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Welcome to the Association of Facilitators (AoF)


Our first open event on the topic of Resilience is taking place on 3rd March at Highfield Park (Hook). This day provides a perfect opportunity to network, participate in facilitated CPD activities based around FIRO-B and reflect on Building Resilience.  


One more space is available on our Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning day on 31st March.  This day is open to new and experienced facilitators - employed, self-employed or voluntary - who are wishing to seek credit (Accreditation at Level 1, 2, 3) for their facilitation practice.  


Two new articles are available via our Resources section:

Lessons from Group Facilitation - how an awareness of team dynamics can substantially add to coaching" (Brian Watts)

A Remarkable Journey of Self-Discovery (Gina Blackie).  


More details of all topics below.  We hope you enjoy this month's newsletter.  Please feel free to pass on these articles and invitations to others in your network with an interest in facilitation, coaching, FIRO, resilience and CPD.

coloured group
1. RESILIENCE Open Event - 3rd March 
Members and non members are invited to an open event on the topic of Resilience. This one day event provides a perfect opportunity to participate in facilitated CPD activities based around FIRO-B and to reflect on Building Resilience (keynote speaker to be confirmed). 
�80 to members and �120 to non members - includes VAT, lunch and all materials. We will meet between 10am and 4pm on 3rd March 2014 at a smart and peaceful De Vere venue - Highfield Park, Nr Hook - close to train and M3/M4 links. Click here to find out more and book and please note that booking closes on 14th February.
2. APEL - Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning - 31 March 

We have one final place available on our one day accreditation event in Hook, Hampshire on 31st March 2014. If you use facilitation skills in employment, voluntary work or self-employment, you can seek credit for your prior experience and learning and become an Accredited Facilitator.


The accreditation day provides a solid affirmation of competence, experience, training and professional status as well opportunities for critical review and feedback. Knowledge of one's own areas of strengths, skills and blind spots emerge from a guided and supported self-assessment process. The process as a whole builds critical reflection and develops emotional competence.


Applicants are fully supported through the process of preparation through a comprehensive materials including our Facilitator Competency Model, FACETS�, a self-assessment workbook, one-to-one and online support.  Applicants will need to reserve several days (self-scheduled) during late February and March to complete the necessary preparation.


Booking details and costs for this event, at which we are gathering feedback on a new set of supporting materials, are available by contacting us by email or phone (0203 282 7128).

3. "Lessons from Group Facilitation"

In this article, Brian Watts reflects on the parallels between coaching and group facilitation

"There is much similarity between the practice of 1-1 coaching and group facilitation. Active listening, rapport, and effective questioning each build to a common skill set. Couple this with a commitment to learning and an intention to empower the client and one would be forgiven for viewing them as synonymous.

In this article I shall explore the way that facilitators from a humanistic tradition gather learning from the prevailing group dynamic, and consider how this approach may enrich ones coaching practice.

Where is the difference?
Much group facilitation, and probably all work based teams will have clear tasks to achieve. However, alongside these business outcomes the facilitator is also handling the interplay of relationships between group members. If achieving a team task may be likened to a ship navigating into a port, then the group dynamic is the sea through which the ship has to navigate. Just as the sea conditions will influence the progress of the ship, so group dynamics will influence the achievement of tasks. Skilled group facilitators do more than merely manage the dynamics, they utilise them.
"  Read more
4. "A Remarkable Journey of Self-Discovery"

We are pleased to share with you an article written by Gina Blackie, a recent participant on the Foundations Programme, now an Accredited Facilitator.

"I signed up to the AoF's Foundation Course in Facilitation Skills with a degree of anticipation but also trepidation. Would everyone have more experience than me? Was I a good facilitator or not? Over the five day course my eyes were truly opened to the strengths and weaknesses in my approach. I felt challenged by my learning and left with many thoughts on how to improve my style.

Quite quickly as the course progressed I realised that my twenty years of attending and leading meetings, and whether they were 'successful' or not was more down to good luck than skill. Although I had picked up some admirable skills in terms of listening and observing they were really on quite a superficial level. It became clear my style was very hierarchical and when I 'cut to the chase' I was stifling those around me..."  Read more
 Warm regards

 Bella Mehta, Brian Watts
 0203 282 7128
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