Notes from a session Niamh delivered for VAI an Belfast Exposed in Feb 2012.
For further details of the VAI Professional Development Training Programme see: http://visualartists.ie/professional-developmentp/
Facilitation Skills notes from artist Niamh O'Connor
Facilitation Skillsfor ArtistsWorking with Groups7.2.13
To Facilitate:Is to make easy or help forward an action or processe.g. to facilitate dialogue in a group enables interaction, sharing of ideasand expertise etc., assists in the emergence of understanding andmeaning, can aid collaboration through the identification of an action andfosters agreements towards this end. A Facilitator:Through providing a structure and process, assists a group to functioneffectively, to achieve synergy and supports “everyone to do their bestthinking and practice” (Kaner et al, 2007)Kaner, S. with Lind, L., Toldi, C., Fisk, S. and Berger, D., "Facilitators Guide toParticipatory Decision-Making, (2007)
A Good Facilitator ... (group-made list 7.2.13)Guides a process Is a good Listener and has good communication skillsPlans and gives structure e.g. Introductions, Provides opportunities for evaluation and feedback • Is mindful of adapting plans to current conditions Is capable, confident and has good self-presentationSuspends judgement Is patient Has Boundaries while creating a secure atmosphereShares power Connects with people and recognises / affirmsUnderstands the dynamics of a group contributionsIs good at time management Knows their own limitationsHas personal integrity Manages expectations of the group/funders/selfCan think on their feet (reflection in action) Is able to deal with vulnerable participants (may bring in expertise)Respects the autonomy of individuals, the group wisdom Acknowledges and deals with problemsValues personal experience Can Mediate effectively Summarises information.Encourages risk-taking, critical thinking and creativity understands process and content functionsFosters collective responsibilityPromotes participation and group action
A Good Facilitator...ProcessEnsures that everyone has an opportunity to participateEnables people to express and deal with conflictAssists members to identify feelings that impede the groups workContentClarifies any confusing comments or statementsIdentifies connections or common threadsOrganises and summarises ideas, plans etc.
ListeningActive Listening makes use of paraphrasing to affirm and buildunderstanding.Open Questions allow for reflection, sharing of opinion and feelings, sharescontrol within the encounter.How... What... Why... Tell me more about?
Dialogic listening or Relational ListeningDialogic Listening is a process of finding meaning through conversationalexchange, asking for clarity and testing understanding. It focuses on theinteraction and process of co-creation.Characteristics of dialogic listening are: Authenticity Inclusion Confirmation Presentness Spirit of mutual equality and supportive climate
Dialogic listening or Relational ListeningTechniques: Encourage each other to say more, to further explore and explicate views and questions Use, extend, and play with metaphors to reveal new perspectives on an issue or situation Paraphrase, interpret and respond Explore the context of each others claims (ideas, feelings and opinions)John Stewart and Milt Thomas, "Dialogic Listening: Sculpting Mutual Meanings," in BridgesNot Walls, ed. John Stewart, 6th edition, (New York: McGraw- Hill, 1995)
Why Work with Groups?What are some of the challenges of working with groups? When do I use facilitation?
Group DevelopmentFormingStormingNormingPerformingAdjourning (Mourning)Tuckman, Bruce 1965. Developmental Sequence in Small Groups
ResourcesFacilitationArtslink Queensland http://artslinkqld.com.au/groupfacilitationskillsMindtoolshttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/RoleofAFacilitator.htmlaptopGroupworkInfed - the encyclopaedia of informal education http://www.infed.org/groupwork/what_is_group_work.htmConflict Resolution & ConsensusConflict Resolution Network http://www.crnhq.org/pages.php?pID=12#skill_5www.actupny.org/documents/CDdocuments/Consensus.htmlwww.npd-solutions.com/consensus.html http://www.consensusdecisionmaking.org/Strategic QuestioningORID and The Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the WorkplaceInstitute of Cultural Affairshttp://www.jobsletter.org.nz/vivian/strat704.htmEvaluationLearning Store University Wisconsin Extensionhttp://learningstore.uwex.edu/Program-Development-Evaluation-C234.aspxIcebreakerhttp://insight.typepad.co.uk/40_icebreakers_for_small_groups.pdfhttp://arteducationdaily.blogspot.ie/2011/10/art-class-icebreakers-index.html