Nurturing new facilitators

Hitchin Priory Conference Room

I had so much fun last week helping to run a two day training event for new facilitators in the wonderful setting of the Hitchin Priory at Hitchin (of course). Fifteen enthusiastic learners arrived and we (Alan, and me in my role as an Argenta associate) worked through essential energisers (where I learned the string exercise mentioned in an earlier blog) and a rich variety of divergent and convergent methods, most of which were entirely new to me before I started working with them earlier this year.

Facilitation training turns out to be very different from facilitating and I was so please that I remembered so many heuristics and tricks of the trade, probably because I have madeso many mistakes myself in the past. I did find that I could not say ‘post-it’ without saying ‘hexagon’ which shows the depth of patterning of my thinking.

I have never been a big fan (probably because I have had a few bad experiences) of metaphorical techniques but I took my group out into the vast grounds of Hitchin Priory collecting any objects that took their fancy. After the obligatory chat about the sad sight of a dying Horse Chestnut Tree we returned and the metaphors generated were rich, relevant and plentiful so that was a real lesson learned for myself.

Incidently, if you ever find yourself in the Hitchin area and thinking of a short meeting, the Hitchin Priory does a two hour meeting, for up to five, free wifi and free refreshments for only £10.

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