Facilitating Learning

Foundations in Public Participation Day1

Today is Monday, but in IAP2’s Foundations Course, it’s Day#1. It’s the first day of a five-day course and everyone is getting into the learning groove.

As a new trainer, and likely amongst the youngest, I think one of my best attributes is that I know that I don’t know a whole lot. Sure, I have work experience, training, and some real-world experience, but so many of our participants have so much more. I see my role of a trainer as a facilitator of other peoples’ learning, helping them connect the dots, apply concepts to practice and help participants take the opportunity to think at the strategic, principled level, while having the practical, day-to-day at the ready. As a working professional, it is rare that we have the opportunity to hit pause on the day-to-day and to think about the why and why not, not just the how.

Today, a participant said: “I like that you are not teaching me, but helping me think.” This is the highest of compliments. The professionals who take our course are smart, curious and seem to appreciate having a learning space where they can think at a deeper level.

Note to Self from Day #1 – facilitate learning, build a comfortable learning space and respect the wisdom in the room.