Updated September 12, 2016: we officially launched this project, after about 11 months in development, production, and ideation. Woohoo!

FacilitatingXYZ is everything I wish I had when I got started as a facilitator — and together, we can build it into something that helps us continue to learn, develop, and grow. It’s a free online resource with videos, articles, downloads and (soon!) community to help all facilitators improve their craft.

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There are so many parts to this project that it’s hard to nail down what I’m excited about most.

First, there are the videos. The goal of the videos is to have short, clear, actionable explainers of different facilitation techniques. Folks might use them as part of a facilitator training, or just watch them on their own for pointers and perspective. We also have a long-form interview series with facilitators we admire called FacilitatingXYZ LIVE.

We’ll be doing at least one video to explain our favorite lessons from Unlocking the Magic: facilitation as a nuanced skill, facilitation vs. teaching vs. lecturing, being neutral, reading a group, the power of both/and vs. but, how to use the “yes, and…” rule, asking good questions, vulnerability, triggers, learning from emotions, and role modeling continuous learning. Beyond that, the subjects of the videos will come from our peers, or from requests from the community.

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The articles will highlight lessons learned, food for thought, and tips from facilitators of all disciplines. We’re welcoming contributions from anyone who would like to, and I’m excited to see how robust this section can become.

We are also recommending books (not just the ones we’re writing) that we think other facilitators may be able to benefit from. For example, Meg wrote up a book recommendation of Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks that’s already featured on the site.

There’s a section of downloads, with things like lesson plans and discussion questions for folks who are training facilitators in any capacity, and every chapter from our books (published and forthcoming) is, or will be, free as a sharing-friendly download.

An early design concept I made in Photoshop from October 2015

An early design concept from October 2015 that I made in Photoshop

 

And finally, the yet-to-be-built community. We’re hoping that FacilitatingXYZ can serve as more than just a resource hub, and become a vibrant community. Right now, there isn’t a place where facilitators of all stripes can share learning with one another, provide support, co-create resources, and be reassured that we’re never alone. FacilitatingXYZ will be an opportunity for all that and more. Right now, the first vestige of this community is in our Patreon page, where folks can subscribe to exclusive updates from us. But that’s just step one of many.

facilitatingxyz-manifestoIn the spirit of facilitation, we’re going to leave as much of the direction of the community up to the group. Tell us where you want us to go, and we will do everything we can to get us there.

And, as with everything else I make, this project is 100% uncopyrighted, contributed to the creative commons, and everything we create will be yours to use, modify, improve, or repurpose.

Hope you like it! Let me know what you think.

With love,

sK