As I am about to leave my current organisation, someone asks me ‘what have you gained the most from the job?’ I think it is my learning and the learning came mostly from working with my co-facilitators. Whenever possible, I will choose to work with a co-facilitator. It is not because of workload. In fact, the work may become more difficult with a co-facilitator. For example in working with a new co-facilitator, you need to spend time in advance to prepare together. And when you two are not aligned,
To me, there are other more important reasons why i prefer co-facilitation.
- Feedback – With right contracting, the best feedback comes from your co-facilitator. He or she is probably the best person in the room who understands the intent and result. He or she is thus most informed to give you feedback. In addition, especially in leadership development workshops which are about personal disclosure and are reflective by nature, you will have the atmosphere and time to build reasonably good level of trust with your co-facilitator. This enables him / her to give you feedback. So, your co-facilitator has both WILL and SKILL to give you feedback.
- Pushing the boundary – If learning facilitation is about helping learners push the boundary, I do a better job when I do it with a co-facilitator. Frankly, I am more ready to challenge the learners knowing that someone is backing me up.
- Role-model – You learn by simply watching another facilitator in action. This is especially powerful when you swap with your co-facilitator to run each other’s modules. You can see how the other facilitates the same thing differently from you did.
Thus, I have to say THANK YOU to the co-facilitators I have worked in the last 2-3 years! Graham B, Graham H, Hannah, Helena, Simon, Fiona, Tony, Patrick, Sabrina, Trisha, Judith, Leslie, Emma, Winnie, Noel, William, thanks!! (My apology if I miss any of you)