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I wrote this short article for our Liberating Structures extended network of practice. I thought it might be useful here too!
The last few months have been rich with lessons for our amazing global network of LS practitioners, and all the sub-communities it holds. Here are my lessons that have been surfacing:
Creative destruction RULES. DEConstruct before trying to REConstruct offline events into the online space. TRIZ is our friend!
The six knotworking questions are SUPER useful at this moment in time for developing flexible, emergent plans.
Critical Uncertainties was MADE for this time!
This is an oldy, but a goody: slow down to go fast. While we can dance with abandon at the novelty as we move and reframe different Liberating Structures online, we must also hold space for people to move forward together when the moment calls. This translates to fewer structures piled into an online meeting, holding generosity to extend our practiced F2F timings and keeping technical options at the min specs, vs max specs. (Purpose to Practice is helpful here!)
Ask for help. Ask specifically and offer your first ideas. This way people are more likely to respond and respond generously. As our Slack community grows and grows, we want each person to find and offer value. So ask as specifically as you can. Show you have done a little thinking already…
Offer help! The connections we create through these asks and offers weaves our network.
There is a LOT more… right now I’m processing what I’ve learned through three series of rather intense online events, thinking about time, space, embodiment, humane-ness and all sorts of good stuff. So more to come. But if I wait to “finish” this, I will never finish this!!
What have you been learning?
MOIP #8 Reflecting With a Peer: Conversation with Rosa Zubizarreta
fq软件-淘宝拼多多热销fq软件货源拿货 - 阿里巴巴货源:阿里巴巴找货神器为您推荐 fq软件, 金蝶软件, 软件开发, 手机软件, 充值软件, 教育软件 同款货源、相似货源。 找货神器，全网扫货 29.80 0人付款 天猫 FQ UML软件建模技术——基于IBM RSA工具 ...This is 8th in a series of posts about the tidal wave of moving online in the time of Covid-19. #1, #2, #3, #4 , #5 , #6 and #7.
In early April, Rosa Zubizarreta made a wonderful offer. She would interview me on what I’ve been learning and reflecting upon and then write it up for me. What a gift! Of course, I said yes. What started as an interview rapidly turned into a conversation! Rosa promptly returned with the notes and there they sat for two weeks. I kept thinking I’d “process” them into a blog post, and then realized the reality is to just SHARE them, as is.
When a friend offers to help you reflect, say yes!
Rosa’s practice is DiaPraxis: Awakening the Spirit of Creative Collaborationcoaching in participatory leadership • advanced group facilitation services & learning opportunities .I first knew Rosa’s work around Dynamic Facilitation. Over the years we have intersected (to my great joy) in different contexts. So enough for context, here are the notes, as is from Rosa.
Conversation with Nancy White
A theme that has been coming up for you in your work, as you help NGO’s move all their work online, is “this is a time of creative destruction”.
And so the questions this brings up include, “What is the role of “creative destruction” in these times? How do we engage constructively with “creative destruction”, in our personal lives, in our work, and in our communities?
A first step you identified, can be to focus more clearly on our purpose. As we do so, we can come up with new ways of meeting that purpose, rather than simply “transposing” what we were doing in the brick-and-mortar world, to the online world…
One simple example is the “check-in”, This is often the initial part of a group meeting, yet it can feel wearying if we are not clear on the purpose.
The purpose of the check-in is to center, settle, let go a bit of the anxiety we are all carrying,
So we can, as a group, figure out our next “right step” to take…
How can we best do so, in these times where we are all facing such diverse challenges, some of them very profound… we need simple and effective ways where we can at least briefly acknowledge and honor the challenges that each of us is facing at the moment.
Right now there is a great deal of shared anxiety… while at the same time, we are all anxious about different things. So how can we constructively and gracefully acknowledge emotion, without getting bogged down in it? Especially in a large group, emotions can drag us into a downward spiral. Yet sometimes, especially when we can hold them more intimately in a smaller group, there can be an upward spiral that happens from acknowledging the motions we are feeling.
So some of the check-ins you have been doing with people, include reflective writing that people do on their own, using short prompts or sentence-starters, and then share in pairs.
