Working with people

Working with people is what I value most. While working with people I gather the most insights, trigger the understanding of new patterns of behavior, learn about new perspectives and can reflect on my own motivation and opinions. However, working with people is what exhausts me, too. I'm getting better at it, but I usually need a time of reflection and meditation after an intense workshop situation.

Here is a collection of thoughts and priorities that I have collected and that should help me to become better in preparing and running workshops.

Moderator principles

Sources of preparation

While preparing a workshop you have to consider the needs of the group. Listen closely to the briefing and try to understand in which state the group is in.

The Atlassian Playbook: Plays
A large resource with different exercises for all the different situations. Usually these plays are good for groups that need focus.

Liberating Structures
Another large list of games, plays & exercises to achieve mainly intermediate results to bring the group forward.

Usually meant to let you run a retrospective, the Retromat lets you find lots of single exercises to open your mind as well as to set focus. A beautiful resource that is also inspiring when preparing for a workshop.

The Hyperisland Toolbox
An extensive resource on exercises sorted by use cases and a very good filter engine that lets you select by categories, group size and time frame.

The WorkshopBank
Usually you have to pay for resources and facilitation methods, but there are several free exercises as well.

SessionLab Library
An open library of facilitation exercises. Lots of activities sorted by use cases.

Design Method Toolkit
A large resource collection of exercises, games and facilitation methods aiming especially at agile teams.

Facilitation tools for meetings and workshops
This is actually a book. A great overview on what to do if you have to run a workshop. 45 pages full of advice and good-to-know sections.

Preparation habits

Some minor habits may save the day. Use carefully.