Tag: workshop

Co-creating community agreements in meetings

Last month, Drawing Change posted a friendly question on social media:

What’s your favourite community agreement, for meetings?

The responses were so thoughtful and empowering, they had to be shared widely. 

As opposed to “ground rules”, a community agreement is often formed by the group at the beginning of a meeting (there’s a twist on this – more on this in a moment). These commitments can help to create a safer space, be referred to if conflicts arise, and help set the tone and focus for your time together.

Here’s what people contributed:

  • “Learn (or lean) into discomfort.”
  • “Ask for what you need, offer what you can.”
  • “Uphold commitments.”
  • “Listen to understand.”
  • “Let go in order to grow.”
  • “Assume good intent, until proven otherwise.”
  • “Dig deep and Let go.”
  • “Do no harm.”
  • “Support others – this is how you learn about your own strengths.”
  • “Listen to Build. (instead of saying ‘yeah, but…’)
  • “Talk in headlines.”  (Useful if you need to ask “can you give us the headline?”, to get someone to summarize a statement for everyone’s clarity.)
  • “Take the wisdom out of the room but leave the names out.”
  • “Talk to each other not about each other.”
  • “Authentic self expression.”
  • “Limited tech use: we are all grown ups (with work and family obligations) but do your best to be present and avoid the compulsive email checking.”
  • “Nothing about us without us.”
  • “Sustainable ideas consider needs of all, so if an idea doesn’t work for you or the group, consider an alternate!”
  • “Take care of your needs.”
  • (for community work in Northern Mexico, we talk about the quality of) “resonance: we do not compare, contrast, discount or diminish our stories or those of others – we resonate.”  

These agreements were contributed by Ferananda Ibarra, Chris Corrigan, Krisztina Kun, Trilby Smith, Katy Golinsky, Gray Miller Creative, Ankit Chhabra, wolf, Nadja Petranovskaja, Brandy Agerbeck, Natalie Ord, Monica Brasov-Curca, Christine Martell, Jill Banting, Rachel Marcuse, Ken Lima-Coelho, Mark Busse, Julie Gieseke

Facilitating and co-creating agreements

Recently, I’ve been rethinking community agreements. When is it best to suggest principles to the group, and when is it better for a group to create their own? For my graphic facilitation training workshops, I might start the room with a poster like the one in the image above – and ask the group if they have edits or additions. Setting the tone from the front of the room like this works well — but only in low-conflict situations. For years I always asked groups to write them together, but in short meetings or focus groups, when time is very precious or the group is not coming together for a high-stakes conversation, it can seem trite to ask the group to participate in these container-building activities.

But, I’m recently home from a Lewis Deep Democracy training, with greater clarity. Community agreements or “safe rules” in LDD lingo can be a profound way of co-creating trust and safety while managing conflict. And, they don’t need to be the first thing we do together (!). One of the Deep Democracy trainers talked about how it can be a choice to pause and ask groups to create their “safer rules” (what the group needs to feel safer and do their work well together), right before they edge into conflict or go deeper. It could be in the middle of the meeting, for example. When emotions are heightened, and we ask people to name what they truly need – it can help the group be more honest about what they need to participate. And, she said, if the group asks for rules at the very beginning of the meeting – then she knows that they are already at the edge. Aha! So we can ask groups to create their own agreements from scratch, at a key moment, if we’re going to spend considerable time together.

Also, consider if the work should be split into more parts. Defining community agreements or ground rules can support better dialogue with self, the group, and community. As Monica Brasov-Curca shared with me on Facebook, “At a wonderful dialogue training, the trainer split the ground rules exercise into 3 parts. 1.) Community agreements 2.) Workshop conditions 3.) Participant intentions. And we co created all three…. it really is beautiful.”

Facilitate the conditions for being well together

Whether you begin with a list of suggestions, or ask a group to build their own agreements – you’ll find what works for the group. And if I’m a participant, here are some guidelines that I personally might suggest, to create the conditions for working well together.

Together we know a lot. We want to honour that the group has wisdom, and the answers are in the room. Everyone can be an expert. To elicit this, we can be curious and respectful with each other. Some actions to make this happen can be about encouraging questions instead of assumptions, and enabling anyone in the room to lead.

