The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
As part of its overall mission, the League is committed to training volunteers. As such, members are afforded opportunities like touring Shatto Milk Company, learning how to make sushi and access to Mary Carol at Nell Hills to learn how to best decorate for the holidays! Not to mention the Advanced Leadership Certification Series (ALCS), which is offered through the League’s partnership with the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership.
Having recently attended an ALCS class on Effective Facilitation Techniques, I’m reminded that our league is full of incredibly smart and driven women. Amongst our small class of 13 we had engineers, heads of marketing and a lawyer. The discussion was both thoughtful and insightful.
As I left our three hour training on a weeknight, I was glad I had taken the time to learn:
• When facilitating meetings, thoughtful planning is required, along with ensuring all participants feel welcome and that decisions made are both followed up on and reinforced. It sounds simple, but I had never really thought about each of these pieces and the value each brings.
• De Bono’s “Six Hats” Technique, which helps encourage cooperation amongst teams. It’s a systematic approach that labels a behavior without picking on the person. Each hat is a unique color and the behaviors tied to them include: wanting just the facts, wanting to follow a process and feeling: optimistic, cautious, emotional, or creative.
• Affinity process, which is used in early stage facilitation. With this process one idea is recorded on a sticky note and then ideas that seem to be related are grouped together. From there, the cards are sorted into groups and subgroups for easier management and analysis.
Upcoming classes are listed here on the League Members Only website. ALCS classes require a small fee of $30 from each student, while the League also pays a small fee for each attendee.
All training sessions are open to Active, Sustaining and New Members and are offered throughout the League year, during the daytime, evenings and on weekends.