Encourage Critical Evaluation

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To be honest, there are situations where we don't like to face critical thinking. In example when we are tired after intensive days of faciltating, when we face confrontative discussions, or when we feel that we are treated with less respect. For our well-being and good performance we need harmony, a positive flow and a kind atmosphere.

On the other hand decisions are only good decisions when they reflect all perspectives. Having a diverse group in a seminar means having different tastes and impressions. Making the seminar relevant for all those individuals is a difficult task, even without specific diversity awareness. Realizing this and accepting the gap between your planning and your realistically evaluated results is an important step. It’s your challenge of making the gap smaller.

Contents

[edit] Towards a Balance Between Harmony and Critical Thinking

In diverse groups the necessity for more critical evaluation will increase. For the whole learning event we need a balance of critical and harmonious thinking. The last one is a preferred attitude of a lot of facilitators: Not encouraging critical evaluation for the sake of the good, constructive spirit.

What sounds natural and sympathetic, may lead to the opposite - harmony gains more priority than (constructive) learning. Therefore we think, that ecouraging critical evalaluation should be an attitude that always be cultivated.

  • In fact, a group feels sometimes less as a homogenious group when it discusses controverse. Sometimes this is counterproductive, but often it is realistic.
  • On the other hand, who had long discussions but felt in the same time, that their arguments where heard and taken for serious even from the opponents, may as well show more respect for the opposite opinions.
  • This implies not to mix critical evaluation with destructive evaluation. Only criticism plus a constructive component could lead to acceptance

Therefore it is on you to shape a space, where critics may be expressed and furthermore is welcomed as enrichment, useful information or a positive statement showing that the opponent wants to contribute to the common.

[edit] Their Critics are Your Basis for Effective Planning

Having a diverse group in a seminar means having different tastes and impressions. Making the seminar relevant for all those individuals is a difficult task, even without specific diversity awareness. Realizing this and accepting the gap between your planning and your realistically evaluated results is an important step.

It’s your challenge of making the gap smaller. We cultivate appreciation through invitation to constructive criticism. Evaluation helps us better understand our participants and their needs.


[edit] Self-assessment for Professional Development

Beyond participants’ evaluations, we should also evaluate the seminar from our own points of view. Self-assessment is a basic necessity and skill for professional facilitators. By comparing the participants’ and our own evaluations, we can improve our work. For a special self-assessment as seen through the filter of diversity glasses:

  • Checklist: Diversity Consciousness

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