Take space, make space. Make room for people who think out loud by asking them to breathe first before speaking, and make more room for people who prefer to think quietly, to move up a little faster. This is sometimes known as “step up /step back” but with less ableism in the language.

Lean into discomfort. We’re only growing when we are on the edge of our learning. Sometimes it’s hard!

Uphold confidentiality. We don’t want people to share someone else’s personal stories, information, or attribute things to people without their permission – but we want people to share the knowledge beyond the room.

Do our best. Mistakes are okay! Make room to say” ouch, oops, move on.”  It’s okay to try and learn and do-over, be better. Asking for help is part of our movements for a better world.

Whichever tools we use, we want to build agreements where people what they need to learn as openly and securely together as possible.

 

free graphic facilitation training

They’re back- Community Scholars and Volunteers at our 2019 visual facilitation workshops

Drawing Change believes in growing the field of visual practice, graphic facilitation, and graphic recording – and so our FREE Community Scholar spots and Volunteer Spots are back for our 2019 Visual Facilitation Workshops! *update: as of April 2019, applications for 2019 Community Scholar and volunteer spots are closed – we had a huge number of applications for May. These folks will now be considered for October – to minimize the amount of work people are asked to do in applying again. Thanks for your understanding and importantly thanks for applying!*

Community Scholar Spots for 2019 (3)

We have spaces open to support people working in community, grassroots, and social justice movements. So many professional development are expensive, and assume that participants are being sponsored by well-funded organizations. Instead, Drawing Change wants to spread the skills widely and with an equity lens. Priority will be given to self-identified Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour under 30(ish). To apply, email hello@drawingchange.com and tell us why you’re interested, a brief note about your facilitation experience, examples of your drawing skills, what organization/movement you’re a part of, and what your plans are to share these skills afterwards.

Cost: $200 as a deposit (versus $1500 regular rate)  + GST

Workshop info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-october-vancouver-canada-registration-54740826285

How it works:

  • Choose either the May 11-12th 2019  or October 5-6th 2019 workshop. There is 1 Scholar for the May workshop and 2 for October.
  • Deadlines are below. 
  • We will collect names and then select people so it’s not first-come-first-served. Community Scholars will receive a full supply kit, all supplies that regular participants receive including hot lunch, and there’s no volunteering expectations.
  • You pay $200 to hold your spot (talk to us if this is a barrier)
  • Optional 1:1 coaching support: Instead of taking the workshop then jumping in, Sam can provide support and small suggested projects/assignments before the workshop. This would be 2-3 hours of optional time.
  • I’ll offer you at least $200 in paid work after the session to continue your practice.

Additional Info for Community Scholars:

  • No expectations to arrive early
  • Get a full kit of supplies
  • Participate as a full member of the course
  • No expectation to be “working” /supporting others during the course in a way that distracts from your own learning

Volunteer spots (4)

How it works:

  • We will pick volunteers one month before the workshop so it’s not first-come-first-served
  • Deadlines are below
  • Email hello@drawingchange.com to tell us why you’re interested in visual facilitation, what useful skills for supporting meetings/workshops you can offer, and what your plans might be to share these skills afterwards

Cost: $0

Additional Info for Volunteers:

  • Arrive very early for setup and takedown (7am to 6pm)
  • The priority is that you’re working during the event to make the workshop a success for participants – you will have time to do most of the activities, but not all
  • Tasks will include: helping participants, room setup, cutting paper, meeting the caterer, registration desk, social media, moving furniture, running the audio/visual, and in return get the workshop for free
  • Basic drawing supplies will be provided
  • Free food both days
  • All volunteer responsibilities happen during the workshop from 7am to 6pm
  • The volunteer team is responsible for documenting the workshop: social media, photos, and a collaborative graphic recording
  • Some people will do kneeling/lifting, but work can be adapted.

Application Deadlines:

May 11-12th workshop: email hello@drawingchange.com by April 1st to be a community scholar (1 space) OR volunteer (4 spaces). We will inform people by April 15th. 

October 5-6th workshop: email hello@drawingchange.com by September 1st to be a community scholar (2 spaces) OR volunteer (4 spaces). We will let you know by September 15th.

Anything Else?

