NH Listens Local Lunch Box Trainings
Training Session Dates:
Serving as an engaging and effective group facilitator requires regular training and skills upkeep to constructively respond to the myriad of situations a facilitator might face. For example, learning how to defuse conflict, enhance group engagement, and/or move conversations in a productive direction necessitates practice, feedback, and a venue in which to learn.
Carsey School-based civic engagement initiative New Hampshire Listens now offers an online training and group discussion setting to do exactly that: practice group facilitation while working with and learning from other experienced facilitators. NH Listens recently announced a new set of online Local Lunch Box sessions, beginning March 2 with a discussion on “Asking Good Questions.” These 30-minute events will take place the first Wednesday of each month with more to come in the Fall.
“In launching this series, we wanted a brief, skill-based event,” said Michele Holt-Shannon, director and co-founder of NH Listens. “The online Lunchbox series is more accessible for our statewide network of facilitators. Plus, they’re an excellent opportunity to connect and share lessons learned with facilitators-in-training and with seasoned practitioners.”
In launching this series, we wanted a brief, skill-based event. The online Lunchbox series is more accessible for our statewide network of facilitators. Plus, they’re an excellent opportunity to connect and share lessons learned with facilitators-in-training and with seasoned practitioners.
The Lunch Box sessions are open to anyone and the skills training they offer is applicable to people who facilitate groups both large and small, online, in-person, or in hybrid settings.
"If you’ve ever felt like the group you’re supporting and working with has reached a roadblock, this training can help,” said Ellie Masson, a NH Listens fellow and Master in Public Policy student. “We welcome you to join us, share your own experiences, learn from other facilitators, and build your connections in this field.”
Learn more about the scheduled Local Lunch Box trainings below:
March 2: Asking Good Questions:
Engage in a discussion that delves deep into how to ask intriguing and thought-provoking questions while facilitating a group. Using questions in facilitating can leverage a group’s intelligence and build constructive, collaborative discussions that explore difficult issues and lead to deeper understandings of a topic.
April 6: Responding to Conflict in Public Facilitation
One of the biggest factors of group facilitation is conflict and how best to respond in a way that evokes a structured conversation. Conflict and tension can serve as useful spaces for the group to grow and go deeper on an issue, often leading to more thoughtful, innovative, and diverse solutions. This training will help you build the skills to identify conflict, tension, and harm in real time; build tolerance to hold space for conflict resolution; and know when to intervene as a facilitator.
May 4: Recruiting a Mix of Perspectives
Diverse perspectives allow groups to look at topics in ways we had never considered before. To have a dialogue about an issue that impacts the whole community, it’s important that the whole community is represented and included in that space. This training will help you explore best practices and strategies for authentic recruitment of diverse perspectives.
June 1: Effective Co-Facilitation
Group facilitation does not necessarily mean flying solo. When possible, call upon your co-facilitators to help each other host the dialogue or community event. Effective co-facilitation involves strong communication, planning, and nimbleness as you each let your individual strengths and skills shine through. This training will share skills and tips for you to successfully work with your co-facilitators at your next event.
You can sign up for these Local Lunch Box training sessions on the NH Listens events webpage. For more information about these events, please contact Carrie Portrie at Carrie.Portrie@unh.edu