Facilitative leadership continues success

MSU Extension staff members continue successful and popular leadership program.

What is facilitative leadership? Facilitative leadership workshops help build the capacity of groups or organizations to use the collective talents of its members to coordinate actions, strengthen relationships, and enable the group to meet its goals. It is designed to build and strengthen the skills and personal confidence necessary to lead and facilitate productive meetings.

The Michigan State University Extension facilitative leadership three day class focuses on creating an inclusive culture of collaborative learning in teams, communities and organizations. It is for both new and experienced leaders, managers, facilitators and graduate students who would like to develop or improve their facilitative leadership skills.

The goal of the class is to provide experiential grounding in leading groups to have more effective and efficient meetings and work together in a positive and productive way. During the workshop participants practice skills in leading a group discussion, reaching consensus, encouraging creativity, setting outcome-based goals for meetings, keeping a group focused, and creating action plans. Every participant facilitates during the workshop and receives extensive written and verbal feedback from the instructors and colleagues in the course. All practice facilitations are based on real-world situations brought in by the participants.

When asked what they found most valuable about the session, participants from the November 2015 session replied, “The 45 min practice! It was also valuable that we were pushed to go outside our comfort zones in selecting which tools to use.” “The small group exercises, and the creating of a "safe space" to learn from others.” When asked what they would do differently as a result of something they learned, participants explained “I am more conscious of the differences between a neutral facilitator & facilitative leader and understand the importance of judicious insertion of my opinion when appropriate.” “I will use the tools and plan my agenda to reach goals instead of letting the participants determine the end point. I will become a better facilitative leader!”

Sign up for a session online.

The Michigan State University Extension Leadership and Community Engagement team offers professional development training, including volunteer board development, communicating through conflict, meeting management and facilitation skills development. To contact an expert in your area, visit the expert page or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). 

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