Learning the Art of Skilled Facilitation

The Art of Skilled Facilitation


16 Participants from Asia Pacific attended a workshop on the Art of Skilled Facilitation from 31 March to 8 April, 2017 held at The Haven Resort in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Paula Sgherza, a trainer in facilitation at Amberley, Edmund Rice Centre, Melbourne, Australia. She has over 25 years experience as an educator and leader in her work as a process facilitator. Paula was assisted by two other experienced facilitators well known to the Good Shepherd family - Sr. Anne Dalton of Province of Australia/Aotearoa-New Zealand and Ms. Jill McCorquodale.



Standing from left:

Mary Anne (Sri Lanka/Pakistan), Sabina (CEIN), Salomi (Singapore/Malaysia), Doreen (Sri Lanka/Pakistan), Joan (Singapore/Malaysia), Anya (Philippines), Teresa (SWI), Anne (Australia/New Zealand), Paula, Jill, Laurina (Singapore/Malaysia)

Front row from left:

Pushpa (CEIN), Theresa (MDO), Alicia (Philippines), Rebecca (East Asia), Marie Jean (North East Asia), Grace (Singapore/Malaysia), Regina (East Asia), Maria (Singapore/Malaysia)



How did this workshop come about?

The workshop was borne out of the need for the Asia Pacific Region to have its own cohort of facilitators.  Over the years, both Anne and Jill have taken lead roles in facilitating workshops, regional meetings and Chapters in the Asia Pacific and for the congregation at large.  Both Anne and Jill expressed the need for the Asia Pacific region to begin training new facilitators who can eventually take over from them.  This would not only benefit the region but also benefit the countries where the facilitators come from. 

The workshop was hosted by the Province of Singapore / Malaysia.


What were the learnings?

Paula led the participants through the process of planning a facilitation session which included doing a needs analysis, and identifying the goals and objectives with the stakeholders.  The participants were introduced to the methodology of planning the activities according the agreed goals and objectives.

They also became aware that effective facilitation involves moving from a hero (…I know it all…) to host (…the answer is with the participants…) mindset.  The skilled facilitator engages the participants in a process which draws the responses from the participants for their eventual ownership of the outcomes. 

Most importantly, the participants learned that effective facilitation begins with the person of the facilitator - having an awareness of one’s own personality type, trigger points and motivations.  Self preparation meant getting ready for the session as well as having a de-briefing and an evaluation after the session.


What next?

The participants made commitments to put into practice their learnings from the Art of Skilled Facilitation in their workplaces and Units.  Paula, Anne and Jill committed themselves to accompanying the participants.

As a follow-up to the Art of Skilled Facilitation, all the participants will be attending The Art of Skilled Dialogue in 2018.