I am a group process facilitator and I help individuals come together as a group and talk, listen, feel, decide, and act. I love being a facilitator and am thankful and happy that I make my living by helping people work together to reach meaningful decisions.
How did I become a facilitator? When I look back at my childhood through university to professional work, I can pinpoint significant experiences that enabled me to gain the knowledge and skills of facilitation.
- Being a member of a 4-H Youth Club in my teen years taught me teamwork, communication, public speaking and introduced me to the world of non-profit organizations
- Enrolling in a High School Recreation Leadership two-year program introduced me to the recreational principles and activities that I still use to bring fun to group sessions. I also learned how to plan, design and run many types of meetings, workshops, and sessions based on what the participants want.
- Working during my “gap” year after high school as a 4-H Youth Club Coordinator where I learned the power and wisdom of community leaders and members, of supporting a group to reach what it wants
- Completing a four-year Recreation Administration Degree at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada helped me understand how individuals in groups work together, the sociology of group behaviours, community building, and deepened my belief in the value of people working together for better personal and community life.
- Working as a Recreation, Parks, and Culture Manager is several local government entities (rural counties, urban towns and cities) gave me the opportunity to put my education into practice.
- Being the Master Trainer of Strategic Planning with the Government of Alberta (Canada) Volunteer Development Program
- Taking various adult education training programs
- And, most importantly, taking facilitation training through the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA Canada), Skilled Facilitator (Roger Schwarz & Associates), The Art of Hosting Conversations and The Circle Way.
My “Aha” Moments
I delivered my first speech in public at the age of 13 years as a member of a 4-H Youth Club. I remember being scared and nervous. I barely recall one second of giving that speech. However, I know that something ignited in me and over the next four years, I excelled in public speaking. I loved preparing a speech, thinking quickly and adapting to the audience – all skills needed as a facilitator.
After I started my facilitation business, I took an ICA Associates Facilitation for Groups course. After 60 minutes into the first day of the training, I had my biggest facilitation “Aha” moment ever! I shouted to myself with excitement – I recognize these philosophies, approaches and methods – they are what I have been doing for years. I found the foundation for my work.