Mentorship in CP2 Foundations workshop

Over the past 6 weeks, the Foundations of communities of practice workshop was held in CP-square (CP2). The foundations workshop is led by Etienne Wenger, John Smith and Bronwyn Stuckey. For people that are new to the concept of Communities of Practice, the workshop is an introduction. For people that are more advanced, the workshop provides an opportunity to get into conversation with fellow participants as well as Wenger, Smith and Stuckey.

I’ve participated in the workshop myself in spring this year. This time I was offered the chance to join the workshop as a mentor! This felt to me like a great opportunity to learn from the best about facilitation in CoP’s. My fellow mentors were Jeffrey Keefer, Monique Léger and Paul Lowe.

The workshop (6 weeks) has several activities like weekly calls for the whole group and several forms of discussion in the online environment. There are several spaces for a-synchronous communication. There are discussions set-up around a certain topic that happen in the open space with all participants. There are also places that we call “households”, small groups that provide a more private space to learn and reflect. As a mentor, you bring in your experience from when you were a participant yourself. As a mentor, you also play a role in facilitating the process and keeping everyone engaged. Every household is assigned a mentor, so you specifically build up relations with the people from your household. There is also a private space in the online environment that can only be accessed by the workshop leaders and mentors. At times i’ve found it very useful when i felt uncertain about how to interpret certain dynamics and when i did not know how to react. This helped a lot in learning and reflecting on the facilitation process.

There was also a space where everyone in the workshop could reflect on the process. I’d like to share some insights i gained there.

Skype is very usefull for 1 to 1 conversations

  • Quick text questions are very much needed to instantly support participants who have questions.

Video adds up an amazing amount to the feeling of connectedness

  • We used Adobe Connect one time instead of only a phone conference tool/ Skype voice connection. This was absolutely energizing! It appeared to me that when I was able to see people, it would cost much less energy. This was something I had previously encountered when i had a head-concussion and couldn’t talk on the phone for more then 5 minutes. Using skype video, I could easily talk for 20 minutes. Unfortunately there was a technology gap. Not everyone had access to a webcam and that caused 2 different dynamics in the group. Some people also argued that they were able to pay more attention to the content of the conversation when they could only listen.
  • John Smith had made a introduction video. Watching him talking to you gives a better image than just reading a text post when you have only seen a picture. When my girlfriend watched the video, she said “it is almost like he is sitting right in front of you”!

Language and culture are a challenge

  • The group of participants comes from over the whole world. There were people from the US, Canada, Australia and UK. But also from non English speaking countries like Holland (myself), Austria, Uganda, Peru. When we had our weekly calls (voice) we often encountered English speaking participants (native) speaking too fast, or using words that others did not understand. I’ve noticed it is a challenge for native speakers to speak slowly. We always used the chat functionality to also write down and summarize what has been said. This helped me a lot, also to bring up my own thoughts.
  • Language also appeared to give some issues in a cultural context. Some words/ concepts that were used, appeared not to exist in the same way in other countries!

Facilitation is hard work!

  • Facilitating a social process is hard work. There is a lot of organizing to do and you also need to keep track if everyone is still involved. It is about finding a balance between pushing and letting go. Sometimes, people are just too busy and all you need to do is checking in every once in a while. It is difficult to let go, thats for sure. Connecting with everyone also takes a lot of effort.

I’m very much impressed about the way the workshop leaders have mastered this skill of online process facilitation. There are a lot of small things that make it a success. Thanks to John Smith for inviting me to join as a mentor and providing me this great learning opportunity!

36 Responses to “Mentorship in CP2 Foundations workshop”


  1. 1 Lotte

    hi joost,
    the sandbox in the header of your weblog reminds me a lot of what the foundations workshop is all about: different little construction sites everywhere; participants are – like children – hopping between those construction sites to play here or there, with changing playing partners; comittment to finish something depend on interest and availability of time – nothing that can be counted on for 100% like you could expect from a project team. so i can see the challenge you talked about which is to find the right balance between pushing and letting go.
    thanks for this memory for us to keep!
    lotte

  2. 2 Percy

    Hi Joost:
    Good summary of what we have experienced together the last 6 weeks.
    Thanks for your outstanding participationa as amentor.
    Percy

  3. 3 John David Smith

    Thank YOU, Jost, for being a mentor in the workshop! It was very generous of you to help produce the workshop. And you are right, it IS a lot of work (although it’s fun work and I think it’s true that the leaders, those who do the most work, learn the most)!

  4. 4 Joost Robben

    Hi Lotte, I’m glad you grasped the intent of my header :) and i like what you said about different construction sites and letting go the kids playing together. Maybe a kid sees something exciting happening at the construction site at the other end of the sandbox. What would he do? Should we (as facilitators) intervene when he leave the kid he was playing with alone…?

    It was great learning with you again in this workshop Lotte!
    Joost

  5. 5 Joost Robben

    Hi Percy and John, Thank YOU for all your great energy!
    Looking forward to future encounters :)

    All the best, Joost

  6. 6 Joitske hulsebosch

    Hi Joost, interesting to read what it still the same and what has changed. It sounds like the basics are still the same, but using video is definitely a plus! Thanks for reminding me.

  7. 7 veatch101.wordpress.com

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the
    layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one
    these days.

  8. 8 hipnosis ericksoniana

    I just now including the worthwhile info people deliver in your content articles. We’ll save your own weblog as well as test out once again here often. I will be rather particular Let me find out numerous innovative goods listed here! Best of luck for one more!