And then there are our bodies… the bodies that carry our feelings, and that also get stressed out from being in front of the computer, staring at a screen, for long periods of time… and so in breaks between each main part of the meeting, you have been inviting people to take a series of belly breaths,. Taking three deep breaths, allowing your belly to press against the vagus nerve, which brings calm to the reptilian brain…
And stretch breaks: inviting participants to take a moment to stand up, and move your body in a way that feels good for you… either turning off your camera, or simply turning your back to it, whatever allows you to relax and not be self-conscious.
Paying attention to our bodies is a helpful practice always, yet in these times of crisis, it is especially important to do so. It takes a lot of attention to be looking at a screen; we need to be careful about not being online for too long without breaks. Making sure people have plenty of “fluid adjustment breaks” — water in, water out — really helps our bodies in these times of stress. And paying attention to our body rhythms, allows our energy to last longer.
Similarly with paying attention to emotions. Of course people have differences in how comfortable they are with emotions; some people may welcome expressing emotions, while others may need to say, “I need a break from emotions.” Part of emotional literacy is being able to make room for those differences, as well… even simply to acknowledge them….
So this is one way in which “creative destruction” is showing up… the old paradigm of showing up for meetings only “from the neck up” is something we are being called to let go of…
While at the same time, refocusing on the power of attentive listening.
Another realm of “creative destruction” has to do with the constraints of formality… instead of three-piece suits and ties, people are now calling in from their homes, with their dogs and their kids. You have been noticing how much easier it is, to feel immediately closer to them. There is an intimacy of popping into people’s living rooms… while it too has its downsides, we can also celebrate all that it makes possible…
“Creative destruction” is showing up in other realms as well, not just with regard to meetings… also with regard to children’s education, as parents are exploring learning in a different way than schooling…
And, as we let go of the things that we had previously designed, and were attached to, –whether they were designed well or not — there are emotions that come up: there is fear, and there is a grief process…
And so a question we need to ask ourselves, is how much time do we want to spend, acknowledging the fear and the grief, and how much time in moving forward?
And then, when we are looking at moving forward, there is the task of choosing the “right next step”, from among a million possibilities. There is the challenge of decision-making in a time of transition, and the awful responsibility of it.
For example for an individual, it could be, when to isolate?
For an organization, it could be, do we transfer all planned training from offline to online — or maybe, do we want to rethink training in general?
One helpful approach here is the importance of appreciating what is working. This is part of seeing what is possible. If we can’t appreciate anything, it makes it harder to see what is possible.
Discovery & action dialogue is a way of applying AI and positive deviance.
When we are working with the 15% pattern, we are looking at a) what is my challenge? b) what is the 1st step I can take toward meeting it? (The first step toward, what is possible); and then c) How will we know if we are making progress? We are not talking about randomized controlled evaluation here, but rather attuning to simple indicators…
Then, after we have chosen a right next step, as well as the indicators that will let us know if we are making progress, it can be helpful to distill our message, and find clear and succinct ways to communicate; right now we are all suffering not just from information overload, but also, from disinformation overload…
I’m shortening the title… Moving Online in Pandemic is now #MOIP!This is 6th in a series of posts about the tidal wave of moving online in the time of Covid-19. #1, #2, #3, #4 , #5 and #6. This time a client has graciously allow me to share their story!
I’ve been having a great time working with the Floodplains by Design Network (FbD), particularly the Culture and Capacity Building Action Group (C&C in our shorthand!). C&C members have targeted peer to peer (P2P) learning as an important tactic for identifying and sharing knowledge. One form of P2P learning is to ask for and get help from peers. Peer Assists are one format for the giving and getting of help. They help tap both local and network wide knowledge, support local contextualization (no “one ring to rule them all” as Frodo might wish), and are easy to do. Some even say it is pleasurable! This Spring the C&C members have committed to at least two Peer Assists. And to make them accessible across our wide geography, we decided to do them online. That turned out to be a wise choice given the Covid-19 outbreak.
About Peer Assists
There are many ways to do PAs. You can simply call up another network member and talk about your challenge. This is helpful for matching specific expertise with a specific need — and we recognize we need to figure out a mechanism so FbD members can easily find each other for this sort of direct exchange.
We also benefit from a diversity of views. Sometimes the most helpful ideas come from the “unusual suspects” and people who see and experience the world differently than we do. Here are some variations to consider:
fq软件安卓, User Experience Fishbowl and Wise Crowds are three of my “go-to” peer assist variations. They create simple “containers” for people to get direct help on a challenge. The difference is that Troika works in an intimate trio, Wise Crowds uses rotating small groups to enable multiple people to get peer assistance, and Users Experience Fishbowl supports two layers of support – direct and indirect. It is a bit of hybrid option.
If you are trying to elicit expertise, instead of trying to apply it in context, you can try or Celebrity Interview. THis is not exactly the same thing as peer to peer assistance, but by asking people questions, we often get more and deeper insights than if they just did a presentation. It is more engaging for those watching as well.
Appreciative Interviews help pull out current success upon which we can build. So maybe one watershed has really made huge progress, but we can’t quite figure out how to make that same progress in our watersheds. Discovery and Action Dialog can help us discover who is succeeding where the rest of us are struggling. (A way of surfacing positive deviance!)
C&C’s First Peer Assist
In early April we had our first Peer Assist, helping Kat, a member move her work on a strategy element forward. She was looking for ideas about how to frame and build a strategy element that reflected views FROM the network, so a Peer Assist seemed useful. She identified some people she wanted present and others from the C&C volunteered to be her consultants. To help shine a light on the process and add another layer of support we invited the whole C&C to be the “bowl” of the fishbowl.
We convened on the Zoom video conferencing platform. In an hour Kat laid out her challenge, the “consultants” asked clarifying questions, and then Kat turned her back to her computer screen while her consultants talked about her challenge. After about 20 minutes she turned around, shared the key insights she gained and thanked her consultants.
Great way of engaging. It takes courage — and you need to be truthful and honest about the feedback. Incorporate it in and be willing to accept the harsh reality.
Lesson: French Revolution – king reached out but didn’t do anything with the input! Input –> heard, seen, respected and USED!Suggest that problem statement for peer assist be elaborated in written text and distributed to panel in advance so they can gather thoughts / questions
+1 Some of my best thinking happens during drives/walks/showers/doing the dishes…
From a Bowl person: Not quite sure how to engage, questions are relevant, but didn’t know what process looked like. How does this all work? (Lesson: not everyone got the same instructions in advance due to later additions of participants. Don’t let that slip through the cracks.)
In times of Covid and working at home with kids → Evening Peer Assists after kids go to bed
Humor: happy hour assists might cross certain lines, but the feedback would flow
Want more tips on how to do Peer Assists? Online and need to learn how to use zoom?
Tips for Using Zoom http://docs.google.com/document/d/12iIDkSVYGnLaW4TQbjxX5CSJcICW_nmPehXoORK7_aA/edit?mc_cid=500dfe8de5&mc_eid=[UNIQID]
Papers and Tip Sheets on Peer Assists 500vip彩票苹果-手机软件下载:2021年1月16日 - 500vip彩票苹果Android5.1.x以上,500vip彩票正版APP下载(Vv1.2.5是当下苹果IOS、安卓版流行速度快的APP(99.48M),手机版理财数据精确及时,手机软件下载..., FQ-M系列 欧姆龙的Sysmac Studio软件是配置FQ-M的完美 ...:2021-8-28 · FQ-M紧凑、快速，并且含有用于轻松跟踪校准的增量编码器输入。 欧姆龙的Sysmac Studio软件是配置FQ-M的完美工具， 它与触摸探测器控制器配合，用于现场监控。 利用校准和通信的智能向导，与机器的集成将前所未有地轻松。 FQ-M通过EtherCAT或标准 and http://kstoolkit.org/Peer%20Assists
Video on how to do a classic Peer Assist FQ网盾一键集成软件-FQ网盾一键集成下载8.0-西西软件下载:2021年6月20日 - FQ网盾一键集成软件中集合了各种网盾过滤工具,可以让你直接免验证过网盾,从而玩自己想玩的游戏,毕竟现在的游戏都有防沉迷等等系统,FQ网盾一键集成软件则可以为你避...
