be interested in outcome, whereas the political arena needs dialogue and engagement.

    What risks are we running? Trevor has noticed that there are lots of "experts" out there. Is there a risk in going for mass consensus instead of looking for a good decision-making process, that is driven by real expertise?

    Helene is wondering where Trevor sees himself in (in his words) the "next normal"? Having profound dialogue is the most important thing right now, using the appropriate methods and tools.

    What is Trevor looking forward to?
    Not what you would expect: Profundo Wine! and supporting international companies through the current chaos. And borders opening in Uruguay, so he can take off his wooly jumper...

    Get in touch through Twitter with Trevor @tdurnford and check out his website www.facilprofundo.com

    Connect with @helenejewell on Twitter

     Get in touch via email podcast@iaf-englandwales.org - Send us some text, or even an mp3 audio! Or just tell us you're listening! Twitter: @IAFEnglandWales; use #iafpodcast
    Find out more about us over at the EnglandWales page on https://www.iaf-world.org

    • 26 min
    FS20 Various Voices: Climate Hub, Creating Space to Reflect, Working with Interpreters and Async Facilitation

    FS20 Various Voices: Climate Hub, Creating Space to Reflect, Working with Interpreters and Async Facilitation

    In this episode we bring you a variety of different voices from different facilitators on a range of different topics.
    The Evening Learning and Networking meet up on 24th June which is all about “Selling you and your work” https://www.meetup.com/IAF-facilitators-and-friends/events/268955074/ this link will also take you to some of the other meet ups going on too.
    The first of the voices in this episode is Susannah Raffe who tells us about the first IAF England and Wales Hub (the Climate Hub), followed Rachel Phillips, who attended the Hub launch meetup and talks about how much she enjoyed meeting other facilitators and how helpful this was. This Hub is about sharing knowledge, stories and insights into facilitator’s roles in tackling the climate crisis. The launch of the hub recently included neutrality vs advocacy and consider the role of the planet as the client.
    There is an IAF Slack and one of the channels is #iaf-ew-climate-crisis


    Rachel Phillips
    Susannah’s twitter handle: Susannah Raffe: @SusannahRaffe

    The next voices are Cat Duncan-Rees & John Varney who attended the IAF virtual coffee meet up in May. They talk about the opportunities to build connections in the move out of the covid 19 crisis. John describes the “pause” that has happened recently in the economic rush and how people are discovering things in life that have got lost. Facilitators have a chance to influence clients to move towards something more wholesome by reflecting on own values and the way we work so we can arrive at a better place in the end.
    Cat talks about how her role is to create spaces for people to pause and considers how relationships can be reset and redefined for example between community and state. As well as between ourselves and each other. She talks about how change really takes hold when people feel it so it makes sense to them.
    John talks about the softer and more sensitive side to life and the idea of a movement to a saner existence. Cat talks about her work in helping people connect with their job and role in life in a different way and about not losing the human connection.

    Pilar next reads some text from Rosanna von Sacken who replied to tweets that followed episode 18 , about working with groups where there are different languages being spoken in the room (published 25 May 2020. https://facilitationstories.libsyn.com/fs18-working-in-different-languages?tdest_id=1608263)

    Rosanna’s contribution talks about how she presented and spoke at a virtual Russian Facilitators Network Conference where most people only spoke Russian. She reflect on some of the things she needs to remind herself when working with interpreters and translators.

    Before the event:

    Deciding if it will be a "push or pull” session.

    Knowing the technology and support available.

    Keeping it short and simple.

    Translating the content ahead of time.

    During the event:

    Remembering to speak slowly and clearly.

    Reminding herself to pause often.

    Engaging the participants as much as possible.

