My Transformation Through Facilitation Certification Training

I vividly remember the very first training I attended as a health educator, a mere two weeks into a new job. At that point, I was just beginning to navigate my role and barely acquainted with my colleagues. I had no idea the moment I stepped into the training room my perspective on educating and facilitating was about to undergo a monumental shift. The training room was a mosaic of backgrounds ranging from a State Senator seeking career transformation to seasoned educators from various backgrounds – education, health, coaching, etc. Front and center stood Stephanie, our trainer. Her command of the room, her ability to engage every participant, and her inclusive approach set a benchmark that seemed insurmountable to me, a self-described introvert. The varied backgrounds and levels of expertise within our group underscored the complexity of effective facilitation. She created a very high training standard. At that moment, I stood at the threshold of what seemed like an insurmountable challenge – how would I ever be as good as her? I couldn’t possibly foresee how my path would transform me. Over the decade since my training with Stephanie, I’ve engaged in a myriad of trainings, webinars, and talks to increase my skills in facilitation, as well as read books, gathered tip sheets, etc. I am always looking to expand my understanding and skills in training and facilitation. That is how I came across the Facilitation Certification through Voltage Control.

Since that training with Stephanie, my training and facilitation journey was poised to not only bridge the void between my emerging abilities and the pinnacle of facilitation and training mastery that I saw in Stephanie but also to fundamentally alter my understanding of what it meant to be an educator, trainer, and facilitator. It was set to shift my perspective from viewing facilitation as merely a skill to be performed, to seeing it as an art to be lived, a dialogue to be embraced by every learner, and a journey of continuous self-discovery and growth. Voltage Control molded this understanding for me.

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During my first year of educating and facilitating youth groups, I experienced significant growth and learning. In those early days, my preparation for classes was painstaking. Hours spent crafting lesson plans and a constant reliance on notes were my crutches. Easily said that I was nowhere near to the expertise exemplified by Stephanie. At the end of my first year, Stephanie observed one of my classes, offering feedback that served as a guiding light for my development. She highlighted not just what I had done well but pinpointed areas of growth. “Educating and facilitating are skills,” she reminded me, “skills that require practice, practice, practice.” This mantra became my lodestar, guiding me through the initial tumult of my career. I did just as she said – I practiced. I taught. I facilitated. Constantly. In those first few years of training and facilitating, I honed essential skills, gradually gaining confidence in my ability to command a room, adapt to shifting energies, impart knowledge effectively, and navigate challenging conversations. – I learned how to become more comfortable with my voice. I didn’t need to be Stephanie.

Several years later, I switched roles. I became the trainer! The shift from educator to trainer wasn’t immediate. It was a journey marked by continuous learning and self-discovery. I found that practice was indeed key, but it was the community around me that enriched this practice. I worked with other excellent facilitators who supported me. Working collectively towards common goals brought a richness to the learning process I hadn’t anticipated. As I grew into my new role as a trainer, stepping into Stephanie’s shoes and striving to fill them with my own identity, I realized a gap in my skill set. Despite my experience, I lacked knowledge in designing principles and processes for facilitating large groups, navigating team conflicts, and engaging adult learners effectively.

“In the end, the certification did more than just teach me how to facilitate; it brought me back to myself. It reminded me of my passion for educating, facilitating, and training and of the joy I find in helping others learn and grow.”

The discovery of the Facilitation Certification through Voltage Control was serendipitous. It promised not just to equip me with the skills I felt I lacked but to realign me with my purpose. Why did I do this work? Why was it necessary? These questions, which I had overlooked in my focus on practical skills, became central to my growth through the certification. The certification process was transformative. It peeled back the layers of my approach to facilitation, challenging me to articulate my “why” and integrate it into my practice. Through meetings, asynchronous work, and a plethora of resources, I built a foundation that was authentically mine. The facilitation course gave us ample opportunities to practice our skills with our cohort. Running openings and closings, and presenting my portfolio, I was not just learning; I was evolving.

Today, as I reflect on this journey, the impact of the Facilitation Certification is evident in every aspect of my work. It has not only enhanced my skills as a facilitator but has reignited my passion for educating and training. The introspection it prompted, the skills it imparted, and the community it introduced me to have been invaluable. The change is noticeable in conversations with colleagues, clients, and cohort partners. “You’ve become more confident and engaging,” said a co-worker. “Your sessions feel more inclusive and dynamic,” a client remarked. These observations, echoing my internal transformation, are a testament to the growth facilitated by the certification.

The journey doesn’t end here. Facilitation, like any skill, demands continuous evolution. The certification has taught me to embrace this evolution and to see each opportunity for growth not as a challenge but as a stepping stone. As I look ahead, I’m reminded of a quote from a fellow trainer that has stuck with me: “The moment you think you’ve mastered facilitation is the moment you’ve stopped growing.” This mantra inspires me to keep pushing the boundaries and to keep learning and growing. In the end, the certification did more than just teach me how to facilitate; it brought me back to myself. It reminded me of my passion for educating, facilitating, and training and of the joy I find in helping others learn and grow. As I continue on this path, I carry with me the lessons learned, the skills acquired, and the knowledge that, in facilitation, there is always room for growth.

My experience in the facilitation certification training has been a transformative journey, from feeling out of my depth to becoming a confident facilitator and trainer. It has taught me the importance of practice, the value of community, and the power of understanding my “why.” As I move forward, I’m reminded of the need never to stop evolving, always to seek out opportunities for growth, and to remain open to the lessons each new experience brings. Facilitation is not just about transferring knowledge; it’s about creating connections, fostering environments for growth, and inspiring change. With the tools and insights gained from the certification, I’m better equipped to embark on this mission, continuously striving to be a better version of myself, both as a facilitator and as an individual committed to lifelong learning. In this journey of evolution, the greatest lesson has been that the path to mastery is not a destination but a continuous journey. And on this journey, I am not alone. The community of educators, facilitators, and learners I’ve become a part of continues to inspire and motivate me. Together, we are committed to not just achieving our personal best but to elevating the practice of facilitation itself, making each learning experience more engaging, inclusive, and transformative. So, to anyone embarking on their journey in facilitation or considering a certification, I say: embrace the journey. Welcome each challenge as an opportunity for growth. And remember, in the world of facilitation, the most profound lessons often come from the journey itself, not just the destination.

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