Developing Owl Vision: Facilitation Skillshare Report

on January 30, 2016

In mid-January, the Hive organized a facilitation skillshare–a chance for people with a range and variety of skills and experiences in facilitating groups to learn from each other and increase our knowledge and confidence. We focused on facilitation skills for use in non-hierarchical groups whose aim is mutual support or learning.

Malaika and Calvin facilitated the skillshare, and 16 participants from Brattleboro and neighboring communities (including Northampton!) showed up to share their wisdom and questions.

Part of the skillshare included a group brainstorm around facilitation tools that participants had used or heard about. Here’s what we came up with:

Have a backup plan
Create a signal for attention
Allow for silence (intentionally)
Check in with group
Set limits
One-on-one support from one member/facilitator
Structure time sharing w/hourglass
Temperature checks w/thumbs
Fist of five
Create different formats/sizes for inclusivity
Break-out groups
Don’t talk
Talking piece
Space for non-verbal ways to participate
Owl vision
Prioritize space for survivors
Ask about accessibility 1st]

At the end, we took some time to debrief, and facilitators asked for feedback: in the left column, what worked well (+), and in the right column (delta), what could have been different.


Kinesthetic activity
Popcorn speaking
Started a conversation
Open to feedback
Worked well together
Reached an awesome audience


More time
Dry erase markers
More specific focus
Florescent lights/lights darker
Ask about accessibility first

We hope to have a followup event in the spring in order to build on the conversation and allow for other facilitators to step up. Please be in touch if you’re interested in facilitating or participating in future skillshares.

Thanks to the Root Social Justice Center for hosting!

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