balance

This afternoon I’ve been preparing for a workshop. The agenda was written and agreed with the clients some time ago. It feels right for these particular objectives and will be flexible enough to suit the group’s needs once we get started.

At this stage of a process, preparation is about:

· exploring ways of achieving stated outcomes on the agenda. Sometimes this is going back to favourite activities or processes. Other times it can be applying a new idea or something I’ve read that feels as though it will work for the group and for my style.

· imagining those activities happening – will this work? what if I adapt it? do they balance?

· going through my standard checklist of what to bring to the room. Do we need it? Or, this might come in handy if …? I developed my detailed checklist as a work of art when I facilitated my first workshop in another country. It’s a balancing act to make sure you haven’t left something essential behind and that your bag comes in underweight at the check-in desk.

· drawing up any charts that can be pre-prepared

· packing enough for everyone including markers, individual activity items, labels

I’ve been reflecting on the time it takes me on the final preparation. I find myself going down burrows that may be unnecessary. I’m sometimes asked to facilitate workshops at very short notice. At those times, I seem to do less thinking about what’s required and act more on instinct. There’s freedom in responding to a last minute request. It gives permission to dance on your feet, trust what you know and respond without over‑thinking things. Often, it’s where the best work comes from.

Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney


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