Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0282, December 12, 2006 ....

Dear friends,

It's not often that we deliver workshops to groups who possess perfectly uniform skills sets, learning styles, and abilities. People have diverse levels of skill and learn different things at different rates. Didactic training styles designed to infuse information from trainer to student can leave some people behind while others are bored and ready to move on. In this week's article, "
Working with diverse skill levels," we explore strategies to resolve this issue.

Check out our full collection of self-guided, pre-recorded teleclasses complete with learning guides at the end of this issue. Great for gifts or for your own professional development on your own time.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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The Point

Working With Diverse Skill Levels
How to make your workshop work for everyone
Group Process Skill

It's not often that we deliver workshops to groups who possess perfectly uniform skills sets, learning styles, and abilities. People have diverse levels of skill and learn different things at different rates. Didactic training styles designed to infuse information from trainer to student can leave some people behind while others are bored and ready to move on.

This phenomenon is even more pronounced when delivering workshops to public groups whose participants represent a broad cross section of cultural, intellectual, and experiential backgrounds. So how do we deal with this issue? Here are some quick suggestions.


Train to multiple senses.
Some people may be lagging due to their preferred method of receiving and processing information. Seek to deliver material in various modes to appeal to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses. This approach not only satisfy different learning styles, incorporating multiple sense helps to improve learning, retention, and integration for everyone.

Tune into multiple learning channels. There are always going to be people in your group who are ahead of the rest in some way. If they have relevant experience, knowledge, or wisdom to share and they can share it in an articulate manner, use them as resources. Enlist these experts to share what they know with your group. This approach does at least two things: 1) It helps the experts increase their mastery of the material by teaching or expressing it, and 2) It helps the other participants by hearing the same or additional material from alternative perspectives.

Be a Learning Facilitator. Functioning in the fashion just described requires you to be more a conductor than a director; a facilitator of learning versus a one-way channel of information. This approach takes the burden off of you to be the sole expert in the room but it requires more of you to design flexible learning processes, faith in yourself that you can orchestrate these processes as they arise, and faith that appropriate learning will "emerge" from within your group.

How can you adapt your training approach to deal with the diversity in skill levels? Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.
Micro Skills Tele-Seminar
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In the Spotlight

Self-Guided Programs...Single and Multi-User Programs

Popular FacilitatorU Teleclasses now available in Real Audio and Compact Disk Formats, complete with downloadable learning guides.

Upload some facilitation training on your company Intranet with our new
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Contact us to discuss this program and your needs.

Our new Multi-User License allows you to upload our self-guided trainings onto your company Intranet for just-in-time access by all of your employees. This is a very cost effective way to provide training to large segments of your company. Each course includes approximately 5 hours of audio and a course learning guide. The audio can be converted to your favorite audio format (real audio, win media, mp3, etc.) and loaded on your server.

Facilitating at a Distance... the Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation.
This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. See details at the end of this issue. This class will teach you methods, skills, and processes to employ this inexpensive way to train, collaborate, and problem-solve using Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings. Remove the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting design and facilitation. Click here for details.

Random Acts of Facilitation-- Self-Guided Real Audio Version
This class covers 25 discrete facilitative actions you can take to empower and move groups forward. This course is for facilitators at any level or group members that simply want to know more about facilitation so that they can make the groups they are a part of more effective. Being discrete acts of facilitation, they also lend themselves to being taught to your group members who desire to become more self-facilitative. Click here for details
Becoming a Learning Facilitator--Self-Guided Audio Versions
Make the shift from teaching to "Learning Facilitation." This course explores how to make the leap from conventional teaching approaches to a new perspective based on the learner and incorporating facilitation skills and philosophy into the learning environment. Click here for details.

Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch
This 5-day teleclass will walk you through the building blocks of designing and delivering effective experiential workshops. It will cover all the elements of workshop design using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach. You'll have the opportunity in this class to complete the design of your own workshop with the help of fellow students and instructors. Click here for details.

Putting Out Brush Fires... How to intervene in difficult group situations
Do nonstop talkers, silent groups or dramatic conflicts ever knock your meetings off track? These meeting situations take a toll on a group’s ability to work together and cost time and money. This 5-hour teleclass will increase your ability to know when and how to intervene effectively in difficult situations to get your meetings back on track. This course if for anyone who facilitates, manages, teaches, mediates, coaches, counsels, directs any group. Click here for details
Managing People You Rarely See
Do you need to get rapid results from people collaborating across multiple locations?
This class will discuss managing remote relationships and frameworks for successfully managing projects across large distances. There are issues created by the geographic distance between team members. But those issues can be overcome, and in fact, the potential of a distance team to accomplish amazing feats far outweighs any logistical liabilities. The course contains consolidated information packed into a five-hour format.
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Transforming Conflict in the Workplace

Would you be a more effective facilitator or leader with a more solid base of conflict resolution skills under your belt? All organizations and relationships encounter conflict. It's what we do with it that makes all the difference in the world. In this class you will learn conflict resolution skills for facilitative leaders by exploring and evaluating your own styles and personal responses conflict, learning and practicing conflict resolution strategies in the context of group facilitation, and exploring how you can implement conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations. Click here for details.

One-Hour Micro-Skills Tele-Seminars
Check out our growing collection of pre-recorded, one-hour teleclasses with experts discussing a key skill area important to group workers. Each recording is available in either real-audio or CD format, comes with class notes, and several relevant bonuses. Click here for titles and details.

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