Why a facilitation training?
We experienced that conducting meetings in a professional way is underestimated. This applies even more for network meetings. There are multiple advantages of a professional way of facilitating: the professional facilitation leads to more commitments, more acceptance, a smooth implementation of measures, time savings and the insurance of a follow-up, etc. And there are skills available to do this. Therefore, a facilitation training is one of the core elements of the Learning Municipalities Network approach.
A facilitator’s toolkit has been developed, working with different categories. That are “values and purpose”, “principles and rules”, “theories and models”, “sequences”, “meeting formats”, “techniques” and “tools and instruments”. These categories refer to both the organization of network activities as well as the understanding of network facilitation. The network operators of the training learned how to strengthen the participants’ identification with the objective, to facilitate the exchange of information and experience among the participants, to keep the dynamic of the network meetings and to foster the creativity and learning processes of the participants. And they learned why they do what they do.
The training on network facilitation was deeply appreciated. It was rated useful with 4.8 points out of 5 in the first group and 4.3 points in the second. The network operators feel well prepared for the kick-off meetings and we all are looking forward to the upcoming meetings. A public document of the facilitators kit will be available at the end of the project as it will be updated throughout the project phase.