Author Archives: Michelle Laurie

About Michelle Laurie

I support organizations to do their best work though strategy, assessment, engagement and facilitation. I work out of a home office in the mountains of BC, Canada.

10 days of COVID – what am I learning?

OnlineWorldMarch2020

As we face uncertainty in every area of life and it feels like a balance between chaos and order, panic and zen, there are lots of beautiful moments to note.

As the world dives into unchartered territory, I’m drawn to resume my reflective practice.

In an effort to calm the barrage of thoughts, here is a curated ‘top of mind’ list of what I’ve been learning.

 

 

On the work front…

  • As a specialist in face to face engagement and meetings, my work is changing rapidly.
  • I need to slow down and breathe….and find focus.
  • There is so much to learn. There are so many platforms to do a million and one things online. Finding the right one will take experimentation. There is no silver bullet.
  • There are many people trying and testing and learning together. These people are generous, curious and supportive!
  • Zoom is the technology I found easiest to adopt and use for a variety of reasons professionally and personally.
  • Three virtual training sessions in a row to test platforms and experiment is TOO much in one sitting!
  • Sitting all day (and night?) staring at my screen is starting to affect my body.
  • I need to upgrade my technology and tools so I can function well in the digital world.
  • The new way of working is a great opportunity to learn as well as develop as a meeting facilitator.

 

On the family front…

 

Cyclimb

  • We love being at home together. My husband deserves most of the credit for keeping our homelife healthy, happy and active.
  • The kids are having fun, getting outside lots and thus far aren’t noticing too much of a difference.
  • Living in a rural area helps – plenty to do outside away from people.
  • For the past 7 years, we have avoided screen time with the kids. This will change.
  • I need to carve out time to be with family and get off my computer as its easy to get sucked in to another ‘learning session’.
  • It’s been great to reconnect with friends and family virtually. It’s also hard to connect virtually on screens after a long day of virtual work.
  • I miss inviting friends to play in the yard, the street and in our home.
  • I am sad we won’t be visiting the grandparents in April as planned.

 

Homeschooling thoughts and ideas:

art online

  • I’m considering broad learning objectives to help frame the educational goal posts.
  • Routines are helpful. Strict schedules aren’t needed.
  • Activities for typical and a-typical subjects can easily be interspersed throughout the day.
  • We will be embracing outdoor school.
  • Every moment is a learning opportunity – learning in place, learning on the fly, learning while exploring our world…
  • House chores will be formally added to the daily routine. In our house, this includes making a card every day to mail to a different family or friend.
  • Love your kids. Embrace uncertainty. Enjoy!

What are you learning? Any tips for working parents and families?

 

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Facilitator musings in times of social distancing

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A facilitators’ role is to help create, and support, the space for others to do their best work. Much of the world is hitting pause at the moment… while others are in fast-forward. As a face-to-face meeting facilitator, its time to step up, learn and adapt.

  • How can we effectively be in service to others while socially distancing?
  • What are the tools?
  • What are the activities that need to change?
  • What is the appropriate pace for change?
  • What are the expectations of our clients? The project beneficiaries? Our colleagues and ourselves?

I’ve chosen to dive into a few new tools and will be seeking the expertise of friends and colleagues in the field of online facilitation. As a person attached to old fashioned mediums such as pens, paper and face-to-face interaction, I’m looking forward to the learning!

A key message I’m taking from the online discussion groups I’m lurking in is to keep asking:

  • What do we want to accomplish?
  • What can we create online to help experience it?

A few great facilitators and the resources they have shared thus far are highly recommended. Check them out:

Stay healthy and stay safe!

Michelle Laurie Signature

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Save the Date – rosviz2020

ROSVIZ2020 Draft1

#rosviz2020 is happening July 22-23 at The Josie Hotelin Rossland, British Columbia.

If you have been wanting to learn more about graphic facilitation, this workshop is packed with skills, fun and engaging methods you can use immediately!

UPDATE March 19, 2020: In the case that face to face meetings are not possible in July, I am looking at other options for delivering this amazing workshop. If you are keen and want to be updated on the plan, please add your name to the list. Thank you for your patience and stay safe and healthy! E: michelle.k.laurie(@)gmail.com. 

