Chris Koser & Tom Melancon

Featured Workshop Presenters
18th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

Chris Koser
Chris Koser LLC
Seattle, WA

Tom Melancon
Seattle Federal Executive Board, Seattle, WA

“Really liked the information and learning the Aikido principles.”

“I found it to be very interesting and helpful. Not feeling like I have to be in control is one of my greatest challenges.”

“Such a wealth of knowledge was shared with us!”

The Aikido of Facilitation

Session 4.2 Saturday, April 30, 2011 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

This session is designed to teach facilitators and trainers how to manage conflict in group situations as well as minimize the possibility that the group will turn on them. It is taught using the principles of Aikido, an Eastern philosophy that, literally translated means “the way of blending (or re-directing) energy.” Participants are taught how to reduce group dysfunction and conflict in the design and conduct of the session, as well as how to manage provocation, their own anxiety and silence. Participants also learn that if they apply the principles of the workshop, they can let go of fears they have about being attacked by a member of the group. Throughout the presentation, we tell a story of a facilitation experience in which a group attacked one of the trainers and analyze and evaluate how that attack was handled.


Q&A with Tom Melancon

NWDR: What's your theme?

TM: The central point is learning to give up control to the group without having to feel that, as the facilitator, you MUST retain control at all times in order for them to accomplish their goal.

NWDR: What's different about your program?

TM: What’s different about it is becoming comfortable with the concept of turning over control to the group.

NWDR: With more than three dozen workshops at the conference, what would you like those attending to know as they make their selections?

TM: This workshop will significantly increase your self confidence in dealing with fractious groups or personal attacks from negative participants.

NWDR: How would you describe the particular "takeaways" - materials or skills - that you'll be offering to those who attend?

TM: The ability to let provocation pass through you like wind through a tree and give the message back to the group in positive and constructive ways.

NWDR: What got you interested in the topic? Have a story for us?

TM: About to leave for a routine facilitation in AK, a colleague insisted I read a certain book. In spite of the fact that I didn’t have the time to do it, just to placate him, I read it. The book was what to do if you are attacked when facilitating or training a group. I didn't anticipate that, so I wasn't concerned. Yet when I walked into the facilitation room I was attacked before I could even open my mouth to introduce myself! 


See the full list of all 2011 Workshops here.

On-line registration. Conference brochure.

Follow NWDRConference on Twitter


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