Workshops for Engineers: Part 3
In part 1, we learned about the formula for writing a workshop and went through how to craft the goals and trigger. Then, in part two, we covered the discussion, both how to facilitate and create effective questions. For the last installment of workshops for engineers, we’ll figure out how to bring it all together looking at the conclusion, supporting materials, and materials needed.
The conclusion is how you bring it all together. When you run a great workshop, you need to “close” it in a thoughtful way. A conclusion can be a thoughtful statement, a call to action, or a final thought from the group as a way to conclude. One example is having everyone go around and say one thing they learned about themselves during the course of the activity. Another example is having folks write on an index card their next step and keep it with them. Conclusion statements or activities are generally pretty short… under five minutes.
The supporting materials are what give workshops staying power. Sure, you as the facilitator may know everything that needs to be known about the subject you’re running a workshop on, but, if you need to have multiple facilitators (like if you break people up into smaller groups), the supporting materials are how YOU know that everyone knows the information they need to in order to guide the conversation intelligently and thoughtfully. Finally, supporting materials allow anyone in the future to “pick up” this workshop and run it themselves. Supporting materials are NOT books… you need to ensure that your materials are manageable for a person to get through in a short amount of time. It could include a few blog posts, a particularly good article, examples of leadership styles, or a book excerpt (if you choose to provide a book excerpt as supporting materials, try to get as specific as possible and even go as far as highlighting the key sentences or points).
The materials needed are the final portion of running a successful workshop. This part keeps you happy and organized and also allows others to run your workshop successfully in the future. The materials listed in materials needed should be anything and everything needed. Need scissors to cut big pieces of paper? Tape to put stuff on the wall? Pens? Again, this should cover everything.
And that is how you write an engaging workshop. The first few times you work through this, it will likely take you a bit of time but as you run these workshops you’ll get better and better at writing them, facilitating them, and ensuring that you’re leaving a legacy that future employees can utilize as well.
Be on the lookout for examples of workshops like this on my blog, DaydreamsinRuby.com.