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Experienced workshop leaders will no doubt have their own tried and true techniques, but first-time leaders may benefit from the following suggestions:
Leaders who take the following steps may find that they have enhanced the workshop experience for themselves and their participants:
Review. Read the curriculum to become familiar with it. Choose the activities, optional discussion topics, and at-home assignments that will suit your participants' needs and the time allotted for the workshop.
Gather. Each workshop includes a list of materials needed.
Plan. Discuss with your co-leader who will lead each part of the workshop's discussion and activities. This will help the workshop run smoothly.
Communicate. Call or send notes to participants to remind them when and where the workshop will be held and whether they need to bring anything special, such as art supplies. If participants have agreed to take turns bringing refreshments, remind hosts when it is their turn.
Anticipate. The day before each workshop, check weather reports, ensure that the meeting room remains reserved for you, and touch base with your co-leader to ensure that every detail has been addressed.
Listen. The practice of active listening enhances understanding and lets speakers know they are being heard. Try the following techniques for active listening. It is not necessary to employ every technique repeatedly; restating every point a speaker makes, for instance, would be annoying rather than affirming.
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Last updated on Saturday, October 29, 2011.
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