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ASK, NOT TELL

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  • David

CPF

Updated: Mar 20


This is the ‘CPF Candidate Result’ – the paper which I received at the end of the assessment day in Seoul, Korea. CPF stands for Certified Professional Facilitator as offered by International Association of Facilitators.


To me, the day means not only assessment but also learning as well. It started at 8am and ended late at 7pm. It first forced me to reflect deeply on the past facilitation events during the interview. The following 30 minutes demonstration session gave me opportunity to facilitate for unfamiliar participants, and more importantly yielded me valuable feedback from 2 master facilitators as well as 5 other fellow candidates. In playing the role of participants for the other candidates, I was shown with techniques and skills new to me. The day ended with the 2nd interview during which I commented on my own and others’ demonstrations.


Overall, it stretched me to take stock of what I have, and show the best. It was a great “70” and “20” learning experience.


Let me share some of my key learning points here:


Keep Things Simple – As compared to the others, my workshop design is rather straight-forward. I explained the context, agreed with the participants the objectives and agenda, and then went through simple plenary and small group discussion. It worked. And I think the same applies to real life situation – we should avoid invent something new for the sake of doing it.


Prepare, Prepare and Prepare – I have prepared quite a lot for the demonstration and it helped. As I reflected with the assessors, the truth is that success is largely determined before any facilitation event during the preparation. When you stand in front of the participants, there is relatively limited you can do to make a big difference.


Be Invisible – Reflecting on all the demonstrations during the day, one serious challenge in becoming a great facilitator is how to make yourself “invisible”. (I learnt this term “invisible” from a master trainer in my company before.) Strictly speaking, a great facilitator should both be “visible” and “invisible”. You should be visible in providing process, handling conflict, creating atmosphere, etc. However, you should be invisible in the sense that at the end of your workshop, the participants remember their collective outcome but not the facilitator. I managed to become “invisible” to a certain extent, but need to do more. And the assessor was very right in alerting me that when one becomes a better facilitator, the growing ego would make him / her forget the need to be “invisible”.


In fact, after the assessment day I attended the IAF Asia conference. I learnt a lot from there as well. Got to find time to write them down.

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