I participated in and simultaneously scribed a training on learning fun, powerful and practical ways for teams to work more effectively together. Specifically for educators, these protocols are a process developed by Bloomington, Indiana-based National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) to train coaches in their Critical Friends Group® methodology with the intention of improving educator practices by making a positive shift in school culture.
I was intrigued to learn a new set of team-building skills to add to my graphic facilitator’s toolbox. I’m not an educator but I had an inkling this training would be appropriate for any group of people in any setting who need to work, communicate, solve problems and make decisions together. Trainer Luci McKean and I talked in advance to determine what would work best for both of us to meet our objectives during the training. Over the course of the training week I participated in some protocols, and captured others with visual notetaking.
Working together with about a dozen educators from around the country, we quickly went from being strangers to friends as we practiced the sequence of activities that make meetings more productive, efficient and effective.
If you have the opportunity to work with a skilled Graphic Recorder, I encourage you to do so for three reasons. The resulting artwork can be thought of as “all wrapped up with a bow,” a valuable and lovely gift. I also love to think of Julia’s graphics as an “archery bow” that launches forth these ideas to a faraway target: I hope that these help engage new audiences who will be more interested in Critical Friends Group work and Coaches’ Training. Last, I offer an “honorific bow” of humble gratitude to Julia because her work helped make me (and more importantly, the training) look better, it helped me think better about my training practice as it was reflected back to me, and it helps me plan better for my next opportunity to teach or train others.
– Luci Englert McKean, NSRF Assistant Director and International Facilitato