    Asking for feedback often via the interpreters.
    Roseanna’s twitter handle: @rosanna_acf

    Lastly Pilar talks to Simon Wilson about the role of asynchronous, non-real time communication. 
    Simon describes some work over 4 synchronous sessions a week apart and work in between those sessions. He talks about how the participants from 8 different organisations had been split into 2 groups and how in the last session they had diverged in their ideas in the asynchronous work, which made it difficult to achieve consensus in the synchronous session. He talks abo

    • 30 min
    FS19 From Facilitating through Theatre to the Online Space

    FS19 From Facilitating through Theatre to the Online Space

    Helene interviews Pilar Orti from Virtual not Distant, creator and co-host of this IAF E&W podcast, Facilitator and trainer specialising in online collaborative processes, podcaster, author and voiceover artist (she is the voice of Xuli on the Go Jetters). 
    Pilar starts by recounting her facilitation journey which started with the theatre company that she ran for 10 years. She went to a conference where Toby Wiltshire (from the Trestle mask company) was talking about using theatre in corporate training. This eventually led her to do her first away day using theatre exercises as a facilitation tool.
    She eventually moved away from this, finding it hard to describe what she did and getting people to take the “drama” seriously and understand what it was really about.
    She describes how she started to look more into organisational behaviour theory and find out how she could run workshops on leadership and change. She started to work on-line as she was travelling a lot, initially running some webinars which she loved. She discovered a gap when talking about leadership in the virtual space.
    She talks about how if you have facilitation skills it is easy to transfer this on-line, it is just about changing medium and mindset.
    As her specialism is training managers of remote teams and helping teams communicate online her focus is about helping them learn about tools to communicate with each other in non- real time (rather than running online facilitated sessions).
    The tools she spends a lot of time working with are asynchronous tools for clients, rather than tools for online facilitation where she prefers to keep it simple (and talks about capturing ideas with Linoit and Google docs). She draws on her background in theatre to think about what can be done with an empty space, rather than necessarily relying on too many tools.
    She talks about the legacy of the way online meetings have been run in the past and how there is a feeling of the need to be entertaining people and the difference between entertaining people and engaging them.
    Pilar reminds us that collaboration doesn’t only happen in real time and that it is important to remember asynchronous communication too. Different teams will have preferences as to how much they communicate in real time and non- real time and this is an element to consider. She also reminds us that a lot of communication is text based but asynchronous audio or video is another option.
    As a starting point facilitators could acknowledge that there two modes (asynchronous and synchronous working), know where they can add most value and what they are most comfortable with. Embracing an asynchronous way of communicating will help facilitators to have more of a conversation with the client before the meeting or workshop and get closer to the participants before the event.
    Pilar describes and example of collaborative consultancy helping a small company of coaches and how she helped them set up asynchronous ways of communicating and create an ecosystem. This started with a real time meeting and involved a lot of role modelling. She used Retrium as a wrap up retrospective tool.
    Helene ends the conversation by asking Pilar about her role as the voice of Xuli in Gojetters and finds out that there is a link to facilitation there too.
    You can contact Pilar at Virtual not Distant or on Twitter on @pilarorti and Helene @helenejewell
    Let us know you're listening! Twitter: @IAFEnglandWales; @Fac_stories use #iafpodcast
    Get in touch via email podcast@iaf-englandwales.org
    Send us some text, or even an mp3 audio

