Our second lesson as facilitators working the World Conservation Congress had to do with the benefits of continuity. For some workshop leaders, they had one facilitator help them with design, then another one work with them on the actual sequencing and delivery. For other workshop leaders they did their own design and then enlisted the help of one of our facilitators just prior to the event. For others, they made their request for facilitation help during the event.

In most of the cases what we learned was that overall the events where the same facilitator helped with the design, the delivery programme, and then did the actual facilitation for the group, the result was much better. The continuity, the relationship building, the iterative conversation that could slowly educate both on the topic and the process, and the clear “contracting” piece (the social contract of who is doing what), all meant for a more powerful, streamlined final product.

Next time, we will do more to get these matches, between workshop leaders and their facilitators, set up earlier and keep the partners together throughout. Each facilitator has their own preferred tools, their own style and approach they feel most comfortable with – so it makes sense to ask people not to pop in and out of the process, but to sign up for the whole “programme”.

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