At first glance upon observing the room for the Donna Ching’s workshop, I saw the following:
- Hand written agenda with markers on about 3-4 pieces of flip chart paper from ceiling to floor
- More flip chart paper posted along the front of the room with writing and pictures.
- Markers on the table.
- A notebook at my seat.
As I began to acclimate myself and settle into my environment I started to wonder:
- Where is the projector with the PowerPoint for this training?
- These tools I see around the room appear to be dated. Does she really carry all of this stuff around with her?
- I love that I have a tangible notebook to reference instead of just a link to an e-book.
The workshop begins with introductions from every participant, expectations, and legitimizing! As each of us shared and discussed from the beginning of the workshop to the end, effort was made to legitimize to ensure each person felt valued. From the onset, the climate/temperature in the room was welcoming and safe.
Shortly after introductions and run down of the agenda, I was ready to fully immerse myself in the activities of the day and be open to how I will use the skills in my role. Although Dr. Ching’s workshop does not have a techy appeal in no shape, form, or fashion; and the majority of my work is facilitated online, this training was PROFOUND!
One thing I have noticed as we become more engaged with digital tools, is that the Art of Conversation is getting lost. Some may say, it's simply changing. The same can be said about facilitating meetings and teaching online. The art of these disciplines is getting lost or changing. This workshop took me to the basics and I saw just how easily these skills can be transferred into an online environment to preserve the quality and artistry of facilitation.
It’s simply a matter of knowing the process and impact that is to be achieved, then finding the correct mode to translate that digitally. Key takeaways from the training are:
- Engagement – Let the stakeholders/students take ownership of the process. You are there to guide and lead.
- Withitness – This is a teacher’s term to communicate that you are able to manage all aspects of your environment seamlessly. You manage behavior and maintain productivity in a safe inviting environment.
- Flexibility and Adaptability – Be prepared for the unexpected, be mindful of necessary changes, and learn through the process.
In closing, I found an Ōlelo Noʻeau:
He ‘onipa‘a ka ‘oiā‘i‘o.
Truth is not changeable
Although tech. tools have increased efficiency and broadened our reach, we forget the tried and true basics of interacting with people for a purpose. Sometimes it is necessary to reflect back on the basics and determine the best digital equivalent.