    • 36 min
    FS18 Working in Different Languages

    FS18 Working in Different Languages

    Sharing stories about working with different languages in the room.
    Helene Jewell, podcast co-host and freelance facilitator based in Bristol,  Martin Gilbraith (CPF facilitator and trainer and consultant based in London – who also took part in Episode 7 on facilitation values), Simon Wilson has been running facilitation company for 20 years CPF working internationally and in the UK, based in the Peak District.
    The podcast starts with some examples of working with people who speak different languages.
    Simon shares a story about working with a UN agency 5 years ago doing a mix of facilitation and training over 20 sessions. Virtual sessions using Webex platform in English, French and Spanish and Simon co-facilitated all of these. He talks about his different levels of competence in these languages and the different dynamics and energy. He used Google Translate to help him and when he was speaking in English which was often not the native language for many participants he had to keep his language simple and avoid too many metaphors.
    Helene talks about her time in Nepal as a VSO volunteer Speech and Language Therapist where she delivered lots of different training sessions. She explains that although she had learnt Nepali she initially lacked the confidence to use it initially and how she got through that. And the difficulties of there being “side talk” in another language in the room (Newari).
    Martin talks about a Middle East regional gathering for a global NGO – 60 people over 3 days. Martin began his career as an international volunteer for ICA and learnt Arabic in Egypt so still enjoys joining in conversations when he can.  He explains why even though he could speak Arabic he had to hold his tongue so as not to exclude the non- Arabic speakers.
    If there are any questions please ask at:
    e-mail: podcast@iaf-englandwales.org
    twitter: @IAFEnglandWales
    Working with interpreters
    Simon talks about how developing a relationship with interpreters is key a key part of facilitating and how he has a relatively relaxed attitude to losing nuances in translation. He describes how getting interpreters involved in the processes can be helpful and shares an example of a large event he facilitated in Istanbul with 7 different languages that involved interpreters and how it felt a but chaotic but ended up being very collaborative.
    Martin talks about whether the interpretation is needed for the facilitator or the participants. He describes a conference in Switzerland which had several different languages that often had interpreters in booths and mediated by technology. The parts that he facilitated were much more participatory and encouraged people to work together at tables, even if they didn’t understand each other’s languages. He notes how this allows communication and connection at a human level even without any language in common.
    Helene talks about her experience of being an interpreter with the ICRC for delegates during the conflict in Nepal. She talks about translating every single work (or not) and how as an interpreter it enabled her to concentrate on the spoken words and not get too emotional about the content. She also observed how much the delegates would begin to pick up for themselves even when they didn’t understand the language.
    Martin comments that in training facilitation, working with interpreters who don’t understand facilitation is problematic and conversely working with interpreters who are facilitators can sometimes give their own explanations which can also be problematic.
    Martin gibes a shout out to Mikael Rossus from Personal Image in Moscow is a facilitator and know the ICA’s Top really well and is really good at translating what is said and not giving his own interpretation.
    Simon comments on interpretation in virtual and how he has had experienced where it often looks like the parti

    • 54 min
    FS17 How Facilitators are Adapting to the Virtual Environment

    FS17 How Facilitators are Adapting to the Virtual Environment

    In this episode Helene Jewell interviews Nicola Morris who together with Penny Walker conducted a survey to find out what facilitators feel they need at the moment, during the times of Covid 19.
    Participants of the IAF virtual coffee meet up in April 2020 reflect on what they got from the session, what is going on for them at the moment, facilitation with family members, the difficulty of building in the experiential element in virtual facilitation and “deep participation”. Also facilitation of community groups, the steep learning curves and feeling okay about not knowing how to do it all. The facilitators talking were:
    Penny Walker, London Koren Stark, Dublin John Varney, Yorkshire Orla Cronin, Manchester Paul O'Raw, Dublin and finally, from Susannah Raffe, London Nicola Morris then talks to Helene about her journey into facilitation and how she has always used facilitation in some shape or form. Her current career was catalysed by early redundancy and is a mix of training and facilitation and sometimes being able to host more of an emergent session, and sometimes being more structured. She has always done a lot of work online but having to be totally responsible for it is something new.
    She talks about some things being easy to transfer online, going with what people want and helping them to take ownership of sessions. But then in adapting training sessions has taken a lot more thought in terms of gaining engagement. Responding to what people want and seeing the tools as the enabler is important.
    Nicola talks about how idea for the survey came from an IAF meet up and the realisation that as everyone is having to adapt at the moment,the IAF can help people by supporting people. There were a lot of ideas but it was also important to ask people what was needed and so a survey was created. There were 65 responses – circulated to IAF members and others via social media. Some things were about needing to know how to use tools, some people needed confidence, and also wanted to know how to sell these different ways of doing things to clients.
    The survey results were fed to the IAF meet up hosts and there were also plenty of offers of help from people who responded. This will be used as a pool of resources to draw on during the meetups, so that these are as powerful as possible. The meet ups allow people an opportunity to play and explore new tools in a safe space.
    Participants from the Online London May Coffee Meetup talked about some of their thoughts:
    Jonathan Bannister, Susannah Raffe and Gary Austin, led along by Martin Gilbraith
    They talked about how to using a microphone can help when working on line.
    Also how can facilitators help recover from this in a transformative way. And resilience both in terms of clients but also family and friends.
    There has been an explosion of tools and maybe it is possible for the IAF to stress test some of these. QiqoChat for example is a wrapper that goes around zoom and allows people to choose a room to move to.

