As facilitators, we often struggle with setting the right tone in a conversation and asking the right questions to start a conversation. In this session, Shok Been and Yeelin shared some tips and tricks on how to construct these types of dialogues in a tactful manner.

In the beginning, they asked us introspective questions which encouraged us to reflect on our lives and goals, something that we often neglect as we go about our daily lives. Following that, Yeelin and Shok Been led us through various frameworks, where we learned how to adopt a solution-focused mindset by learning to identify goals and to use that knowledge to motivate others.

In order to better understand the relevant concepts and see how they differ, we were asked to compare the outcomes of two discussion groups, one that took the problem-oriented approach and the other that took the solution-oriented approach. Through this activity, we learned the value of taking a solution-oriented approach. We were also taught techniques to help our peers develop a solution mindset without appearing patronising.

After that, we were introduced to four different competencies: ‘Not knowing (tolerating ambiguity)’, ‘Active listening’, ‘Facilitating partners’, ‘Growth’, and ‘Power silence’. These competencies are designed to cultivate us into better leaders. We learned how to observe our peers, how to discern the subtle nuances in their emotions and energy, and how to respond accordingly. We were also taught to ask powerful questions to understand the issues that others face, and that silence is essential to allowing others to think, hence it is not always necessary to fill the silence.

In closing, they asked us to reflect on the same question that they asked at the beginning of the workshop, to detect if there were any changes in our answers regarding our confidence in facilitation. I felt that this workshop was very insightful as it allowed us to reflect both inwardly and outwardly, on both ourselves and others. We learned how to facilitate our own growth, and through that, to help others grow as well.

As a leader, I learned to identify the flaws in my current leadership style, specifically in terms of listening to others. I also learned to check in with myself on a regular basis, reflect on my current goals, and the issues I am currently facing. I’ve also learned that we should have deeper conversations within ourselves and be aware of our emotions in order to initiate deeper conversations with others.