Want the geeky process details? Here is an outline of how you can set up your own Peer Assist using Users Experience Fishbowl method:
Identify your peer assistee. Ask if they have individuals they want as their consultants, and/or cast a net more widely. You do NOT need a large group. In this particular variation 3-4 consultants in the fishbowl with the peer assistee provides time for depth and sufficient intimacy for the conversation. Other useful folks are the “bowl” observing and sharing other ideas in chat which can be processed by the assistee later.
For a small group, one person can guide the process and take note. If there is a larger “bowl” of people it can be helpful to have one person to take notes in addition to the facilitator.
Send an invitation out. Draft copy below…
Thanks for being willing to do a peer assist. We are doing a peer assist variation called “Users Experience Fishbowl” where a small group of people support a person with a challenge or question (the “fish”) while other observers listen and respond afterwards.
Please come and help NAME OF PEER ASSISTEE think about her next steps with the CHALLENGE PERSON HAS. ADD THE PERSON’S CHALLENGING QUESTION HERE.
fq必备app We’ll meet on a Zoom video platform so ideally you need a mic and a camera attached to your device. Best is a computer, then tablet, then phone. Log on a few minutes early if you are new to Zoom to make sure everything is running well. Due to the huge current loads on Zoom, sometimes it takes a few tries to get into a Zoom room… the days we live in!
Preparation: In preparation, we’ll send you WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SEND. KEEP IT BRIEF to skim as time is available. Mostly bring your ears, your brains, experiences and insights from your floodplains work.
The X NUMBER OF FISH – YOU CAN NAME THEM will be ASSISTEE’S NAME consultants. Other interested folks will observe the process, staying off camera and just listen/ take notes in the Zoom chat.
How this will work: Tight 60 minute agenda
10 minutes: Brief introductions both of fish and “bowl folks.”
5 minutes: PEER ASSISTEE shares their challenge. (It is helpful if this builds on what was sent in advice, versus telling the same thing again.)
3-5 minutes: Consultants ask clarifying questions (no ideas, suggestions or their own stories yet.)
15-20 minutes: PEER ASSISTEE will turn off her Zoom camera, turn around with a notebook and simply listen as you talk about her challenge. She will not nod her head, respond, rebut or interject in any way. JUST LISTEN. As consultants, talk amongst yourselves with advice, experience, comparable stories. Range freely and think boldly. Dive into your experiences and data. The notetaker/facilitator will take notes.
10 minutes: Invite the observers to share any highlights or comments they noticed.
5 minutes: Debrief the process and outcomes.
MOIP #6: Get and Give Help Online With Liberating Structures
I’m shortening the title… Moving Online in Pandemic is now #MOIP! This is 6th in a series of posts about the tidal wave of moving online in the time of Covid-19. #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5. Slides for the event mentioned here. And chat...
I do get enthusiastic… and then things go fast and other things fall behind. VERY SLOW. How is it that March 21 can seem so far away? How is it I started drafting this on March 31 and now it is April 13th???
Here goes a super hurried drafty effort for our gathering 3/21/2020 to explore how to use Liberating Structures online to give and get help. The purpose of the gathering was to engage people in experiencing how even strangers can give and get help, we can do it online, and we can do it humanely. Slides and built in-created-in-the-moment harvest/notes here: http://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1SPIaIjyu2_6bf0AIU1KZJJ_eqcB9-plERZQq79CTjLk/edit?usp=sharing
The slides lay out all the process should you want to try this. The What? So What? Now What? harvest slides #19-24 are totally worth reading through. I am still trying to process it all, but if I wait for that, this blog post will NEVER get posted!
I’m going to use What? So What? Now What? as my own reflective structure. Feel free to amplify in the comments!!!
We mobilized a volunteer team from the Liberating Structures community to facilitate, tech host (manage all the zoom breakout rooms), harvest key insights, and generally help people as needed. Those with Zoom experience renamed themselves with a * in front of their names so people could private message those folks for help.
We had a very large group… I think it peaked at 68 but I lost track. My sense was it was diverse – familiar folks, new folks, folks experienced with LS and some brand new, some tech familiar, some not.
We all were getting a little frazzled with all the Zoom events, so our punctuations all focused on taking a breath, being in our bodies, even as we were connected electronically. We used “Just Three Words” to get settled and present. (For more on Just Three Words see FQ网盾网络验证一键集成工具下载|FQ网盾网络验证一键集成工..._绿盟:2021年6月21日 - FQ网盾网络验证一键集成工具是款十分好用的网盾网络验证一键集成工具,使用工具可以去除普通网页中的低俗内容,如:广告、色情、暴力游戏等,有需要的俄朋...)
To identify WHAT we wanted to get help on, we used 15% Solutions.
I rolled out 15% pretty awkwardly and confused a number of people.
We did Troika Consulting in breakouts of 3 people.
We debriefed with What? So What? Now What? in groups of six people (two troikas joined up).
People captured their WWW in the slide deck, one slide per group.
We informally said goodbye and some stayed on for a longer, informal debrief.
Small groups/breakouts are essential to scale large groups, creating both a broader shared experience AND deeper interpersonal connection and intimacy.
Clear instructions, Nancy, CLEAR instructions. Will I never learn?
WWW in small groups seemed to work well – with a little confusiasm. It needed more than 6 minutes of breakout time.
Tech note: need to figure more graceful ways of dealing with the “two user” problem when someone is on video through their computer and audio through a phone. Zoom treats them as separate users and when you automatically do breakout rooms, they often end up in two places and the video is a “ghost.”
Time, time, time. I wrestle with that wicked question of “how is it that time constraints make us sharper and we need more time.” (Or is it simply right now we crave more time in the smaller conversations?”
Now What? What is the next step?
I’m working on a series of online “peer assists” for a client in the natural resources sector and I want to encourage them to do Troika Consulting. There is an inclination towards wanting consultation from wider sets of stakeholders, or focused “experts.” What happens when we resist those inclinations and simply turn to each other?
How can people quickly find and convene Troika Consultations in these crazy days? What can function as matchmaking/matchmaker?
What is made possible: unleashing Liberating Structures in our personal practices
fq软件: Last September I co-led a Liberating Structures Immersion in Atlanta and met Dr. Mari Dumbaugh, BA MSc PhD, Founder & Lead Consultant, Insight Impact Consulting, FQ网盾网络验证一键集成工具下载|FQ网盾网络验证一键集成工..._绿盟:2021年6月21日 - FQ网盾网络验证一键集成工具是款十分好用的网盾网络验证一键集成工具,使用工具可以去除普通网页中的低俗内容,如:广告、色情、暴力游戏等,有需要的俄.... I was so enlivened by her follow up comments, I asked to interview her. It took us a while, but enjoy what she has made possible in bringing LS to her international development work!
What happens when you discover something that simply resonates for you? Mari Dumbaugh, qualitative program evaluator, training facilitator and professor of Global Health, had that experience by the end of the first day of a two day fq必下app immersion workshop in Atlanta last year. The moment of clarity came towards the end of the day when she was sitting with two others in a Troika Consulting exercise. Troika allows each person to get help on a challenge – no matter who they are sitting with. In the span of twenty minutes, Mari received significant feedback and ideas. “In just a day I discovered how accessible the structures are, and with the immersion – even one day – I could walk away with concrete things I can do across settings and cultures.” She also discovered things she had in common with two people who were before perfect strangers– both were also independent female consultants, looking to engage their clients in innovative, interactive ways. These two strangers-turned-colleagues inspired Mari to shift her entire approach to her facilitation and training work.
Mari realized she could make radical changes in how she was going to deliver her next training of qualitative research teams two weeks after the immersion. In the span of a few days she redesigned her training program from a primarily content delivery mode to an “unleash and engage everyone” mode using Liberating Structures.
