And yet again.

I was facilitating a three-day workshop. We invested the first 30 minutes into a playful and visual introduction round. Most people knew each other, either well or vaguely, and a few were new. In a group of 30 the introduction round gave each one minute to say hello, and provided a sense of who is in the room. One of the participants approached me on the second day of our workshop telling me that she appreciated this getting started together the day before and that she really missed this in a previous workshop. “We do not make a presentation round, you know each other,” was the statement of the facilitator.

So, yet again, the social and relational dimension is undermined and sacrificed for the sake of content and tight workshop schedules.

People first

In my experience, a meaningful introduction round is worth the time. How can I be sure, as facilitator, that all participants are connected? How do I know how participants relate to the workshop topic?

Adults are not learning content-centred but problem-centred. Precisely that is the reason why the relational dimension is important. I am sure that having some ‘social time’ at the beginning of a workshop pays off 100 times in the conversation later. If we manage to create the right atmosphere participants will more likely be ready and willing to share their experiences (also challenging ones) and to have conversations that are collaborative and transformative.

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