  9. 9 Palestra

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal.

    I must say you have done a superb job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for
    me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!

  10. 10 www.win2012workstation.com

    Utilizing a proxy to bypass blocks that are net

  11. 11 link home page

    The just like you understand my head! You seem to learn a whole lot in regards to this, such as you had written a tutorial in it something like that. I think that you simply may possibly make use of some s. g. to make the message house a bit, nevertheless apart from that, it is impressive website. A great examine. I most certainly will surely come back.

  12. 12 آموزش زبان انگلیسی,زبان انگلیسی,آموزش زبان

    Fantastic publish. I’d been checking regularly this website with this particular amazed! Really useful info specially the outstanding stage :) I personally cope with these kinds of information a lot. I was trying to find this kind of information for years. Thank you and finest of success.. آموزش زبان انگلیسی,زبان انگلیسی,آموزش زبان

  13. 13 آموزش زبان انگلیسی,زبان انگلیسی,آموزش زبان

    naturally appreciate your web page however, you have to do consumers punctuational with many within your posts. A few of them are rife by using transliteration problems and that i realize its pretty annoying in truth even so Let me unquestionably come just as before once more.

  14. 14 internet providers ransom ky

    You are so interesting! I don’t think I have read something like this
    before. So good to discover someone with some original thoughts on this subject.

    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  15. 15 Here

    Do you have an interesting format, some useful and some of them are so beautiful

  16. 16 smokeless cigarettes

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be
    returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

    my blog smokeless cigarettes

  17. 17 washingtonianu.tumblr.com

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I
    am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  18. 18 minnesota web design company

    Thank you for every other great post. Where else may anybody get
    that kind of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such information.

  19. 19 kasur busa super

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted
    at this web site is genuinely nice.

  20. 20 spring bed uniland

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He used
    to be totally right. This publish truly made my day.

    You can not consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this info!
    Thanks!

  21. 21 Giochi Online

    I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented on your post.
    They’re very convincing and will definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for newbies.
    Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?

    Thank you for the post.

  22. 22 baby shower invitations

    It’s all fun and http://weddinginvitations4u.net/invite:161649169345315361 games until you can’t figure out which one is your

  23. 23 choi bai doi thuong

    If you are going for most excellent contents like me, only go to see this site daily since it
    gives quality contents, thanks

  24. 24 bridal shower tea party

    Perfect analysis of when and why to capture moments of friends and loved

  25. 25 test

    I know this web page offers quality based content and additional stuff,
    is there any other web page which gives these kinds of things in quality?

  26. 26 肩頸痛

    Their spinal decompression machine uses the Pettibon system,
    which is a table with straps to the feet and gently tilts to stretch the vertebrae causing pain. Further,
    a history will include queries about whether other family members also have
    a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they could have
    received and that have been effective. You can help yourself a great deal by understanding how to treat these
    2 muscles.

  27. 27 椎間盤突出

    Neck injuries can be the main underlying supply
    of recurring headaches, resulting over 18 million visits to the
    doctor annually inside the U. The medicine has been found
    to have better effect in chronic pains than other medicines like codeine.

    During the process of bringing out the disc for observing and relieving the pressure, a great deal of care
    and expertise is administered.

  28. 28 Hortense

    You could see that some people that have this issue could possibly be generally keeping their covered up.
    The skin will be very painful to touch and the body temperature will
    fluctuate widely on cold and hot days. Researchers always investigate the connection between the defense mechanisms, health with the immune system and environmental factors and adjustments to conjunction with the creation of psoriatic
    Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis – Looking at psoriatic arthritis being a
    sole illness, patients usually present with psoriasis well ahead of time
    of arthritis.

  29. 29 oliconsultoria.com.br

    It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this paragraph as well as from our discussion made at this place.

  30. 30 migliori semi autofiorenti femminizzati

    L’impianto sarà poi crescere direttamente in acqua, mentre nel sistema idroponico utilizzato, le
    radici saranno tenute da un substrato inerte come il cocco,
    argilla espansa, sabbia, perlite lana di roccia.

  31. 31 solid gold

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the issue and
    found most persons will agree with your website.

  32. 32 lower back pain

    Recommended to not use hot bath water to rinse neck,
    otherwise it is going to stimulate your skin and premature aging, neck profile.
    Most lower lumbar pain is treatable by natural remedies,
    however you should be aware of signs and symptoms of serious issues.

    Thus, patients who search for a Ballwin chiropractor in Missouri or perhaps a
    chiropractor in Los Angeles, California, or one in Plymouth, New
    Hampshire, will discover there’s no-one method to alleviate their neck pain.

  33. 33 Jeanette

    I’m reallү lⲟvіng the thеme/design of your ѕite.
    Do you ver runn into any internet browser compatibility issues?

    A smalⅼ number of my blog visitors have complained about my bkog not working correctly in Explorer butt lⲟoos ցreat іn Տafari.
    Do you have any tips too helр fix this pгobⅼem?

  34. 34 lubricant

    If you are going for best contents like me, just visit this website every day since it gives quality contents, thanks

  35. 35 pelatihan

    Wonderful blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of
    any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get suggestions
    from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Kudos!

  36. 36 sklep golfowy poznań

    Cena – okay. 45 EUR (zawiera obiad).

  1. 1 CSCS Test Booking
  2. 2 ironfish Joseph Chou

Leave a Reply