Loomio Basics Training Workshop

Background

We have run 3 workshops recently, with a good level of interest and success.

Attendees are a mix of people with some Loomio experience and those who have not previously used the software.

Intent

These workshops are designed to encourage people to start groups, feel comfortable with Loomio functionalities, and get some simple facilitation tips to help then activate and engage their team members.

We can introduce availability of further information online, and connect with Loomio Associate(s) to assist them with further training, consultation, facilitation support and coaching services.

Suggested structure

Separate in 2 parts, Features (basic level) and Facilitation (intermidiate level).

Have a video of a screncast with the use of the functionalities set up to show on the date. The presenter can explain the steps live and pauses the video to reply to questions.

Set up a Loomio Workshop group to use as an example and invite people to join in through the workshop, that way they can test the features, ask questions and leave comentary. Is a good place to share follow up resources.

Part 1 — Introduction to Loomio

  • Introducing each other (15')

Introduction to Loomio (30')

Show functionalities through a preset screncast video

  • Start a group

    • Title and description: context about the group’s purpose and useful information for group members. You can add links to important threads or external documents. Let people know who are the coordinators and how they can contact them

    • Group privacy and permissions: Who can find the group. What members are allowed to do.

    • Upload a logo and cover photo

    • Group’s Options dropdown menu

  • Invite people: Invite the relevant people to join your group. Share a link with a group, or enter email addresses followed by commas.

  • Start a Thread: a place for discussion around a particular topic.

  • Comments:

    • Attach documents or images to bring extra information

    • How to edit comment

    • Edit, print, move, delete show comment and thread Options Menu

  • Proposal: To test an idea or make a decision. Is a visual representation of how the group feels,.

--- Invite workshop attendees to join a “Workshop” Loomio group and participate.

  • Vote: Select a position and quickly express your thoughts about it. Change it at any time while the proposal is still open

  • Navigating the app:

    • Unread

    • Profile Page: Setup/change user picture and details, change password or deactivate.

    • Notification settings* (sidebar): *Choose the level of information you want to get by email. (Leave mentions enabled unless you have the habit of checking Loomio)

    • Help + Contact

-- Brake (15')

Part 2 — Art of Facilitation (50')

Designed for people who are trying to activate and engage their groups. The intention here is that all users feel confident trying one or two new things in their existing loomio groups.

  • Questions

How many of you are looking at starting a new group?

How many of you have an existing group that you would like to take to a new level?

How confident are you at hosting and facilitating groups?

  • Principles:

    • This is about hosting spaces

    • Online not offline, text-based communication

    • Asynchronous, days or weeks-long discussion

Section 1 — Onboarding

show examples in the “Workshop” group on Loomio

Internally

  • Exercise: What is the purpose of your group — put this in your Context box

  • Identify your key users and key champions

    • Work together online and offline
  • Crafting the invitation

    • Email, phone call and Loomio driven invitation link

    • Invitation to do things first

  • Setting up the Loomio space — context, starting threads, introductions

  • Developing a terms of reference — some groups do this

Bringing people in — A cup of tea on arrival

  • Internal team — Host a conversation (in person, email, video chat, — wherever the group communicates) to talk through the reasons for switching and to hear people’s concerns. Make sure your key decision-makers are on board. Gain group agreement and buy-in.

  • Advisory group — Host a training for your users

    • similar to what we have done here

    • invite a Loomio consultant either to deliver that or to work with you to deliver that.

Section 2 — Engaging

This is acts of facilitation

Some interventions:

  • What is it to be a Loomio Champion?

  • Keep the discussion flowing

    • Divergent-convergent (double diamond)

    • If people revert to old habits, intervene and remind them that the group agreed to make a switch and the reasons why. For example, “We should move this conversation off email and onto Loomio because discussing it here won’t lead to a clear outcome,” or “Let’s continue this discussion on Loomio so we can include the people who aren’t able to be here at the meeting.”

  • If you have redundant channels causing confusion (for example, both Loomio and an email mailing list), shut one of them down, or at least clarify which channels to use when. Having no more channels than you absolutely need will reduce redundancy and noise, and help you get critical mass for engagement.

Be a champion to keep Loomio active — post discussions and proposals and encourage users to participate, after a while the group becomes used to it.

Keep the discussion together: Hey, would you mind re-posting that in Loomio? Can’t have parallel systems going on. If you want to use Loomio, you have to shut down big “reply all” emails.

Working out loud - Take notes in meetings and post them on Loomio to share with people who weren’t there. Put followup actions on Loomio after meetings with @mentions — make Loomio your place for documenting what happened so you can refer to it later, and it becomes a useful resource.

Stay on topic: Notice when people are going off topic and, if necessary, create separate discussion threads for topics that diverge from the core discussion. Don’t be afraid to “@mention” people to keep the conversation on track.

Notice when the same voices are dominating the discussion and invite some of the quieter people to contribute by @mentioning them and asking them what they think. In exceptional cases you may want to ask someone to wait before commenting again.

In ongoing conflict — Pick up the phone or meet in person. Sometimes people need to talk to each other, privately, to resolve issues.

Job to do — Develop a workflow that works for you.

Section 3 — Using Proposals

Pre-set 3-4 simple proposal examples taken from “9 ways to use a proposal” article.

  • Questions, examples and applications (20')

Take questions here and work backwards from the bottom to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to be heard.

This is about identifying the general use case, and working with the group to get an a-ha moment that this is in fact a familiar challenge with a solution.

Part 3 — Moving forward (10')

This is the place to pitch other workshops and services:

'We know it can be tough for facilitators to engage their team. Would you be interested in a facilitation support service?'

  • There are other services we can offer through our Loomio Associates Network:

    • Set up my group

    • Train my group

    • Coach me

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