I have a variety of workshops on diverse subjects, on file and ready to go (listed in detail below). Any of these workshops can be presented in a range of formats: from a 30 minute plenary, to an evening length discussion, to a multi-week training intensive. I also frequently design workshops (and longer training processes) tailored to a group’s specific needs.
Examples of training topics include:
- Communication systems and Organizational culture
- Facilitation skills, practices and models for effective group process
- Democratic decision making: processes, decision-rules, and maintenance
- Leadership and Governance bodies: structures, rights, and responsibilities
- Anti-oppression and Cultural Competency: empowering diverse memberships and communities
- Consent, negotiation, and sexuality in community
Don't see a training that meets your needs? I can create it for you! Just drop me a note.
Communication Basics: Strategies for Cooperative Communication
Healthy communication is important, but in a cooperative home, workplace, or community organization it’s absolutely crucial. In this workshop we explore the specifics of communication health in a co-op setting, introduce and learn to use the Safe Space dialog tool, and troubleshoot cooperative communication conundrums brought by the participants.
Facilitation: Basic Skills and Structures
From routine meetings, to high-stakes conversations, to conflict management, having a facilitator can make things easier. In this workshop, we cover a variety of contexts which benefit from facilitation. We will explore what facilitation is, what it is not, and share tips and tactics to grow your skillset as a Facilitator. Participants are encouraged to bring in real-life experiences for troubleshooting, and will receive resources to hone their skills and stock their toolboxes.
Facilitation Brush Up for Facilitators
Are you one of those members who often find themselves in the role of Facilitator and want to brush up on your skill-set? In this workshop we cover definitions and practices of Facilitation, nuts and bolts of planning a Facilitated event, tips for inviting constructive feedback, and even some simple games for communication.
Democratic Decision Making 101
In this workshop we learn the process of making a decision in a democratic group, as well as some basic collective meeting mechanics, the variety of democratic decision rules out there, and tips for starting your group off on the right decision-making foot.
Decision Making Processes: Approaches to Governance from Roberts Rules to Consensus
In this workshop, we'll discuss different decision making processes used by co-ops, focusing on the benefits, challenges, and appropriate contexts for each process. Participants will guide a large portion of the discussion by analyzing their own co-op decision making case-studies, and will receive tips and tools for decision making.
Consensus Decision Making: Policies, Processes and Contexts
In this workshop we will explore Consensus as both a Decision Making Process and a 'decision rule'. We'll place Consensus within the spectrum of Democratic Decision Making practices, take a decision through a standard Consensus process, and unpack the Pros, Cons, and Conundrums facing organizations using Consensus. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences, policies, and practices within a safe communication space, and will come away with tools to improve decision making - of any kind - in their cooperative communities.
The Cooperative Citizen: Building Democracy through Cooperative Participation
Cooperatives produce a unique organizational byproduct: increased democratic competency in their members. Simply participating in these place-based community enterprises exposes members to situations which build democratic capacities (like long-term strategic thinking, empathizing across diversities, and effective coalition building). Result: empowered citizens who can productively participate in civic democracy. In this interactive workshop, we excavate the structures and practices through which co-ops cultivate democratic competency, explore historical and contemporary illustrations of cooperative citizens in action, and discuss real-time cooperative governance experiences brought by the participants.
Co-ops 101 for Civic Leaders
Cooperatives are widely known for their social benefits – like being pathways to business ownership for marginalized communities, capturing wealth (and taxes) in the communities where it’s generated, or creating dense urban housing that provides stability to seniors – but often not widely enough. A frequent barrier to developing cooperative endeavors is uninformed Civic Leadership. In this interactive workshop we explore the definition of a cooperative, how co-ops are different (and similar) to other organizational models, the benefits of having more co-ops in a community, and how Civic Leaders can partner with existing organizations to explore cooperative solutions to their civic conundrums.
So, you're on a Board of Directors?
Get acquainted with the basic roles, responsibilities, and processes for a cooperative Board of Directors. This workshop includes education on legal duties and functions, as well as tools for fostering productive meetings, and resources for ongoing learning.
So, you're a President or Chairperson?
In many organizations the President is charged with facilitating meetings, which includes: developing agendas, planning and chairing meetings, maintaining a space for consensual and productive dialog, presenting the issues and goals before discussions, providing problem-solving leadership in challenging situations, and following up on delegated tasks. This workshop covers it all!
Gaming Co-operative Communication
Have you ever been stuck in a meeting going slowly nowhere? Or engaged in a process sunk firmly in a safe and comfortable rut? Productive processes that innovate to meet today’s challenges shouldn’t be boring! There is a solution: game it! In this workshop we explore situations where cooperative games can be used to invigorate a process, engage its participants, and get your organization’s leaders comfortable with thinking outside the box.
