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e-Facilitation of collaborative workshops: 1. Opening

April 27, 2021 | Carmen Eckert | Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences |

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Sharing practices to launch an event online

Sandra (Large)Portrait Carmen (2)

 

 

 

 

by Sandra Gentizon & Carmen Eckert – Knowledge-Learning-Culture Division SDC

For more than one year now, SDC collaborators have to find their way through online collaboration more than ever due to the corona pandemics. This means embracing a new “virtual paradigm”, and implies a significant change in our working culture & habits. 
Thus we decided to go on a learning journey for further developing our capacities of e-facilitation.
Through very hands-on and practice-oriented sessions, based on peer exchange we aim to enable all participants to have a truly collaborative attitude in their online interactions. 

“Facilitating in the virtual environment is not just doing what you are used to doing face-to-face but in front of a webcam.” Maggie Chumbley

In this blog series we are sharing our main learnings and we hope this inspires you to tell us about your insights and favorite lessons on e-facilitation. We are looking forward to your comments!

The first step of our learning journey focussed on the opening of an online workshop.

General Good practices to launch an event
The participants collected in a conversation café those practices they appreciate for starting an online event. The results were harvested on a padlet.

We found a general consensus in the added value of check-ins and of having a clear and shared working agreement. Also we collectively collected a number of practical ideas for check-ins.

Conversation_cafe_Harvest_Padlet_Session1

 

 

 

Conversation_cafe_Harvest_Padlet_Session2

 

Why do we do Check-ins?
continuing the conversation we further investigated on the purpose of check-ins with appreciative interviews:

  • Release tension
  • Activate participants
  • hosting
  • Centering
  • teambuilding
  • focus on purpose of the meeting and activate strength
  • test functionalities

Types of Check ins
In order to acheive the desired effect as a facilitator we have a variety of formats to chose from. In our micro learning participants apreciated particularly those approaches that allow for some humor, that are simple, that are personal but not too private.

Working agreements
The opening of a workshop is also the moment to agree on a working agreement.  In collaborative workshops all participants have a shared responsibility for the process and the results. Clarifying as early as possible the expected posture helps to manage expectations and reaching objectives through a shared process. Ideally the group adapts or even shapes some criteria they all agree on in order to have an agreeable and successful interaction during the workshop.

Our own working agreement looked like that:

working agreement

The inputs we can share today are the results of the collective intelligence that emerged from the group. Once more the outcome of this participative process exceeded our expectation. We also learnt a lot by facilitating and we are looking forward to continue the learning journey and the conversation with you in the comments.

Further Links

Link to slide deck

Intranet Group on Facilitation

Reflection on the added value of check-ins

Ideas for all sorts of ice breakers from the KS toolkit

How to connect a group without check-in

Links to other posts of the series

 

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