Sometimes when we do workshops, organizations or companies might say, “Hey, you know, we’ve done this workshop, but nothing has changed.” I hear that a lot and I understand why …
Sometimes when we do workshops, organizations or companies might say, “Hey, you know, we’ve done this workshop, but nothing has changed.” I hear that a lot and I understand why that is, but I think maybe we should take a step back to take a moment and ask ourselves: what’s the point, or what’s the purpose of workshops when we bring a client to our company who says, “Hey, facilitate this workshop on unconscious bias and racism.”
And so the first thing I’d say is what exactly were you expecting from this workshop? When we facilitate workshops, we often say the work is not the workshop. This is a phrase that I’ve borrowed from facilitators before my time, and I love this phrase because what it means is that our goal as a facilitator is to come into your space, now it’s really virtual, but to come into that virtual space and to have a conversation with your team or your colleagues, presenting information, and engaging with content that we might not know how to talk about in the workplace. And so bringing us along helps create those brave spaces that sometimes it’s hard to do when you are part of a workplace. So we’re really asking ourselves, okay, why are we doing this workshop, number one.
Secondly, what is the purpose?
Thirdly, what does it look like after the workshop? What do you plan on doing afterwards? One reason why nothing is happening after a workshop is because there’s not a clear idea of what we want to do next. So some of the tips I’ll give in terms of how to make that connection are around making sure that you already have an idea of where you see your company or organization going.
For example, if you bring us in for an unconscious bias training, one of the first questions we ask is: what have you done in the past, if anything at all, related to diversity, equity, and inclusion? And then what are your plans in the future? So making sure that this workshop is part of a longer-term strategy and perhaps creating time to hire a coach or consultant to guide you through your action planning for that rest of the year, or for years to come.
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