Letters to Future Cohorts

At the end of each class, the cohort is asked to write a letter to the next “class”. Here are a sampling of some of the letters that have been written.

Dear future facilitation course group,

You’ve got a great several weeks ahead of you.  I am so glad that I took on this course, and I think that you will be as well!  Although a good deal of time and effort are involved, everything you put into it will be worth it.

Throughout this course, my mind was opened further than it had been in the past.  I learned many tactics for encouraging, controlling, and managing input during meetings and classes.  I also learned how to make each experience more whole-group involved, as well as more interesting and interactive for each participant.  I mainly teach and coach groups of all sizes, rather than facilitate meetings, but almost everything I learned in this class was applicable to teaching and coaching people.  The course expanded my toolbox for reaching others and guiding them through experience learning.

I felt challenged throughout this course.  At first I felt apprehensive to volunteer to try tactics before completely understanding them, but the “baptism by fire” and “on the spot” learning experience was valuable.  I learned to jump in and try without hesitation.  I felt supported by the instructors and my classmates each time I tried a facilitation method or provided input.  I learned to better neutralize myself when facilitating a group meeting where a decision or plan is the goal.  I also learned to truly examine myself and determine if I have a tendency to do anything in a group that is distracting or irritating to others.  That’s a tough thing to assess, but valuable!  I think my favorite gain from this class are the various tactics for recruiting input from individuals, and the Zoom functions that I did not formerly know how to use.  These tactics have greatly improved my classes!  I also will always remember the Ted Talk recording we watched as part of our homework at the start of the course about respecting differing perspectives.

I encourage you to make sure you have everything else set aside when it’s time to participate in your weekly class, and to do the homework for each week before you meet rather than after.  That was very helpful for me.  I encourage you to go all in, and truly challenge your current knowledge and beliefs!

Dear next cohort, 

Congratulations on enrolling in this course! As you embark on this new adventure, I am excited to see how you will grow and develop your skills. No matter your level of experience in group facilitation, this course will provide you with valuable tools and techniques to hone your abilities, develop effective meeting agendas, and tackle the challenges that arise when facilitating group meetings. The sessions are designed to be engaging, and there will be many readings and assignments to complete. 

To make the most of this course, I encourage you to utilize your time management skills to stay on top of your workload and participate actively in class discussions. I can assure you that the instructors are very responsive, welcoming, and encouraging, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them whenever you need assistance. 

Best of luck in your studies!

Dear Future Participants,

You will find great value in this class. You will learn not just how to be a better facilitator but a better meeting participant who engages more fully (without their phone in their hand, or their email open in another window). You will cringe at meetings that aren’t facilitated well (I see you – charts written in tiny font and red marker!). 

To be successful in this course, I recommend you do the reading and the homework – for every class – even if you are not seeking continuing education credits. it is the best way to be prepared and fully engaged, and really, to get the most out of the course. If you can, treat the homework as pre-work, as it really helps when it comes time for the live weekly class.

I have learned so much in terms of how to write notes, summarize, manage difficult participants, engage quiet participants and facilitate meetings that are a more enjoyable experience. I hope you enjoy this class as much as I did!