Making Meetings Awesome: Empowerment, Participation, and Productivity
Do your organization's meetings suck? Meeting are often perceived as a necessary evil in organizational operations - but they don't have to be. In this workshop we unpack the structures and dynamics of an empowering, participatory, and productive meeting. We'll share solutions, strategies, and tools for facilitating a meeting space where cooperative communication and efficient decision making flourish.
Human Resources for Co-ops: Cultivating Your Assets
Cooperatives are member-driven enterprises, and thus value the rights, entitlements, and human experience of their participants. But many co-ops – across sectors and sizes – struggle to effectively cultivate the well-being, safety, and agency of their stakeholders. In this workshop we cover the basic components and functions of a co-op-style Human Resources ‘department’, briefly survey relevant areas of law, explore how to prioritize diverse functions for maximum impact, and discuss the role of cooperatives in shifting the paradigm from ‘Cover Your Ass’ to ‘Cultivate Your Assets.’
Safe Space for All: Anti-Oppressive Communication
This workshop presents the Safe Space tool as one Anti-Oppressive tool which can be used to frame and guard any interpersonal communication against the intrusion of systemic oppressions. We'll learn when Safe Space is necessary, how to create and maintain it, and how such tools can help build a culture of proactively addressing oppressive dynamics and other high stakes issues to the benefit of the organization, the individual, and our world.
Walking the Talk: Anti-Oppressive Dialog and Decision Making
Cooperatives are built to serve and empower their members, to enhance their capacity to meet their common needs - but in the absence of critical self-reflection, they may only selectively succeed. The lifeblood of any cooperative is dialog and decision making – making this a powerful place to unpack the oppressive socioeconomic dynamics which our organizations may be internally replicating, to the detriment of our current and future membership. In this interactive workshop we deconstruct how power and privilege function in dialog and decision making, develop tools to effectively deal with these dynamics inter-personally and organizationally, and empower participants with a common framework for walking the talk of anti-oppression in their cooperatives.
When Gender Matters: Anti-Oppression and Gender at Work
In this workshop we learn about and discuss the history of gender in the workplace, how gender plays out in co-worker interactions and all operations, and develop practices to become and be an empowering and anti-oppressive workplace for people of all genders. This workshop can be altered or expanded to address any 'protected category' of identity - such as Race, Ability, Age, Sexual Orientation, Family Status, or Faith.
Organizational Culture: Creation & Maintenance
The culture of our organizations is the primary road map we follow when participating in our group endeavors - it is the container which tells us 'how we do things here' for literally everything we do. In this workshop we excavate the functions of culture in our organizations, identify sites where is it reproduced, and troubleshoot culture transmission models. We'll explore the challenges and opportunities in your organization's culture, and equip participants to engage with culture as a tool for creating and maintaining organizational excellence.
Community Agreements: a Culture Creation Tool
In this workshop we will learn about using Community Agreements as a tool to proactively tend to cooperative community. Community Agreements contain guidelines for behavior and pathways for communication that embody the values and culture of an organization. Through participant-driven discussion we will explore just what are they, why we need them, and how to create, use, and uphold them in our unique communities and organizations.
Creating a Conflict Management Plan
When you get a group of humans together, its safe to say that conflict is inevitable. Rather than ignoring this (until we can't anymore), healthy groups plan for conflict. In this workshop we develop a comprehensive plan to help your group constructively anticipate conflict, manage it in the moment, and heal from it - individually and as a group - so you can come back together even stronger than before.
Managing Uncooperative Behavior
Uncooperative behavior runs the gamut from breaking small group-process rules to outright criminal actions. When that behavior begins to negatively affect the health and/or existence of a member, a work-team, the organization, or the community as a whole, your group has a big - and often urgent - problem. In this workshop, we break it all down, and co-create a proactive plan to prevent, deal with, and recover from the effects of uncooperative behavior in our communities.
Bringing Everyone To the Table: Communication in Succession Planning
The transfer of an organization to a new cohort of owners is always a complex process - and given than most groups don't plan for succession, it is often fraught with tensions, held up by schisms, and can even grind to a halt in acrimony. Cultivating productive, authentic conversations is key to a smooth and successful transition. In this workshop we discuss: key elements of successful transition meetings, how to plan and execute these multi-stakeholder conversations, and solve real-life succession dialog scenarios brought by the participants.
Exploring Sexualities in Intentional Community
In this workshop we discuss communication, consent, and other important facets of sexual(ity) negotiation in an Intentional Community setting. Participants are invited to candidly explore the limits, definitions, and roles possible within the infinite diversity of human sexuality, as well as their intricate relationships to one another and to our sensual bodies in a safe, non-judgmental, and supportive environment.