Facilitation is soft power -- by Ms Candice Lam
I came to know facilitation in 2010. I like it as an approach of making changes.
Later on, I had opportunities to learn facilitation from Lilian Wang, Founding Chair of the International Association of Facilitators Hong Kong Chapter (IAFHK).
I was mentored by Yvonne Yam to apply facilitation in office meetings. I designed processes to discuss issues on experiential learning, engagement of students, alumni and staff, promotion and publicity, strategic planning, programme review, etc. The facilitation enhanced the participation of staff in expressing their ideas and views which is very much treasured.
In January 2015, volunteers of IAFHK facilitated the Alumni Forum for Shaw College to review alumni activities and connect the alumni community.
Supported by the IAFHK community, the CUHK Shaw College - IAFHK strategic partnership was launched in May 2015.
Students joining summer programmes were invited to attend pre-trip workshops for setting learning goals and preparing for the learning trip. Students were also invited to attend post-trip workshops to reflect their learning journey and consolidate the learning.
Cultural Integration Programme (CIP) is the second project under the partnership. Students were selected and trained to become Cultural Integration Facilitators (CIF) who would initiate activities to promote diversity and inclusion of students of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. CIF learned basic knowledge and skills in facilitation, leadership and communication. CIF were coached by CIP team advisors.
In the CUHK Shaw College - IAFHK strategic partnership, over 60 man-days of volunteer professional facilitation were conducted by members and friends of IAFHK.
These facilitated experiential learning workshops and CIP had laid the foundation on which the staff team continued to conduct facilitation sessions for similar and new programmes, with support of training and coaching by experienced facilitators.
The college retreat 2017/18 had also adopted the approach of process facilitation, to attain the objectives of alignment of expectations, brainstorming and prioritization of approaches for programmes, and team building.
Facilitation is soft power for meaningful dialogues, constructive changes and positivity. I love it.