Made to measure organisational workshops

We create and deliver in-house workshops based on our expertise in:

– Coaching & mentoring skills
– Resilience
– Strategic thinking and execution
– Executive presence

The following principles define what an Ascent workshop will be like:

Planned

– We work to a three stage process of ‘intention (guided preparation for each participant) – immersion (the workshop experience itself) – integration (chasing down the experience towards working day practice)’. We pledge that a single day workshop will last far longer than a single day.


Experiential

– We boil this down to a cycle of experience, perception, sense-making and commitment.
– We’ll incorporate as many of these cycles as time allows.  The more the merrier (and more effective).


Focused

– Our workshops are all directly related to leadership in its broadest sense.
– We differentiate between leadership as both a role and as a responsibility and typically focus on the latter whilst acknowledging the importance and dynamics of the former.


Simple

– Our inputs are intended to be, as Einstein specified, ‘as simple as possible but no simpler’.


Signposted

– Except where and when it is important to create surprise or a general sense of unpredictability, we alert participants to what is occurring and why.


Safe

– We set out to create conditions for learning and development that are mentally, emotionally and physically safe for all delegates.
– We monitor safety continuously.


Challenging

– Within these confines of safety we challenge delegates to experience mental, emotional and physical conditions outside their comfort zones in order to grow and develop.


Individualised

– Wherever possible, the level of challenge is tailored to each individual.


Facilitated

– We enable delegates to figure out their own learning and come to their own conclusions.

– Our inputs are not ‘True’ but rather are provocations and summaries of our own beliefs and principles.  There will always be another point of view on our material and we welcome constructive challenge and debate wherever it does not detract from the learning journeys of the majority.

We use the following principles to act as our handrail for creating high-impact, tailor made, immersive workshops consistently.

We conceive the sequence in three ‘scenes’.

In the first scene we are present in a chosen and deliberate way for the delegates.  This includes the arrivals and registration process. We may choose to be ‘warm adults’ or, perhaps, ‘rebellious children’ (unlikely, but possible).  However we choose to be, it is a choice, part of the event (which has already begun) and must be specified as such in line with the developmental objectives of the course.

Before delegates are settled and the traditional workshop routines of introductions and welcomes are enacted, our courses feature a ‘curtain up’ event. It may be a question, an experience, a film, a piece of music or something else entirely.  Whatever is specified in the design will be intended to take participants out of their normal experience of a day and into an experiential development event.

Thereafter we do the course introductions; connecting the topic to its theoretical underpinning, contract with participants and generally ‘check-in’.

In the second scene we engage the participants in a minimum of two complete  ‘experiential cycles’. The starting point on each cycle is not specified and a choice in the design process.

Where time is particularly short, the ‘experience’ element of the cycle may be quite short.  A short (30 mins or under) activity may even be curtailed once an essential ‘review point’ has been experienced.

We recommend forcibly against curtailing the review, however.  We regard the review as the ‘crucible’ of the meaning and sense making learning process.

We believe it is essential to have a minimum of two full cycles to ensure that the ‘behaviour’ element (where participants hypothesise on their personal learning and resolve to practice a fresh approach in future) is tested.

The second review may, resources permitting, be conducted in small groups – even one-to-one with a coach facilitator.

In the third scene we are wrapping up and ending well.  Participants should have the time and the opportunity to give and receive feedback (this may equally be incorporated into the review processes in scene two), reflect on their experience and make personal commitments (which we encourage them to share as a part of their ‘check-out’) about how this experience will affect their future behaviour.

We close with thanks and by enquiring how we can improve our service and performance.

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“In the process of learning, one moves in varying degrees from actor to observer and from specific involvement to general analytic detachment."

David Kolb

“What we look for in our people is the ability to take complex material, simplify it and communicate it to a sophisticated audience.”

Sir Michael Rake (whilst Chairman of KPMG)

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