Learn more here!

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The harvest…the gifts.

group harvest all lookingIt’s been almost a month since #Rosviz19, my annual graphic facilitation workshop, took place in Rossland, BC, Canada. I am inspired by the people I was fortunate to meet, the work that was created and the harvests that emerged from this group!

That last exercise of the 2-day workshop is typically about harvest – capturing the learnings, what we want to share, the artifacts to help us remember and the tangible and intangible bits that we each gather throughout.

The harvests were BOLD gifts that stretched everyone to be their best. It was amazing to witness the element of surprise when people saw the sense making that had emerged after a few days of skills building, practice and discussion.

A group of eight gathered together to draw their learnings in large format. 

Harvest Wall No people

Another small group drew tidbits of advice and key points on cards to fit the key ring I gave at the start of the workshop so people could harvest personal insights throughout.

A poet and business advisor shared spoken word as a way to harvest the learnings!

KatieWellsPoem

Finally, after the workshop, Lisa, our social reporter and graphic recorder/guest artist shared a digital recording she created over the 2 days!

RosViz19

Special thank you to Carolina and Fernando for sharing a few Liberating Structures with us on Day 2!

Thank you to Lisa Gates for sharing her exceptional talents once again!

Michelle & Lisa

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who traveled to Rossland to join me on this amazing graphic facilitation journey! 

Now to start planning for 2020…

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Last call for Rosviz19!

3 spots left

We are in the home stretch for registration! One month until the annual graphic facilitation workshop ‘Rosviz19’ begins. There are 3 spots left. This is why you should register:

  1. You want to increase engagement in meetings and with teams, you want to add skills to your toolkit BUT you think…I can’t draw. In this workshop, I promise you will transform that thinking!

 

I can draw

Yes that is you jumping up with joy!

 

2. You are planning an event or a project and you need to visualize your timeline. You want to communicate this to your client or to your team in a simple way to share the big picture ideas. This workshop provides you with the tools and confidence to do so!

Here is a quick example:

draw your next event

A visual timeline explaining stages, dates and process.

 

3. You are wondering…what the heck are we going to do? Here are some ideas…

ideas for the workshop

 

Still not sure? Check out the video from 2018!

Details provided on this webpage.

Scholarships available on as need basis!

Contact me with your questions.

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Yes, draw on walls!

The other day, I received an email from a former graphic facilitation workshop participant. This has made my week!

“Your workshop was really instrumental for me in my work. I use graphics in my research and am often invited to do recordings for strategic planning or dialogue-based events.”

She sent me samples of her work (I can’t share due to privacy 😦 ) however know they are AMAZING! Receiving her email has been a highlight as planning each year takes time, energy and passion!

Here is a taster video we made from 2018 to give you an idea of the fun we have:

When I was researching for the 2019 rosviz graphic facilitation workshop, I did reach out to former participants for advice. In addition to inspiring feedback I also got a great push to keep spreading the gospel of ‘drawing on walls’!

Check out this testimonial:

“I was looking for some hands on learning in graphic facilitation and was lucky to find Michelle Laurie’s annual ROSVIz workshop in Rossland BC.

She skillfully and generously shared her knowledge and experience in a fun and practical way.  I was looking to increase my skills in harvesting and sense making in real time in my workshops and dialogue sessions.  Laurie’s workshop helped me up my game (as a facilitator and process designer) and my practice in graphic facilitation has taken off like a rocket.  I apply graphic facilitation to almost everything when I have the opportunity…and wow what a difference it makes for my clients who are bogged down or overwhelmed by complexity.  The feedback I get from my clients say it all.  Thanks Laurie for helping me take my work to a new level.”

It is so gratifying to hear that some of the skills shared at my ‘rosviz’ workshop are finding their way into meaningful places!

Consider joining us for July 11-12, 2019! All information is here!   

You will also find more testimonials of all the fun and SKILLS to be had at rosviz19!

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Announcing Rosviz19 July 11-12

Join us for a creative skills building retreat in Rossland, BC, Canada July 11-12th, 2019. Boost your ability to engage beyond words, help groups see the bigger picture and make meetings more interesting! More information is here! Graphic workshop 2019

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