Building Your Virtual Facilitation Skills

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Zoom call

Save the Dates:  October 6 • October 13 • October 20 • October 27 • November 3

A new 5-part training series that adapts Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills Level 1 for virtual facilitation

UMaine Extension, Sea Grant, UNH Extension, UVM Extension, Virginia Tech Extension Logos

A collaboration of:

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, University of New Hampshire Extension, University of Vermont Extension, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virtual – The New Normal

The global pandemic has impacted our daily routines in innumerable ways, including the transition of in-person meetings to virtual platforms. Are you involved with groups which need to produce results through virtual interactions?

How can I work effectively with virtual groups?

Are you looking for ways to:

  • engage your virtual group members?
  • manage the group’s virtual process and challenges?
  • handle multiple aspects of virtual technology?
  • adapt facilitation techniques and tools for virtual environments?

Session Descriptions

Session 1: Virtual Facilitation Essentials, October 6, 1 – 3 pm 

We will launch the series by introducing the essential virtual facilitation concepts and skills on which the series will build. These include the development of norms and working agreements, understanding the role of the facilitator, applying the facilitation road map, and appreciating the mental models of others. 

Session 2: Setting the Stage for Success, October 13, 1-3 pm

In this session we explore how to set up your virtual environment and introduce some commonly available tools that engage participants and get results.  We will also touch on group stages, how they impact facilitation and explore hindering and helping behaviors common to groups in a virtual setting.

Session 3: Facilitation Practice: Putting your skills to work, October 20, 1-3 pm

Facilitation skills require practice and application to master.  In this session we will focus on applying strategies for brainstorming, narrowing, decision making, and action planning to virtual meetings.  Participants will have the opportunity to practice planning and facilitating small groups using a variety of virtual tools.  Small groups will use different techniques so that participants can become familiar with varied tools and methods.

Session 4: Facilitation Challenges and Opportunities, October 27, 1-3 pm

While facilitation can be challenging, there is great opportunity for success with a well-managed group. In this session, we will learn tools for guiding a group to desired outcomes, as well as develop an understanding of how unspoken assumptions and inferences can impact group dynamic and results.

Session 5: Celebrating Facilitation Success, November 3, 1-2 pm

This final session will focus on the importance of recognizing and celebrating  accomplishments in groups, including our own! We’ll also test a  consulting method for problem solving with group members, and we’ll  invite participants’ feedback to process and evaluate the series.  

Registration coming soon. Please contact Sue Cagle for more information.

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