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Group Facilitation Skills: Putting Participatory Values into Practice

  • March 15, 2023
  • March 17, 2023
  • 3 sessions
  • March 15, 2023, 9:00 AM 5:00 PM (MDT)
  • March 16, 2023, 9:00 AM 5:00 PM (MDT)
  • March 17, 2023, 9:00 AM 5:00 PM (MDT)
  • TBD
  • 17


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Collaboration expert Nelli Noakes returns to Edmonton to support you in becoming a strong facilitator!

As a global civil society, we’re learning how to tackle entrenched social problems collaboratively – that is, by bringing together individuals from deeply different backgrounds, whose perspectives and interests are widely divergent, to wrestle with their competing needs, find common ground over time, and co-develop fresh, new, practical solutions that do indeed produce positive results. Yet, it’s also true that bringing people together requires great skill and intentionality. Far too many facilitations are poorly organized, with fuzzy goals, awkward communication dynamics and sparse accountability.

Join Community at Work's Nelli Noakes for a three-day intensive workshop focused on building strong facilitators who are able to inspire fruitful collaborations, inclusive solutions, and mutual understanding between diverse participants. 

Day 1: Encouraging Full Participation

  • Core Values of Collaboration
  • Facilitator’s Job Description
  • Facilitative Listening Skills
  • Chart-Writing Technique
  • Suspended Judgment
  • Facilitating a Brainstorm Session
  • Facilitator Stand-up Skills
  • Receiving Feedback Non-Defensively 
  • Tools for Evaluating Meetings

Day 2: Skills for Process Management

  • Dynamics of Group Decision-Making
  • Tools for Organizing Long Lists
  • Facilitating an Open Discussion
  • Promoting Mutual Understanding
  • Helping a Group Stay Focused
  • Handling Conflict
  • Building Group Momentum
  • Managing Group Energy
  • Dealing With Difficult Dynamics

Day 3: Building Sustainable Agreements

  • Facilitation and Leadership
  • Effective Goal-Setting
  • Designing Realistic Agendas, Part 1: Turning Topics into Outcomes 
  • Designing Realistic Agendas, Part 2: Creating Engaging Processes
  • Decision-Making: Rules for Reaching Closure
  • Building Unanimous Agreement
  • Polling Tools
  • Consensus Decision-Making in Hierarchical Organizations

 Each participant will receive a copy of Sam Kaner's world-renowned Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making.


Nelli Noakes is a partner in the consulting firm Community At Work. Before joining the firm in 2013, Nelli was the director of the consulting unit in the Australian federal government that provided policy and development consulting to more than 180 federal public service agencies. As a workshop leader, Nelli has taught Community At Work programs on five continents, across a wide spectrum of organizations, including Genentech, Wikimedia Foundation, Singapore Civil Service College, Google, Los Angeles County Department of Health, University of Tokyo, U.C. Office of the President, SCAN Foundation, University of Oregon School of Law and many more. She is well-known in the field for her time as a board member of the International Association of Facilitators, and as the regional director of IAF Oceania.


If COVID-19 conditions permit, the workshop will be held in person, at a location arranged by ECVO (and meeting health safety requirements as prescribed by the Alberta government.)


If you wish to be invoiced for this event to pay at a later date, please fill out the registration form by clicking REGISTER to the left. During checkout, choose the INVOICE ME option. Kerry-Ann Sitcheron, Strategic Initiatives Specialist at ECVO, will follow up with details about the next steps, including payment arrangements. Please note that, in order to maintain your place in this program, we require payment in full no later than June 15, 2022.


This program is eligible for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, which can cover as much as 2/3 of your registration fee. In order to be eligible to receive a CAJG grant for this program, we recommend you submit your CAJG application to the Government of Alberta no later than January 11, 2023, which is about three months prior to the start of the program, as the CAJG program is experiencing high volumes and an increase in processing times.

Please note, you will need to include a quote from the training provider in your CAJG application. Click here to view and download a PDF with all of the necessary information for your application. If you need any information or support for your CAJG application, feel free to reach out info@ecvo.ca.


Cancellation by Registrant

A partial refund (50%) will be issued for cancellations made by August 20, 2022. After August 20, 2022, no refunds will be offered. To request a cancellation, please email programs@ecvo.ca.

Cancellation by Organizer
In the event of a cancellation of the event by the ECVO, registrants will be notified immediately via email and a full refund will be issued.


If you have any questions regarding this program, please email us at programs@ecvo.ca.



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