Another one for the blogroll… Natasha Walker

I found a moment to look around for more interesting blogs to read the other day. Why, I have no idea, as I barely keep up with the couple of dozen blogs already in my feed reader. But I’m glad I did as I came across Natasha Walker’s blog with interesting posts on Teaching facilitation and Playing with workshop dynamics, for example. I like the emphasis on facilitation as a state of mind, on genuine connection, on service and humility. Here’s a brief snippet from her great list of the must have abilities of a facilitator:

“How to appreciate people who talk a lot, who dominate or burst with an almost uncontrollable need to push their opinion forward. And how to appreciate introverted people or people who would prefer to be anywhere else than in your meeting. How to hold back judgement even when you’re “warned” about certain participants. How to support all the individuals in the group to be part of the whole. You don’t want to change anyone, but you enjoy watching them learn and grow”

Matthew

 

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5 thoughts on “Another one for the blogroll… Natasha Walker

  1. I love the point about being ‘warned’ about certain participants. I don’t know what to do with the ‘useful’ warnings I get ahead of time. They sometimes feel as if the warner is pursing their own agenda by giving the warning. I often say “thanks, but you know I’d rather respond to what I see and hear happening in real time, than go in with assumptions about the participants”. This also applies to being told about seniority / hierarchy in the group.

    • I’d second that and trust to my own abilities to diagnose the group’s dynamics and act appropriately (or not, as the case may be).

      And what is it with people called Walker and facilitation. Natasha, yourself and Rhizome’s very own Perry Walker?

      • Hi Natasha, we tend to report back on most of the work we’re doing on the blog so stay tuned, but in brief it’s a mixture of training, facilitation and mediation for coops, community groups and campaigning organisations and coalitions. We facilitate a fair amount of strategic planning and conversation about group process and structures. But we’ll take on anything interesting where we feel we can make a difference.

  2. My practice includes a lot of stakeholder workshops, internal planning / review workshops, and also training facilitators. Topic areas almost always include environmental / sustainability topics, or the organisations have that as their mission but the topic focus is strategic planning or organisational change. What about you?

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