Sharing knowledge and experiences: create events that inspire and set free energy for work

October 07, 2015 | Blog-Admin1 | Methods & Tools |


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My personal social media storyLet’s create learning events that really generate motivation and impulses for our work! This blog post suggests three approaches how to plan for more inspiring and powerful events: ask more than you tell; inquire one case deeply; and make it a learning experience for all senses.

Corinne Sprecher, Agridea

Start from real questions – not messages!

Events that inspire CSP 1We tend to pay a lot of attention to what we want to tell others and much less to what we want to learn from the others. Successful knowledge exchange and learning though often starts with a question. Someone is interested, wants to learn, has a problem to solve and goes out and looks for people who can contribute with their experiences. To make exchange meetings livelier, let’s start with questions! Some concrete ideas are:

–> Ask the project teams to formulate questions to which they would like to find answers during the meeting and encourage them to go and look for answers in different sessions.

–> Organise sessions of collegial coaching around real questions people have.

–> Instead of holding presentations, let groups interview each other. In that way the questions asked will be the ones of real interest to the participants

–> Organise an Open Space and let people set the agenda.

Dive into one case – instead of scratching on the surface of many!

Events that inspire CSP 2Take time to focus on one concrete example, and in this way insights can emerge that are equally relevant for other cases. Instead of talking about generalities, and stay on the surface, you can take time to dive into the case, which one resource person knows well, investigate all kinds of challenges and solutions. The participants will anyhow have their own cases in mind also, and compare, relate to them and learn for them at least for themselves as the discussion goes on.

Organise one or a few sessions of collegial coaching and give afterwards time to everyone for transferring what has been discussed to their own cases. I love working with individual transfer projects: This means, I ask people to formulate their challenge or question in which they want to get a step further. I give time towards the end of the meeting to note what they have learnt and what their concrete next step will be. A short exchange of the individual intentions in pairs at the ends further supports the transfer. Telling someone else what we want to do, getting their acknowledgement, feedback and possibly additional ideas gives us an additional boost to go and act!

Let them see and touch it – not just talk about it!

Events that inspire CSP 3Where do the meetings take place? Have you ever visited a project site instead of sitting in a workshop room and talking about your projects? Being surrounded by the ‘reality’ adds a different level of concern and interest to the exchange.

Not possible to hold the exchange meeting in the field, you say? Then think about how you can bring in the ‘real world’ into the workshop room! Invite a project partner to be interviewed by the participants, share statements you have collected from beneficiaries, bring along some objects to touch or pictures to show … Be creative and dare to do it differently!

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