  • Travel and accommodation to the workshop (Vancouver, Canada) not included
  • If you’re thinking about registering for the full workshop, great – payment plans available upon request, just send us a note at carina@drawingchange.com.
  • Looking for tips to ask your employer to give you professional development funding? We wrote a letter to help.

Last year’s visual facilitation workshop sold out, and participants came from the UK, Japan, the US and across Canada! Folks applied their new skills in the fields of mental wellness, community organizing, municipal engagement, health care, organizational change and so much more. We will also have teaching led by Indigenous team members at Drawing Change. Can’t wait to see what this year brings.

October Graphic Facilitation Workshop info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-october-vancouver-canada-registration-54740826285

visual facilitation books 2018 on bookshelf

Our favourite visual facilitation books to add to your backpack

Summer is in full swing – hopefully this means you’re working at a slower pace lately, and maybe have a little extra time to flip a few pages at the beach. Personally, I’m trying to catch up on my reading-for-fun. I asked the Drawing Change team to send me one book that they found helpful along their visual journeys.

Half are outside the ‘foundational’ visual practice books that often inform our work. And, if you’re new to the field, you’ll also see a list of classic books that are perfect for learning how to think with your pen.

We hope you’ll find all these titles useful!

“Unstuck by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro, Ph.D. is one of the very first “design thinking toolkit” type books that I came across – and it is concise, flexible, funny, and makes great use of graphics. Keith’s company, SYPartners works with leading companies and organizations to help them evolve and innovate. Published back in 2004, the book has since spawned an app, a website, and a workshop series…but the book is a pocket-size tool that you will reach for again and again.” – Snow Dowd

“I think I’ve bought 8 copies of adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy to give away so far. It’s about complexity, radical self-love, and community in your facilitation, with a sprinkling of science fiction/futurism.” – Sam Bradd

 

 

“A great practical 101 – The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide by Brandy Agerback breaks down the process of live graphic recording. This guide is filled with friendly diagrams that help you find the balance in listening, deciding, and drawing. It’s the kind of book that begins to uncover what’s under the surface of the tip of the iceberg.” – Tiaré Jung

“This book provides instructions and illustrations on the basics of drawing, designing, painting and carving in the Northwest Coast Indigenous art. It reminds me that we must continuously practice and work towards our drawing goals.” –  Michelle Buchholz (Wet’suwet’en) (note from Sam: please, if you’re not Indigenous, don’t copy or appropriate Indigenous art.)

“I recommend The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. In life, we spend a lot of time measuring results against specific outcomes. This book reminds readers that everything we experience is made up. We can shift our thoughts, to experience life based on a frame of possibility. We can focus on how we contribute, so we look at things in a new way. We can embrace the way things actually are but shift our perspective.” – Melissa Breker

 

“Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards is my absolute go-to recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to really draw. It changed the way I see in a profound way.” – Annalee Kornelsen

 

“Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture is one of those books that I have kept from my university days. It’s not a leisurely read, but it’s a great introductory text that works to instill critical awareness in the reader when considering visual culture, and visual symbols of representation. How do the images we encounter influence us? How can we break out of our assumptions and consider inclusive (or new) ways of seeing and creating images? There are limits to its theoretical frameworks, and could do with some updating and inclusion of other perspectives, but it’s a useful foundational text with which to build a visual language upon.” – Carina Nilsson

 

“Kelvy Bird’s way of scribing, Generative Scribing, has changed my practice. The workshop and books are gifts to the field. This book describes “generative scribing” and “key concepts that inform and cultivate a scribe’s inner capacities of being, joining, perceiving, knowing, and drawing.” – Sam Bradd

 

Classic texts for sketchnoting and graphic facilitation

• The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking – by Mike Rhode

• Draw To Win and Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures – Dan Roam

• Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences Paperback – Nancy Duarte

• Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills, and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation – with Lisa Kay Solomon, Justin Lokitz, and Patrick Van Der Pijl

• The Doodle Revolution – Unlock the Power To Think Differently – Sunni Brown

• Draw Your Big Idea: the Ultimate Creativity Tool for Turning Thoughts into Action and Dreams Into Reality – Nora Herting and Heather Willems

• The Front of The Room: a book on facilitation by experienced facilitators – by Dan Newman

Drawn Together Through Visual Practice – edited by Brandy Agerbeck, Kelvy Bird, Sam Bradd and Jennifer Shepherd

… and stay tuned for the Graphic Facilitation Field Guide coming out in 2019!

