July 15-17, 2020 / Vancouver, BC

Run the Room: Crucial leadership skills for inclusive design and content sessions

Lead better meetings, include more voices, and get more done

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Meetings mostly suck: The loudest voice dominates the room. Decision-making devolves. And half the time, “design thinking” sessions end up with tons of sticky notes…but no actual plan for using all those ideas. Sound familiar? That’s because many teams have tried to adopt collaborative ways of working—like design labs, brainstorming sessions, and workshops—to help them set strategy, experiment with new ideas, and gain alignment. But building a better world (and a better workplace) isn’t just about holding a workshop. It’s about creating an environment where diverse voices are heard and respected, and everyone feels safe sharing their ideas.

That’s where inclusive facilitation comes in.

Facilitation is way more than sending the meeting invite and wielding the whiteboard markers. It requires a nuanced form of leadership: you need to quickly build trust, so that people are willing to work differently. You need to guide conversations and activities through tense moments, and come out the other end with actual decisions, priorities, and outcomes. And you need to understand the power dynamics and systemic biases that make it hard for everyone to safely participate and thrive in collaborative settings.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the foundations of inclusive facilitation—and how anyone can use these skills, at every level of authority.

We’ll cover how to:

  • Establish session goals, and choose the right methods, formats, and setups to best meet them
  • Create spaces where people feel safe sharing ideas and practicing new skills
  • Get input from diverse voices, make people feel heard, and prevent derailing
  • Guide conversations and activities to flow effectively through the day
  • Create small-group activities that actually…work
  • Keep audiences engaged and focused

Each step of the way, you’ll have the chance to practice what you’re learning by facilitating activities and discussions with your peers. At the end of the day, we’ll put it all together, taking a real-life challenge you face, and identifying how facilitation can help you overcome it—giving you the tools and confidence you need to take the lead at your company’s gatherings, empower your team, and unlock others’ potential.

Our sponsoring partners