We held a fascinating workshop in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Friday afternoon. The subject: how to help volunteers at Embassies around the world deliver short workshops to their colleagues? The catch: we need to offer this support remotely.
We thought about what goes wrong with facilitation. “Why am I here?” “What am I supposed to be learning?” “Where is the expert?” “I’m bored” “Why doesn’t that person shut up?” We thought about technology failures and bad spaces for interaction.
Not because we’re negative people. Well maybe some of us are, especially by a Friday afternoon. But we need to help colleagues to avoid these common pitfalls.
We also thought about all the ways things could go right: engagement, enthusiasm, boundaries being broken down, new learning habits being formed.
One colleague suggested a checklist approach. And then, by coincidence, another colleague lent me The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and I read most of it this weekend. It’s brilliant. So here’s the question: if surgeons and pilots can raise their performance by using checklists, why not facilitators? What is the L&D equivalent of the Boeing flight manual?