Fostering Community-Building with Graphic Facilitation Training

grove news May 15, 2008





 With studies on "social capital"-social trust, diversity of interactions and leadership-showing  that Greensboro, North Carolina consistently ranked below national average in trust between citizens, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro partnered with several agencies to design the "IMPACT Greensboro" program and asked The Grove Consultants International for help.

In an effort to change this troubling dynamic in the community, a unique leadership program called IMPACT Greensboro was created to pair people of diverse backgrounds to develop friendships.  The premise is that friendships "expedite the building of trust between diverse people, foster an inclusive culture, create new understandings, and break down barriers." IMPACT Greensboro participants-known as "change agents"-are recruited for the program to best represent Greensboro's diverse community and to inspire hope for the community's future.  They are charged with building authentic relationships while solving differences and finding shared values and solutions to day-to-day issues.





Graphic facilitation skill training is one of the tools being introduced into the program for these important ambassadors of change in Greensboro. The Grove's Principles of Graphic Facilitation training workshop teaches participants the art of leading groups and group processes toward agreed-upon objectives in ways that are participatory, productive and memorable.  In creating a custom-designed training course for the IMPACT Greensboro change agents, The Grove's intent was to build skills, provide tools and share processes to help them communicate effectively with the people they serve, work together with others toward agreed-on goals, and obtain higher levels of engagement and commitment through the use of big picture graphics and visual tools and practices.

Researchers report that people retain approximately 65% of what they see, 15% of what they hear, and 80% when the two are combined. By keeping this in mind and working with graphic displays and clear visual metaphors learned through The Grove's Graphic Facilitation training workshops, IMPACT Greensboro program leaders and change agents of all kinds can become much more effective in any kind of group work, be it visioning, process alignment, action planning, or innovation.



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