Mari shared, “Often I’m facilitating training in settings where participants are coming from didactic education systems with few experiences of real engaged, classroom interactions. They are used to just taking notes of what the professor says. So their starting expectations were different. They were used to sitting around tables and expecting to be filled with knowledge!” One thing her Troika group suggested was to get rid of slides. Mari was very open to the idea – she was not a huge fan of PowerPoint. As a university lecturer at a public university in Illinois, she found slides a convenience. There was some hesitation to dump the PPT all together because like so many of us, it had become a crutch. A safety tool.
And then she left for a remote part of the Central African Republic to run a Qualitative Research training workshop for a group of individuals with varying degrees of research experience. For some workshop participants this would be the first time they heard the term fq必下app The training and subsequent program evaluation would take place in an area where there was often no power (no PowerPoint), a ton of material to cover, and on top of it all, she would be working in French! Did she regret missing day 2 of the immersion? I don’t think so. Mari was on FIRE!
Civil society and education systems in the Central African Republic have been rocked from general lack of funding and the most recent civil conflict that began in 2014. Education systems have been completely interrupted, and Mari was working with people with varying levels of literacy. It was clear to her that having participants write down notes, word for word from slides, was not an efficient way to learn.
The transition was not always easy. “When I tried interactive activities on Day 1 of the training, it was hard to pull people out of the structured classroom expectations.” But by ditching most of her slides, she also ditched the stress of not knowing when the power (and thus PPT) might go off. So she got rid of it entirely! She delivered a full 5 days of training with her newly created workbooks she printed in Chicago and carried with her on the 7,000 mile journey to Berberati, Central African Republic..
The workbooks featured all of the qualitative training content and content Mari used in previous trainings, but now with Liberating Structures as the vehicle for a more participant-engaged delivery. Some of the foundational qualitative content came straight from her previous slides, and other parts were left open to build on the participants’ knowledge, perceptions, questions and experience. A number of Liberating Structures lend themselves seamlessly to teaching qualitative research techniques, so participants had the chance to experience some structures and think about how to use them in their field research work.
Here are some of the structures (both established and emerging) Mari used and how she used them. I felt the detail was worth the longer reading time. 🙂
Spiral Journal – To emphasize the centering of participant voices from the very beginning of the workshop, Mari began the workshop asking participants to reflect and journal on their previous relevant experiences and why the group was lucky to have them as part of the research team. Journaling sessions served as the foundation for a number of LS strings throughout the workshop, including Impromptu Networking and 1-2-4-All.
1-2-4-All – From creating a Community Collaboration Agreement to establish agreed upon ground rules and parameters for our workshop together (i.e. mutual respect…and turn off those cell phones!) to reflecting on what participants took away from the Celebrity Interview, fq软件 was an excellent way to get participants reflecting, sharing, benefiting from all of our diverse perspectives and previous work and co-creating the workshop experience. Mari strung 1-2-4-All after a Celebrity Interview, a Spiral Journal session or as a way for participants to generate questions about the material being covered. Mari reflected that this structure was especially helpful in moving away from PowerPoint-centric teaching and facilitation. After participants shared their own perspectives, Mari was able to expand upon, gently redirect and/or insert new information around what participants already knew or shared.
Celebrity Interview – To introduce the foundational concepts and associated skills of qualitative research Mari had great success using an expert “Celebrity Interview.” “I served as the ‘expert’ and gave my colleague questions to use in the ‘interview’ so that I could introduce the basic concepts of qualitative research…while also modeling in real time how to conduct a quality interview!”
Mari followed the Celebrity Interview with 1-2-4-All. First, participants individually reflected on what they learned and observed during the interview, then shared with a partner, and finally merged into a group of four. By the end of the activity the group had collaboratively formulated a list of key concepts and competencies and Mari filled in any gaps with anecdotes from her own field experience – even acting some of the anecdotes out! The entire activity was so personal and rooted in the lived experiences in the room. The key was that the participants had ownership over the process. In reflecting back on the experience, Mari shared “It felt liberating for me as an instructor. I know this stuff, of course. I have a PhD. But with PPT slides you feel you can’t break away from them. All the knowledge in the slides is IN me and I can deliver without slides.”