    Descript – a video editing product which transcribes files. Several whiteboards were also mentioned – Concept Board, Mural and the Zoom whiteboard.
    There was a discussion around how “deep” clients are wanting to go in their sessions at the moment and what that means for facilitators. And thinking about the after session support which is different now that it is not face to face.
    Get in touch:
    Twitter: @IAFEnglandWales; use #iafpodcast @helenejewell @nicolajmorris

    E-mail: podcast@iaf-englandwales.org - Send us some text, or even an mp3 audio! Find out more about us over at the  https://www.iaf-world.org/site/chapters/england-wales for show notes

    • 43 min
    FS16 Training Internal Facilitators with Pinar Akkaya

    FS16 Training Internal Facilitators with Pinar Akkaya

    In today’s episode, Pilar talks to Pinar Akkaya about how she supports organisations by training their internal facilitators.
    Pilar met Pinar for the first time at an IAF conference a couple of years ago and has since done some work with her.
    The next IAF conference is on 16th and 17th October – get in touch if you are interested in offering a session. At present this is still going ahead but is being closely monitored in relation to Covid-19.
    Pinar first talks about her facilitation journey. She started off assisting her professor when she was a student in his strategy workshops and then worked alongside him after she graduated.
    She then went on to work in Human Resources and continued facilitating before starting out working for herself.
    She now works as an international trainer, teaches at the European School of Economics in London and works as a facilitator. She mainly works with big multinationals across Europe.
    She is also a part of the APM (Association of Progress of Management) international network of French speaking managers and CEOs and facilitates the club’s monthly meetings. http://www.apm.fr/
    She talks about her two types of clients - some that embed facilitation into their day to day and want to have a pool of internal facilitators, and Pinar works with them to do this.
    Whereas some clients are just discovering it and she often encourages them to train a group of employees as internal facilitators.
    She describes how clients who have a participative culture and are willing to listen to the voice of the employee and embrace facilitation more easily.
    Pinar has two different hats - as a facilitator, and as a trainer and describes what she sees at the difference between them – she suggests watching an IIFAC video that explains facilitation. https://youtu.be/UDLGjKBHSXg
    She has separated her training and facilitation services and has two different brands – Signature (about training) and Collaï which focuses on facilitation. Her work cross culturally spans these two.
    She has a very structured approach to in-house facilitation training and talks about the steps that she follows. She uses IAF competencies as guidelines. She talks about the importance of the willingness of the person to be an internal facilitator, the role of continued practise and her role as a coach in the process, and the creation of a facilitator community within a company.
    She talks about some of the differences in being an internal and external facilitator and the importance of building an identity as an internal facilitator and the role of the facilitation co-ordinator.
    She also explains how there is a need for ambassadors within the company and how critical these are for success, and the importance of branding and launching the internal facilitators within the company.
    Pinar always keeps in touch with her clients, so she is able to keep up to date with how they are getting on and is able to see the positive impact of facilitation.
    She describes how the selection process is often something to pay particular attention to, and then the challenge is often about managing the demand for the in- house facilitators within the company.
    Pinar also has her own podcast about wine Juliette'in Kadehi (in Turkish).

    Let us know you're listening! Twitter: @IAFEnglandWales; @Fac_stories use #iafpodcast
    Get in touch via email podcast@iaf-englandwales.org
    Send us some text, or even an mp3 audio
    Twitter Pinar Akkaya @PINARAKKAYA and Pilar Orti @PilarOrti

    • 34 min

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Simply_ct ,

A gem

A really good insight in to the lived in experience of being a facilitator. The hosts (Pilar and Helen) interview a wide range of facilitators to get their thoughts and insights in to a growing field that covers teams, people dynamics, technology and psychology. I love hearing the different voices on facilitation topics. And highly recommend giving this a listen if you are at all curious about the subject.

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