Two highly significant learnings were around personal elements of leadership and self care/support as fundamental to effective leadership. Six months later I am still applying those learnings to positive effect. An exercise using a tree as a metaphor for strength/support and growth was particularly useful. As this was a very visual activity it enabled me to examine issues outside the normal managerial verbal/language method of learning.
General Manager, MercyCare (participant in 6 day leadership program)
The workshop provided us with the space to raise and deal with the issues that were important to us at this time. Participants were able to name the areas of significance that they wished to work on and others were invited to join them.
The facilitator created and opened the space for participants to engage with the theme of the meeting and with each other. She did this is in a professional and efficient manner and then allowed participants to self-organise and take care of their own agendas throughout the process.
Participant in an Open Space gathering
My expectations were met, which were that the team discussed the situation that they were in and sought solutions and ways forward. As part of that we needed to better understand each other and what each of our assumptions were.I think that the participants were able to better understand the assumptions that we were each making. I think that there was a clearer understanding of what we needed to do and who needed to do each task.
Anne was good at monitoring where the participants were at and changing the process as we went along to respond to the needs of the group. She also made observations of our process that assisted in highlighting unsaid assumptions.
CEO NGO (at a one day team workshop)
In performing this work in partnership with Anne, I have found her to be highly competent as a facilitator and coach. Her excellent qualities as a facilitator are evident in how she brings herself to these learning experiences. Her way of being and facilitation are underpinned by ethics and principles that hold individuals and groups with the deepest respect and mutual legitimacy, fostering the co-creation of safe, supportive and open learning spaces, where participants can engage in reflection and openly share their inner selves in confidence and without fear of judgment. Some of the key strengths Anne brings to foster a safe and open facilitation space include: the capacity to deeply listen without judgment and be fully present to the individual/group; being able to ask genuinely open questions that evoke others to reflect deeply within themselves to bring forth insights and learning from their authentic selves; being a co-learner, willing and open to taking her own learning journey and companioning participants/others on theirs.
Tony Clitheroe, colleague April 2011