The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

MLDP Recap: "Facilitation Training" with Darin Eich

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This ongoing series explores sessions of the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) through participant narratives. MLDP is a one-term program designed to develop citizen leaders among sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Dartmouth College. Led by expert guest speakers each week, sessions employ experiential teaching techniques to engage students through hands-on learning of core management and leadership skills.

[Facilitators: First Row (right to left): Soo Yeon Kang '10, Kimberly Waters '11, Edie Wu '12, Connie Hu '11, Aryana Jacobs '11.; Second Row (right to left): Jocelyn Krauss '10, Nana Amoah '11, Snowy Liu '12, Esther Ha '11, Nishreen Ali '12, Hillary Cheng '11; Third Row (right to left): Andrew Clay '12, Samuel Hui '12, Jason Goodman '12, Chris Chavis '12]

"I love teaching facilitation more than leadership," said Darin Eich – an independent consultant from Madison, Wisconsin -- during the MLDP facilitators’ training session Monday, March 29, 2010. This session marked the beginning of MLDP's spring 2010 cycle, and with a group of over sixty students, MLDP staff and presenters will use the newly trained facilitators throughout the term. Eich began the session with short introductions with a twist and explained afterward that a good facilitator makes everyone feel comfortable. During the session participants learned tips and tricks, including brainstorming activities. Participants even practiced these tips when Eich asked them to write on sticky notes about their best small-group experience. Eich explained after students completed the task that this particular exercise is a great way to get everyone to share. Students also practiced other activities to improve small-group discussion. These activities included "brain rain," "think, pair, share," and role playing. At the end of the session students practiced their improvisation skills as a facilitator during a group activity where they were asked to build a discussion around a topic of leadership they wanted to learn more about or wanted to share with a small group. Exercising all of the skills Eich had just provided, many facilitators asked their small groups to role play and share common experiences. Using their skills right away should give this group a great start for the spring term.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences