New developments: training in the facilitation of work discussion groups

Jackson, Emil and Klauber, Trudy (2018) New developments: training in the facilitation of work discussion groups. Infant Observation: International Journal of Infant Observation and Its Applications, 21 (2). pp. 241-260. ISSN 1369-8036 (Print), 1745-8943 (Online)

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Invitations to provide training in the work discussion model and its facilitation led the authors to question how we learn to facilitate work discussion groups. The authors describe their experience of developing a pilot five day foundation course in Work Discussion Group facilitation with participants who were unfamiliar with the Work Discussion Group model. The paper describes the thinking behind the training, its central elements and the emphasis on learning from experience as student participants became familiar with being Work Discussion Group members, presenters and, later, to trying out the role of facilitator. The authors draw on their experience of running these training programmes, and of leading work discussion seminars themselves to illustrate how opportunities to take up the facilitation task, with support and consultation from the two course leaders, enabled participants to consolidate their understanding of work discussion itself as well as of the task of the facilitator. This task is particularly important in terms of containing the group and keeping it on task, while taking note of unconscious processes and powerful projections of anxiety and inadequacy which dominate in early presentations of oneself in a work interaction. Despite the authors’ reservations about what would be possible in such a course, especially given its brief nature and the limited experience of many participants, the outcomes indicate that the course had a powerful and transformational impact on many; some went on to introduce work discussion into their own work settings, and to research it.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Work Discussion Facilitation, Training, Learning From Experience, Task, Work Group
Subjects: Communication (incl. disorders of) > Communication
Groups & Organisations > Group Processes/Group Dynamics
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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