Neuland markers sam bradd graphic facilitation supplies on table

FAQ roundup and how to get started as a graphic recorder

It’s time for a Frequently Asked Questions! Summer roundup of questions I’ve been asked from folks new to the field lately:

I’m new. How do get started as a graphic recorder?

photo: CIPMM (2015)

I love this question. Welcome, fellow visual thinker! Six opinionated ideas and highly subjective advice:

  1. Start. I want you to START drawing! I am not a believer in just “following your passion”. I think you should be inspired to be creative, yes, and make sure you put the work in to get good at things. Don’t leap into your passion and then give up too soon, especially when it gets hard. I don’t wait for creativity to land in my lap. I have to make stuff, and see where it goes. And then, once you make something you have to share it. How will people know what you want to do, otherwise?
  2. Your first projects should personally interest you. Be proud to share them. Deliberately choose to work for trusted people for a few low-stakes projects. Build your confidence.
  3. Find a mentor. This field enables people to bring their professional experience (coaching, facilitating, leading) and apply it to visual work. Like many creative professions with a majority of sole practitioners, the foundation based on apprenticeships, networks, and learning from peers. It’s rapidly growing and I think mentors help us see how collectively as practitioners we can help organizations, clients, individuals.
  4. Take a workshop. Research. Read books. Set up a Skype call. Go to a meetup. Ask your mentor if you can watch them work at a public or appropriate event.  Go to a conference. Try to read forums before asking a 12,000 person Facebook group “what is the best pen to use?” And, take a graphic facilitation workshop to find like-minded people and start building your community. 
  5. Think about how you want to start a business. There’s no one right way. Maybe you’ll have a business partner, maybe you’ll have an unusual niche. Look to other creative fields for the business model that works for you. At minimum, you should clearly show people what you want to be hired for. No sense putting a link to your tattoo website up if you want to be hired to sketchnote.
  6. Be generous. If you’re asking for people’s time, effort, emotional labour from others: ask them/see how you can help them in a reciprocal way.

Favorite markers?

I’m a Neuland ambassador. I love that they’re refillable, non-toxic, and come in vibrant colours and tips, especially the Big Ones. I am a huge, huge fan. Let’s talk markers anytime, and I’ll show you how these ones are designed to not even roll off the table.

What’s are most important skills a graphic facilitator needs to have? 

We are doing more than drawing – we are facilitating and leading, and helping others see their own thoughts. This month I might say: Listening and decision-making about what marks to make; awareness and skills to work on bias; empathy and a strong sense of personal leadership.

Last year I might have said patience, an ability to be reflective, a curiosity about learning (you can’t just draw what you think is happening). This is one of those “one finger pointing out, three fingers pointing back” types of questions.

What you notice or appreciate in others is also something you’re noticing in yourself, of course.

How is this a job? Why haven’t I heard about it? 

RIGHT? Pretty amazing job! Graphic facilitators are becoming more popular – so you may see them more now. But the field began in the 1970s, so it also has a long history, practices, and its own methods. Some folks work inside organizations, and some practitioners are consultants.

Do you pre-plan your layouts? 

No, and yes. I start with a blank page for graphic recording and most facilitation now. When I’m doing live work I am deciding as we go: I am matching the type of structure to the format of the meeting. Open plenary dialogue looks different than rapid-fire report outs, or a strategic plan deciding “three action steps”. These are emergent and not planned ahead of time, because facilitation and scribing is (or can be) emergent.

And when I facilitate meetings, I do pre-plan things in templates – when the group needs to see the structure in a specific way. If we need to do a “what are three next steps” for strategic planning meetings, or using a metaphor to help the group orient themselves over time – structure helps.

New graphic recorders should definitely practice planning sketches and layouts for live graphic recording and beyond. Have a mini sketchbook of layouts that you can turn to when you’re under drawing pressure – I have to mix it up, otherwise all panel presentations look the same (yawn).

graphic faciliatation: This wasn’t pre-planned, but also, it’s not random. Their theory of change swoops in from the left, the focus of their whole organization is central. Drawn over 2.5 hours

 

You travel a lot. What’s the best place you’ve been? 

