Adaptive Facilitation

Schools of Public Engagement: Milano

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students
Adaptive Facilitation
Fall 2023
Taught By: Eric Martin
Section: A

CRN: 11218

Credits: 3

The need for effective facilitation is increasing as our global community and organizational challenges get more complex, less certain and simply harder to manage. “Facilitation” in these contexts often extends beyond simple meeting facilitation to holding—and even leading—competing stakeholders through a process of creative disequilibrium. Therefore, for the facilitator, as for a leadership practitioner, a guiding question is how do I prepare people to tolerate the pressures, heat and ambiguity that develops as we work toward resolving tough and seemingly intractable challenges. Adaptive Facilitation builds this critical capacity by shifting the classroom to become a space to practice facilitation rather than to simply study it. The cornerstone of Adaptive Facilitation is a belief that, to facilitate well, the facilitator needs to internalize the very capacities that they seek to create in the individuals and teams they’re facilitating: managing self and role, understanding their relationship to authority, surfacing factions, managing frustration and discomfort in the face of intractable challenges, navigating disappointment and orchestrating productive conflict. To do that, facilitators must develop a keen eye for seeing the system as it reveals itself, generating multiple interpretations of the “data” in the room, and then crafting exercise, activities and interventions that help people engage more purposefully. Adaptive Facilitation builds on and extends the leadership development framework and methodology of Adaptive Leadership, which was developed by Ron Heifetz and his Harvard Kennedy School colleagues over the past thirty-five years. It provides a framework, shared language and set of tools and techniques for leading individuals and teams through challenging and uncertain environments. Specific, practical skills the student can expect to learn include: 1. Reading dynamic situations and designing interventions in the moment, 2. Making hidden issues, assumptions and interpretations transparent and testable, 3. Depersonalizing conflict, 4. Directing attention to systemic, rather than personal, interpretations, 5. Resisting the urge to provide premature closure to conversations, 6. Holding steady when participants express discomfort or hostility, 7. Making conscious choices about which lines of inquiry to pursue and which to let pass, 8. Refashioning participants' expectations that they can rely on the facilitator for answers.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Milano (MIL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: Hybrid

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: October 29, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 3, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:02am EST 2/23/2024

Meeting Info:
Building: Online Course
Room: 999
Date Range: 10/23/2023 - 12/17/2023
Days: Friday, Saturday
Times: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Building: Fanton Hall 72 5th
Room: 713
Date Range: 12/8/2023 - 12/9/2023
Days: Sunday
Times: 10:00am - 1:00pm
Building: Fanton Hall 72 5th
Room: 713
Date Range: 12/10/2023 - 12/10/2023