Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0392, May 5, 2009

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This week we focus on learning facilitation and discuss the importance of providing your groups with learning experiences in an article entitled, Make Experiences, Not Speeches. The experiential learning cycle is a tool I often use to assure I create learning experiences for my participants that engage multiple modes of perception and processing. Experience this model for yourself first hand during our experiential module offered this Thursday...

Facilitating the Experiential Learning Cycle, Thursday, May 7th.
This concise, one-hour module will offer you the opportunity to experience the Kolb Learning Cycle and learn how to effectively facilitate it yourself in your workshops and trainings. See full details at the end of this issue.

There are few spots left in the Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration (JOFC) Workshop scheduled for June. Note that we've extended the early-bird pricing until May 15th. Check out this opportunity to learn an Integrally Informed Approach to Facilitation and Leadership. Click here for details and registration.




experiential learning cycle

The Point

Make Experiences, Not Speeches

Getting your audience to do something will have far more impact than a lecture.

Presenting Skill

The object of facilitation is to make it "easier" for groups to accomplish something. This is also true of "learning facilitators," who are often referred to as teachers or trainers. Many teachers have the bad habit of lecturing their audience. They feel that they must know a lot and their egos often depend on this perception being conveyed to their students through lengthy lectures. This is not to say that there is never a time for lecture, it's just that lecture is best limited to something like 20% of the time you spend with your audience.

So what's the point? The point is this. Though many people process information predominately through their audio channels, not everyone does. People will better learn, engage, shift, and change by actually participating in some behavior that engages their multiple senses. Providing your audience with an experience that engages multiple senses is far more powerful than anything a mere lecture can provide.


Imagine you are a member of a local arm of the Habitat for Humanity, and you've been asked to facilitate their monthly board meeting. The goal of this meeting is to help the members to understand and support candidates that will receive assistance from the organization. Now you could just "tell" them about processes used in the past that have been effective. They will certainly hear some of it, but likely forget most of it quite soon.

Or, you could do something different. You could facilitate the creation of an experience that gets them to feel, hear, and see what their clients might be experiencing. You could break them into pairs and ask them to imagine a time in their lives when they needed some kind of help. Maybe when they were children struggling to ride a bike for the first time, or when they left home and had difficulty finding or affording a place to live, or when they lost a job and weeks went by before they could find another.

Have one member of each pair take turns asking the other to share what it was like going through this experience and ask them what they most need to hear and how they need to be supported. After the partners have switched positions, open up a time for participants to share their insights with the entire group. This exercise will give them a "real-life" experience of working with people like their clients, and they will have felt it in their bones!


The next time you have the opportunity to facilitate a group where learning or practicing something new might be effective, experiment by creating an "experience" that the group can participate in, adhering a commitment to yourself that you will speak no more than 20% of the total time that you are facilitating the process. I'm interested in hearing what happened. Please send me your comments by replying to this email.

This Week's Offer

experiential learning cycleExperiential Module Course
Facilitating the Experiential Learning Cycle

As teachers and trainers, you've probably noticed that people really learn better through "experience" than by simply listening to talk about theory or practice. For almost any situation, you can develop an experience to either instruct or model the learning you're trying to facilitate.

A learning facilitation model I've used consistently is one called the "Kolb Learning Cycle". I find this cycle very useful in the design and presentation of my trainings, both F2F and virtual. It starts by providing an experience, the processing of which can elicit learning on all levels--physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual--and automatically accommodates the different perceptual and processing styles without having to perform any up front assessments.

What to expect during this session. This concise, one-hour module offers you the opportunity to experience an Kolb Learning Cycle, the theory behind it, and the procedures for effectively setting up and facilitating this cycle yourself. This succinct one-hour laser session will cover the following:

- Benefits of the Kolb Learning Cycle. The value that can be achieved by facilitating your trainings and events in using this cycle.

- Summary of Learning Theory behind the Kolb Learning Cycle.
We'll briefly discuss the Kolb Learning Theory that underlies the Kolb Learning Cycle.

- Activity Preparation. Learn what needs to be done before the activity to ensure that it comes off smoothly.

- Experience an Activity. Experience a group activity as a participant using the Kolb Learning Cycle.

- Large Group Debrief. We'll discuss and explore how each element of the cycle is applied.

- Lessons Learned. Review the lessons you learned from the module and get answers to any questions you have about moving forward with this yourself.

What do you get? Here's what comes with the cost of this module:

- Active participation in the course above.
- Viewgraphs used during the presentation.
- Summary sheet that lists all the steps you need to take to set up and conduct your own flawless Offline Partner Activity.
- A recording of the webinar.

Format. This course is conducted over a telephone bridge line and webinar platform. The webinar connection is optional as view graphs will be provided prior to the call that can be printed as a backup option.

When? This class will be held on Thursday, May 7th from 10am-11am Pacific (1pm Eastern).

Cost. The cost of the above course is $29. If you are a FacilitatorU member, the cost is $19. If you are a member, contact us for the coupon code if you haven't already received it.

Click below to register and full details for class participation will arrive in your inbox.

About the satisfaction guarantee

If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this package, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case. Membership Option

Become a member of premium member and receive this self-guided teleclass at half price in addition to a host of other items and benefits. An exceptional value. Click here for details.

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