Facilitative leader characterized in EASUN’s training

9 leaders of 4 organizations in Ethiopia explore meaning of facilitative leadership during module 1 of EASUN’s FOLD training

Since October 2020, EASUN is providing training in facilitative leadership to partner organzations of All We Can (based in the U.K.). The training is provided in the context of EASUN’s FOLD (Facilitating Organizational Learning and Development) training. Forty two (42) leaders from 4 coutries (Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe) will receive the training, which will be completed in August 2022.

Ethiopia leg of the training started with module one in March 2022, with 9 leaders from 5 organizations attending. The workshop took place Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa.

Specific learning exercises equipped the leaders with skills designed to support their facilitative (transformational) leadership development, which means their increased ability to guide conscious change management. Module one particularly focused on transforming their understanding of organizations, from the perspective of a machine to that of “organization as a complex, living organism”. The 9 leaders were also equipped with tools and skills for diagnosing organizational development questions or issues that emerge at various moments in the lives organizations. 

 “Facilitative leader”: new knowledge created by participants through metaphors

In a quick brainstorm, participants characterized a leader as someone who positively influences, promotes and mobilizes others towards meeting goals of shared vision. A leader also supports and coordinates teamwork, as well as being a role model and a pioneer. A facilitator was characterized as someone who creates an enabling environment, engages others, invites and motivates, helps others to bring out what they have (know), guides and provides relevant information

The brainstorm enabled insights to emerge for particiants regarding what characterizes a facilitative leader. Such insights shared included;

  • “A leader is a leader and a facilitator at the same time.”
  • A facilitator is like a mine. He/she is to extract minerals. Participants are the gold mines. The mine

 worker cannot make the minerals but enables the precious minerals to come out by using different tools and techniques”

FOLD, as visualized by Ethiopian NGO leaders

The introduction of FOLD training was done through a creative process in which participants, based on prior information shared, characterized what a leader becomes after attending the training, in terms of enhanced awareness and new skills. The process gave them a chance to imagine how they will be transformed through the 3-week journey of learning new skills to 1) facilitate diagnostic and dialogic processes in organizations; 2) develop teams and sustain collaborative learning and task performance; 3) discover their roles and responsibilities as conscious change agents.

In groups, the participants shared what stood out for them from the various briefings, which had started with intake communications, including instructions for carrying out back home projects (BHPs) and a short piece on the promise of FOLD training. After 15 mins discussions, the groups generated and drew  images of how they envision FOLD.