Eager to learn more about and practice more facilitation, I was fortunate to attend a day long “Facilitation Bootcamp” with The Design Gym. The Design Gym offers a variety of classes and workshops about how to use design thinking to solve problems. This bootcamp was intended to expose us to the design thinking model, to give us practice facilitating a group through each of the three stages of the design thinking process and to let us practice handling troublesome group participants.
Myself and seven other participants were led by three facilitators through different exercises that felt like a combination of being at a company offsite, a summer camp, and a very well-behaved classroom. We were given clear objectives for the day, were told what the guidelines or values were for the group, and had many opportunities to recap what we learned from doing an exercise.
My biggest takeaway was that facilitation is about process, not content. Many people were interested by the line between facilitation and leadership and I think that a critical distinction between the two is that facilitators are focused on process and leaders concern themselves more with the content.
Like the facilitation class I attended by TYTHE Design, the importance of practice was stressed. Which is why I’m happy to say that the first Up Speak meeting was last night and went well!