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Facilitation Skills for Technical Professionals

Upcoming Dates

February 27-28, 2018

Description

A key role of the Technical Manager is to enable people to collaborate through meetings to ensure quality results. Typical goals include defining customer requirements, scoping projects, generating ideas, solving problems, gaining commitment, or performing continuous improvement analysis.

Facilitation skills help the Technical Manager enhance a group's ability to effectively share and evaluate knowledge, experience and ideas. They enable the Technical Manager to resolve disagreements, reach consensus, and maintain positive relationships essential to the smooth functioning of the organization.

Research shows that when people meet as part of a well-facilitated group, they make higher-quality decisions than any individual would make working alone. This applies whether the group is a permanent unit or is formed for a temporary purpose, such as a project.

Whether working with intact departments, project teams, project stakeholders, or internal/external customers, facilitation skills are essential to maximizing performance.

Effective collaborative efforts are purposeful, well-planned, well-facilitated, and well followed-up. This workshop will provide participants with the guidelines, processes, practical tools, and practice necessary to design and facilitate effective, results-oriented meetings.

This is an optional course for the Project Management Certificate or the Quality Management Certificate or can be attended as a stand-alone course.

Objective

Participants will plan, facilitate and troubleshoot goal-oriented group sessions using the guidelines, practical tools and facilitation techniques featured during the workshop. Practice opportunities will be tailored to each participant's personal workplace situation.

Who should attend

This workshop is for people who manage technical functions or lead projects in business, government, or community-based organizations. This workshop is also suitable for non-managers who currently (or will soon be expected to) facilitate some of the following processes:

Problem Definition and Root Cause Analysis

Determining Stakeholder Requirements

Project Scoping

Data Interpretation and Analysis

Focus Groups

Generating Ideas

Risk Analysis

Obtaining Buy-In

Project Update Meetings

Planning and Setting Priorities

Problem Solving and Decision-Making

Identifying Lessons Learned

Benefits to participants

Attending this workshop will enable you to:

  • Clarify objectives and desired outcomes;
  • Select facilitation processes and techniques appropriate to your objective;
  • Customize the use of over 20 practical facilitation tools included in the participant "toolkit";
  • Facilitate high-quality discussions;
  • Bring out the best in participants' contributions;
  • Manage group dynamics;
  • Intervene appropriately when necessary;
  • Make high-quality decisions;
  • Use concise, practical tools to record and communicate decisions;
  • Improve accountability for accomplishing action items;
  • Evaluate the quality of your meetings and plan for continuous improvement.

Format

Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Day 2 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. There will be 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon breaks. A light lunch is included from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Content

Course objectives will be met through the use of case studies, instructor demonstrations and presentations, small and large group discussions, and hands-on practice with feedback. The course will be highly interactive.

Introduction

The Technical Manager as Facilitator
When to Have a Facilitated Meeting
Basic Model of Facilitation
Meeting Content versus Meeting Process
Facilitator Styles - Self Assessment

Core Facilitation Skills

Questioning
Responding
Fielding

Meeting Preparation

Goal Setting and Scoping
Selecting and Preparing Participants
Designing the Agenda
Selecting Facilitation Methods and Techniques
Practical Documentation of Decisions

Introducing the Meeting

Building Rapport
Establishing Ground Rules

Facilitating for a Purpose

Demonstration and practice of flexible facilitation tools and techniques tailored to specific objectives, including stakeholder consultation, setting priorities and problem-solving (over 20 tools are included in the workshop materials; those demonstrated and practiced will be chosen by participants)

Group Dynamics

Model of Process Diagnosis and Intervention
Identifying Task, Maintenance and Individual Behaviours
Identifying Stages of Group Development
Providing Process Feedback
Managing Challenging Participant Behaviours
Staying On-Track

Integration

Final Practice Session
Application of facilitation skills learnings to your projects

Instructor

Angela Scammell, B.Sc., M.Adult Ed, has 20 years experience delivering and managing organization development and training in private, public, and academic organizations. As a GE Aircraft-trained Six Sigma Black Belt, she also has significant project management experience in technical, industrial, administrative and business process domains. Angela's company, Scammell & Associates Organization Development Consulting, assists people and processes to perform effectively through group facilitation, training, change acceleration and business process improvement. She has been a Principal Instructor in the St. F. X. University Diploma in Adult Education (Training for the Trainer) program since 1991.