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At Echos, we use “warm-up” activities to break the ice in the first moments of a workshop, course or project. If you have participated in any of our learning experiences, you know that the “warm-up” portion of our workshops happens religiously.

We believe that getting people to relax is a great way to kick off a class, a co-creation session, a meeting, a brainstorming session, and any group activity that requires the participants to establish a connection with each other.

Using this type of activity will help a facilitator to leverage the collective intelligence in a group of people, and develop innovative solutions using collaborative, human-centred approaches.

The Importance Of Facilitation

The present is a fascinating and – at times – difficult place to be. Sometimes the world seems to be a place filled with intolerance and people’s views can be so shocking that we tend to isolate ourselves within the parameters of our own certainties, making us feel like we have a superior moral high ground when compared to the people who shocked us with their intolerance.

Paradoxically, human beings cannot properly function in isolation; our greatest evolutive trait is our ability to work together, collaboratively creating solutions that would not exist otherwise. In order not to detach ourselves from our humanity, we need to let our guards down every so often to connect with other people. Facilitation is a mechanism that helps us do that.

Facilitation takes place when someone understands that it is imperative to work with other people; when they realise that their point of view is only one point of view and, therefore, insufficient to tackle a complex challenge.

However, most of us grew up in a cultural context where traits of dominance are predominant. Mediation becomes, thus, a way to allow people to work together collaboratively, reaching what we call “collective intelligence”.

Without mediation, there is no inclusive space. Our social models segment very clearly the exclusion: the teacher figure, for instance, represents the “holder of all knowledge”, which implies that knowledge lives outside ourselves and not within. In order to find what people have of best to offer, these types of models need to be rethought to give everyone a platform to speak.

We hope that this deck of cards is a tool that will help you in your collaborative facilitation experience and that, as a result, your projects have better outcomes.

download warm-up cards

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge in in#novation facilitation, Echos Facilitation Experience course is right for you. Check out upcoming dates here.

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