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Background Papers
The Training of AsiaWorks Trainers
AsiaWorks trainers are men and women from all walks of life, with varied professional backgrounds who have elected to make a career change. Among our trainers previous job titles are engineer, accountant, real estate developer, advertising executive, lawyer, banker, opera singer, professor and PhD. Click here for individual trainer biographies.

Training facilitators to full competence in leading AsiaWorks programmes is a process that can take three to four years. The training process is a true apprenticeship. Candidates learn the role of the facilitator by spending literally hundreds of hours in a live workshop environment, modelling the ways of thinking, speaking, and interacting of senior facilitators. This is a rigorous process that demands not only intellectual understanding, but also internalizing the principles of the workshop fully at the emotional and experiential levels.

These hours in the workshop room are supplemented with one-on-one coaching by a senior facilitator who serves as the candidate's mentor throughout the training process. In addition, there are classroom sessions for working on specific facilitations skills, such as making large-group presentations or debriefing experiential exercises. Video is used as a learning tool in these classroom sessions, both for providing a model of best practices, and for giving feedback to candidates. Selected readings from the great Eastern and Western philosophical and psychological traditions are included to expand the candidate's range in thinking about basic human issues.

Facilitator candidates begin by learning the prepared script for the experiential exercises in the curriculum, so that they can deliver the introduction, instructions, wrap-up and debrief of each exercise with consistent wording and a consistent contextual approach. Along with mastering the script and delivering it consistently, candidates also study the underlying purpose of each exercise, and where it fits in the overall flow of the workshop.

Once the deeper context and flow of a workshop has been thoroughly understood and integrated, candidates take on the most challenging aspect of the facilitator's job: spontaneously interacting with participants' sharing to create insight and breakthrough. This is the final step in mastering the subtle art and science of facilitation. Again, this can only be learned live in the workshop room, with the guidance of an experienced senior facilitator.

This kind of facilitation is an old-fashioned vocation rather than just a job. It demands commitment to serving people's highest good, and a willingness to set aside personal ego needs. In return, there is a high level of fulfilment in witnessing others achieve lasting breakthroughs to higher levels of functioning.


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