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Episode 080

September 30, 2020

No more workshops without provocation with Diana Ying Liu and Kandis O’Brien

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    How can you, as a facilitator, create new and exciting possibilities for your workshop participants?
    The answer lies in provoking your audience to listen to each other and feel heard. Provocation is a strategic tactic to make workshop participants feel uncomfortable – but in a good way. It drives them out of their comfort zones and allows them to break free from their shells so they can take action and evoke new thoughts and ideas that may have been left uncovered.
    We know that provocation can have many positive benefits, but how can facilitators use provocation to amplify their workshop? You’ll discover the answer on this episode of workshops work, where I’m joined by Diana Ying Liu and Kandis O’Brien from The SIX, an innovation and strategy consultancy that helps “leaders and their teams get their groove on.”
    We deep dive into how you can provoke compelling conversations in your workshop sessions, why you need to have the right executive sponsor in the room, and so much more!

    Find out about

    • How Diana and Kandis define the role of a facilitator vs a consultant
    • How to use provocation to create friction and encourage people to step outside of their comfort zones
    • The different levels of provocation
    • Exercises to help people ‘loosen up’
    • How to make people feel comfortable and safe enough to share
    • The importance of understanding the culture of the organisation and the problem statement of the session
    • The advantages of having pre-interviews before the workshop

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

    Questions and Answers


    Diana, when did you start calling yourself a facilitator?


    Do you bring in your own facilitators to your sessions?


    How do you use provocation as a tool to create friction?


    How do you define the right degree of provocation that is relevant and absurd at the same time?


    How would you react when/if the leadership disregards a team member’s idea?


    What makes a workshop fail from the perspective of a consultant vs a facilitator?


    Do the pre-interviews create a level of trust or do you still need another layer of trust creation at the start of the workshop to play around with provocation?


    What would be your golden nugget about provocation from our discussion?

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