Aug 11th, 2018
Leading Without Controlling

Our time together is precious. We have big goals and we cannot achieve them without working together effectively. In this workshop we will explore tools and practices that can help make our collaboration as effective as possible. I want every participant to come away from this workshop with a glimmer of hope that meetings can be awesome.

Our goal will be to discover tools and practices that can help us align the structure of our conversations with the outcomes we hope to create. Different conversations require different containers. For example: formal parliamentary procedure may be effective for managing institutional decision making, but it is poorly suited for conflict resolution among allies. Consensus processes can be vital for establishing core shared goals and values, but crippling when it comes to making quick operational decisions.

Whether our purpose is to organize an event, learn a new skill, make a difficult decision, or to express challenging emotional feedback, our job as facilitators is to continuously help reveal and clarify the shared intent of the group and true up the structure of the conversation with that aim. We will examine facilitation as a form of leadership and a function of groups, not the role of an individual.

Ultimately, mastering that art of facilitation is a lifelong practice. In this workshop, we will focus on simple skills, tools, and practices to help us along the way. Possible topics include:

  • Effective Agendas: How to write them and when to throw them away.
  • Circles, Squares, and Pairs: When to use whole group conversations, small groups, paired interviews etc.
  • Step Forward, Step Back: How to deal with people who dominate, how not to become one, and why it is so important.
  • Roles of Facilitation: Timekeeper, Stack Keeper, Note Taker, Agenda Drafter. It’s a set of functions, not a person. 
  • Sensing and Responding: What to do when a conversation is dragging out, going way off target, or needs a change of energy.
  • Hand Signs for the Win: Gestures can be more powerful than words.
  • ChangeUp, GameShifting, and other fun stuff.

About the Facilitator

Haiz Oppenheimer is an Asheville based facilitator and software developer. According to Haiz: "I have been trained in variety of facilitation methodologies, my favorites being Appreciative Inquiry, the Art of Hosting, and Emerging Leader Labs. I have practiced facilitation with non-profits, community organizations, businesses, social enterprise incubators, and activist collectives. I like people and I care about our planet. Contact me at"

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