In the end, Mari felt they had accomplished something huge. “It felt like a collaboration, instead of me just delivering information and being in hierarchical power and knowledge relationship. We were collaborating together as a team. We asked much more and more engaging questions.”
Of course, some form of didactic information transfer is necessary, especially when introducing concepts or skills to a group. Mari wanted to make sure participants left the workshop with consistent information in print. Yet she worried that by printing workbooks of what was in her previous training slides people would just fall back into “receiving mode.” Her solution was to print text that conveyed foundational concepts, but bring along highlighters for each participant. “There was an exercise to highlight key concepts and words as we went through the stages. This played well into the Liberating Structures. Then they discussed between and amongst themselves. In the end, I avoided having participants writing out information or having an extreme amount of reading. There was just enough of both to engage them.”
When I talked to Mari, I asked her to think about the moment when she was able to say “yes” to shifting how she did this work. “I was feeling the support and enthusiasm at the immersion, and it buoyed me a lot. I participated and went through the activities, and not just a superficial way, but in a way that gave me concrete, applicable strategies. I saw the structures worked.”
“Troika Consulting was especially helpful. By the grace of universe to be paired with two women from different fields but both consultants, we were able to communicate similar challenges across our fields where we need to communicate information that isn’t always so exciting. They gave suggestions with confidence,” recounted Mari.
Liberating Structures constantly talks about engaging and unleashing everyone. I asked Mari if her workshop participants in Central African Republic started to have access to their own expertise? “Yes, [after 3 days of classroom training] we started with a pilot study to test the research tools and give the workshop participants experience before the “real” data collection phase. Comparing this experience to a previous (successful) ppt based training, the reactions were very different. The team from CAR came back from the field more animated and excited about their roles as researchers. It got them excited about their role, to apply the role to themselves and built confidence for conducting the research. They too can do this, even just having been introduced to qualitative research. After three days built using LS, they came back with huge smiles on their faces. And they were motivated to continue.” During the training session immediately following the participants’ pilot field experience Mari used fq必下app and 1-2-4-All to encourage personal and group reflection. Participants shared challenges they encountered during the pilot study and the group generated ways to address the solutions during upcoming data collection together.
We talked about what happened after Mari left, what she did to support her CAR colleagues’ new skills and confidence. “I left them with something… the workbook that they actively contributed to creating and added along the way. They have a resource to go back to should they confront challenges and opportunities (even in different contexts).” Mari also added that a number of participants expressed a palpable enthusiasm and deep understanding of the importance of qualitative research. Mari believes the collaborative and experiential approach to the workshop played a huge role in communicating the power of qualitative research to workshop participants in a profoundly personal way that is not always possible with a more traditional, didactic approach.
Mari sees the power and applicability of Liberating Structures. “ LS needs to be introduced to more NGOs in general, especially in contexts like Sub Saharan Africa where many systems are still scripted, where the leftovers of colonial approaches remain. As far as engaging individuals, NGOS could really benefit from having these trainings brought to local levels.
What is Mari’s next step? “Attend more immersions! Experience more of the structures myself. My next step is looking at my next semester of teaching. I get mostly great reviews, but the class could benefit from more engagement and less straight lecture. I want to learn how to integrate more structures into my classroom teaching.”
From training, to university teaching, to consulting – Mari doesn’t stop. “I want to refine and develop my LS skills for my consulting as well.” Mari is interested in how immersions can help spread LS. “The immersions and the ways you apply them into your setting depends on your group. I love that creativity – react to the group you are with. It keeps me on my toes. While I can plan, I can also leave space for creativity to emerge. Of course, vulnerability is required. The structures allow it.”
Note: After this interview Mari went on to facilitate a training of qualitative researchers from both Malawi and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. Liberating Structures – and the lessons she learned from her workshop Central African Republic – formed her approach to training a group of experienced researchers, many of whom were university professors themselves! The workshop and subsequent data collection were great successes, proving yet again that these approaches are flexible and translatable across context and levels of experience.