In 2019 we held our first Participatory Leadership Training. The AIM was to empower our Members and partners with techniques that allow for a more MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION, within their organisations as well as towards external stakeholders. To take account of this double intent, we TARGETED practitioners on the ground that regularly design stakeholder processes as well as leaders within their organisations that want to enhance their work environments by employing inclusive leadership techniques.
Participatory Leadership stands for an attitude: Co-intelligence, collaboration and self-organisation supported by a set of methods of participatory conversational formats. Working with participatory methods is done not by traditional 'command-and-control' approaches, but by:
By employing this mindset, we can set up processes that are more inclusive and engage others in a meaningful and constructive way. It is both a collection of methods as well as a creative way of thinking and can be used for organising your team's work or to design workshops or stakeholder engagement processes. Processes designed and implemented with participatory methods are better thought through as they are looked at from many different perspectives - and therefore have a higher chance of making an impact.
The training consisted of three consecutive days in which the participants learned the theory behind and the methods of participatory leadership processes. A follow-up day was scheduled several months later where participants could exchange on how they applied their learnings. During the training the following questions were addressed:
By using a COLLABORATIVE COACHING style, the participants were actively engaged from the very beginning. After an initial introduction, participants were encouraged to sign up to host sessions themselves in order to apply learnings immediately and try out participatory methods first hand. The volunteers were coached in small groups on how to design their session. The new skills, tried out in a safe environment, enabled them to take their learnings outside and employ them in their work immediately. A FOLLOW-UP TRAINING then served to exchange on learnings "in the real world" and to answer new questions that arose since the initial training.
Trying to sum up on paper what Participatory Leadership means is difficult - you have to practice and experience it to capture its diversity of methods and potential of application. We therefore very much hope you will simply JOIN US FOR THE NEXT TRAINING!