Partnering Essentials™ - A Facilitators Insight

The workshop group in Adelaide with facilitator Jane Russo of Enabling Solutions

The workshop group in Adelaide with facilitator Jane Russo of Enabling Solutions

A Partnering Essentials™ Program: ‘How to Partner and Get Results’ was held on 14 and 15 August. Thirteen participants from business, state government and local government came together to share their experiences and be upskilled in cross sector partnering.

The 2 day program was facilitated by Jane Russo from Enabling Solutionsin in an airy and open training room overlooking the River Torrens in Adelaide. To give an insight into the program Jane talks about what participants experience over the 2 days.

“The first morning was all about setting the scene - the what, why and how of partnering. Engaging the group through the sharing of participant’s partnering experiences, what they think partnering is all about and asking why we have come together to explore partnering. It’s a calm and respectful start to the program

A number of frameworks, diagrams and tools are explained with various real life examples and case studies that put the theory into practice. This enables the group to work with those at their table and to talk openly about their experiences. 

What is really exciting about the next day and a half of the program is unique to Partnering Essentials™ and quite different in approach compared to other training. The Dixon Partnering Process™ identifies three distinct stages of partnering: Creating, Developing and Sustaining. We unpack these three stages by taking on a fictional story about a community where participants are allocated a character from the story and then play that role. 

Often when participants hear the word ‘role play’ noses turn up and the thought of acting makes people squirm. In fact, the opposite occurs because the character each participant plays really focuses on the scenario they are presented with and they dig deep to get into character to address the situation and work though the problem. 

As a facilitator, watching each group deal with the tricky dilemma at each stage of the partnering process is fascinating. Working though the issue they are facing, observing how they communicate and interact with each other to be able to resolve how they will proceed to the next step is different for each group every time. This approach enables participants to closely replicate the partnering process in a safe and fun environment but to also challenge and question what they are experiencing. It’s fair to say that at this stage of the program participants are quite animated and jovial. 

Interweaved through each role play scenario we explore partnering topics of governance, negotiation, questioning, the role of the broker, communications, dealing with challenges and action planning. By the end of the second day of the program participants are mixing up the groups and feeling quite confident with each other. Participants are now comfortable with undertaking the activities and then relating it to their own experiences. 

Feedback from the group indicated that all participants gained something out of the 2 day program. There was a consensus that over the 2 days it really got them thinking about their partnering journey. A couple of the comments made were:

Extremely well put together, made it easy to understand

Jackson Richmond, OZ Minerals

The program exceeded my expectations

Nate Overbeeke, City of Unley

Good balance between theory and practical learning journey

Bruce Vernon, OZ Minerals

I thought that the role-play really helped to reinforce the theory

Jim Hodgkinson, OZ Minerals

Being a facilitator for this program is a great experience and I am looking forward to continuing to lead these programs both publicly, in house for clients and for specific groups engaged in cross sector partnering”

This 2 Day Program will be run publicly again in May and August 2019. For full details or to register your interest go to our registration page.

Ian DixonComment