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  • Writer's picturePJ Stevens

Unveiling the Secrets of Best-in-Class Facilitated Workshops

In the build up to a recent series of events, I was been asked by the client to share my thoughts on ‘what I think truly defines a best-in-class facilitated workshop?’

It's a question that embodies both intrigue and complexity, for the dynamics of such workshops are as multifaceted as the clients they serve.

At the forefront of consideration lies the relationship of Time, Investment and Quality, each

intertwined with the essence of organisational dynamics, performance and the workshops

themselves. Determining which of these aspects holds precedence, where compromises may be made, and how to harmonise the broader spectrum of costs, time constraints and anticipated benefits, becomes an art in itself, particularly in the context of a larger roll out workshops.

This triad serves as a compass for managing expectations, shaping deliverables and ultimately delineating the outcomes achievable through the workshop experience.

Delving deeper, let's explore the pivotal criteria I believe underpin the essence of impactful

workshops. Here are my top tips;

  • Personalised preparation: Pre-event 1-1 coaching or preparatory exercises can significantly amplify the value of workshop time, ensuring participants enter with a primed mindset, ready to maximise the experience.

  • Tailored content delivery: The content, no matter how replicable, must be customised to resonate with the unique dynamics of the audience, breathing life into concepts and forging relevancy within the group's context.

  • Utilisation of models and stories: Integrate relevant leadership models and engaging anecdotes to impart knowledge and to instill lasting impressions and practical insights.

  • Skill development: Infuse practical skill-building components, answering the perennial question: "What's in it for me?" Empower participants with tangible improvements they can apply immediately.

  • Feedback mechanisms: Incorporate avenues for feedback and coaching, fostering a culture of growth, performance enhancement and interpersonal relationships.

  • Harnessing diversity: Tap into the wealth of diverse perspectives, opinions and experiences within the group, leveraging this collective wisdom to elevate the workshop's impact.

  • Emotional Intelligence: Cultivate an environment conducive to emotional intelligence, nurturing relationships, understanding and trust amidst the digital-first backdrop of modern business.

  • Optimal resource utilisation: Maximise the potential of the workshop environment, leveraging technology, venue amenities and even the serenity of the outdoors to enhance engagement.

  • Alignment with organisational goals: Anchor workshop objectives with overarching organisational aspirations, ensuring measurable outcomes that contribute to continuous learning and progress.

  • Post-workshop support: Consider follow-up sessions, individual coaching, or group discussions as integral components to sustain momentum and translate insights into actionable results.

  • The facilitator factor: Last but certainly not least, the facilitator stands as the link between participants, content and workshop success, so choose wisely. In essence, holding a best-in-class business workshop surpasses mere knowledge dissemination; it embodies an opportunity for collaborative learning, innovation and holistic professional development. These workshops not only refine skills and strategies but also nurture a culture of excellence, ultimately propelling organisational growth and success.

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