This is a fun question, because in North America a lot of graphic facilitators are consultants who travel widely – it’s not required, but I love it. (I also follow the rules – I have a visa to work in the US and Canada.) All countries and projects have their unique joys. It’s more about the people than a particular location. I’d rather be with kind people in northern BC than a fancy hotel where no one is using what I’m contributing. But since you asked, there was a project in Tanzania where I was working in a tent in the tropical heat …with a security guard whose job it was to prevent the baboons from climbing on the tables! Work has brought me to 10 countries and remote locations, and I’m noticing more and more – globally and locally we are all working on such similar problems: communication, belonging/connection, displacement, and climate. The world definitely needs more ways of communicating with other in empathetic ways – and I think visuals are one way to do that.

Do I need to be a good artist to learn to do what you do? 

I think about graphic recording/facilitation like writing. Mostly, we don’t take a 2-day course and then suddenly create the Pulitzer Prize winning novel (and if you did, congratulations and then that novel was in you the whole time, no matter who your teacher was!).

I believe writing is a practice, a craft, and maybe also a calling; we all need writing skills even if we don’t become novelists. It’s the same as drawing – if you’re using drawing to communicate, or to help people think through ideas – it doesn’t need to be so fancy. It just needs to get onto the page.

This way, graphic facilitation and graphic recording are part of your toolbox.

… What other questions do you have, fellow visual thinker?  Post your other favourite questions in the comments and I’ll do a Round 2 later on.

2019 October workshop with early bird pricing until September 1:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/graphic-recording-and-facilitation-training-october-vancouver-canada-registration-54740826285

EuViz Workshops – Bias In The Pen and The Rising Tide with Brandy Agerbeck

Excited to see Copenhagen this summer! I’m co-facilitating two workshops at the EuViz 2018 conference for visual practitioners, and I thought it was a great opportunity to share resources I’m using these days to help me grow, and change. (And help me recover from making mistakes. I make lots of mistakes.) What’s most important is that it’s not just about what you draw. Our work is informed before we pick up the pen. 

They’re connected for me personally, as I want to promote equity and inclusion through my visual work, in my relationships, and to help raise the bar as our visual profession.

In both workshops, we’ll be working at the three levels of personal, practitioner, and the field.

It starts with me

 

Here’s a totally subjective list from what I’m reading these days, centered around decolonization/re-Indigenization, anti-racism and anti-Indigenous racism. I tweet out resources every week at @sambradd, too. We’ll share more of our workshop/learning tools after the session, too.

The White Allies’ Guide to Collecting Aunt Linda

You can’t just draw purple people and call it diversity

Workshop Guide to Discussing Identity, Power and Privilege

Sum of Us’ Progressive Style Guide

Decolonization Reading List (for Turtle Island)

Allyship, Advocacy, and the Legitimate Role of Non-Indigenous Folks

CBC: 18 books by Indigenous women you should read (Turtle Island)

Cultural Appreciation or Cultural Appropriation by Unsettling America

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndigenousXca 

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graphic facilitation workshop

2018 Beyond the Basics: Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Portland, Oregon

Beyond the Basics with Graphic Facilitation

The graphic facilitation and graphic field is booming – are you getting the work you want?

Sophia Liang and Sam Bradd designed this course to teach what they wish someone had taught them when they started out as graphic facilitators.

Experts say, in order to scale or grow your business, practitioners need to do two things:  be better, or be different. We’ll help you explore what expanding and diversifying your offering looks like for you. We’ll also offer models and tools for deepening your practice. And throughout, we’ll share how we got paid to do the work we love.

Beyond the Basics: Graphic Facilitation Workshop for practitioners with 2+ years experience with Sophia Liang and Sam Bradd returns, this time in Portland, Oregon in February 2018.

  • Designed for visual practitioners with a firm grasp on fundamentals, and a desire to stretch your potential. This fast-paced and participatory workshop includes two days of training and an evening opening session.
  • Every workshop is customized to meet participants’ goals. We’ll use storytelling, presentations, hands-on practice, group dialogue, and peer learning environment.
  • Passionate about continuous improvement and learning, Sophia and Sam bring facilitation techniques, a balance of theory and practice, years of business experience, and new visual tools to take your career to the next level.

Details and Registration: Click here

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