Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Facilitating by Heart

Generally I don't post much about my work life on my family blog, though I love my work and it definitely shapes who I am as a parent and a partner. This morning I'm inspired to share a little something about a project I'm so proud of and engage in a little shameless self-promotion. (-:

More than eight years ago, before Rowan was even born, some of my most dear friends and colleagues got together to develop a workshop series focused on what it really means to facilitate groups of people with care and compassion (i.e. from the "heart"). So many of our clients were (and still are) doing such important work in the world, environmentally, socially, poltically, medically), but they frequently ran into road-blocks about how to really get down to "it" so that their groups were not only productive, but sustainable, full of life and respectful of all involved. So we decided to bring together componants of our very best thinking and work into a 10 day (orver six month) experience of Facilitating By Heart.

I like to think of the series as having the longest gestational period known to human and animal kind, because it took four years from conception to birth. Rowan was not yet born when we had our intitial conversations and Gemma was 8 months old on the workshop's birthing day as we stood before our first group of 26 participants. Now, the thing is a preschooler. We begin our fourth year of offering the series in April, always to a full house with a long wait list. And, we've been able to raise enough funds through donations to sponsor 5 scholarships so folks from the struggling non-profit world can join us, besides keeping the fees very low compared to othr such endeavors done by different instructors.

And, its so powerful to keep in touch with our graduates, to hear how their lives, not just their work lives, but their home and family lives have been enhanced through their experience.

So 2.5 months before we start this year's series, I wanted to step back and admire this wonderful child of ours as much as I love and admire the two children who are a part of my life everyday.

If you're curious to learn more about "Facilitating by Heart" you can check out this link at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Continuing Education's website (they are our sponsors).

And check out two other workshops we offer through this same department:

Listening for a Change

Perceptual Thinking Patterns: The Mind at Work

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