CoP in the Field: Scaling New Heights
Discovering the Power of Trust and Choice

CoP in the Field: Scaling New Heights Discovering the Power of Trust and Choice

Facilitators Network Singapore (FNS) kicked off its 20th anniversary celebrations on April 6 2024 with an unforgettable Community of Practice (CoP) session titled “CoP in the Field: Scaling New Heights” at FOCUS Adventure in Sentosa. Facilitators from various sectors, including entrepreneurs, government workers, counsellors, and military roles, came to learn through hands-on experience and share our insights. And I had the privilege of attending it as well.

Why We Joined

Our diverse group of participants had several compelling reasons for joining the event. Many of us were recommended by fellow FNS associates who had previously experienced the transformative power of such sessions. Several of us were interested in acquiring techniques we could apply in our work within the social sector. Others were drawn to the opportunity to learn by doing, recognising that hands-on experience allows lessons to sink in more effectively. The stunning azure beach in the Tanjong area of Sentosa provided an idyllic backdrop for the outdoor segment which featured a series of obstacles attached to a daunting-looking metal tower six stories high.

Scaling the Tower

The obstacles included a climbing wall, some suspended tyres, high-rise swings and several balancing beams. There were no handrails, and only our safety equipment was to ensure we do not get hurt. Despite the searing heat, we collectively scaled the tower twice, attacking each set of obstacles with different techniques. What we all found interesting was the way we supported each other and communicated even though most of us had only just met.

Scaling the Tower

The Power of Choice

One of the key lessons we took away from the event was the power of choice. We were not obliged to tackle every obstacle, particularly the most challenging ones on the higher levels of the tower and we did not have to jump off the tower if we did not feel we wanted to. This served as a reminder that in life and facilitation, we always have choices.

The Power of Choice

Learning to Trust

Trust emerged as a central theme throughout the day. I learned to trust myself, my fellow participants, and the process. When faced with daunting obstacles, such as stepping onto a high beam with nothing to hold onto, I discovered that the support of my fellow participants could help me overcome my fears and achieve what seemed impossible, even if it meant slowly moving across the beam by taking small steps. The power of small steps is often underrated in our professional and personal lives. But with small, careful steps, and supporting others as we go, we achieved what we thought we could not.

Learning to Trust

Creating Safe Spaces

The event also emphasised the importance of creating safe spaces, both for ourselves as individuals and as a team. Fun, one of our facilitators, led a discussion on the use of safe spaces, a technique which the social sector workers among us shared are often used after trauma. Sasi, our facilitator from FOCUS shared a powerful story of when he single-handedly led a group of teens through a storm on a sailing boat to Phuket, sharing how he could not reveal his own fear in the face of challenge on the high seas. We explored these topics using these established guidelines:

Safe Space Guidelines

    1. Speak personally (from the I)
    2. Avoid attributing intentions, beliefs, or motives to others (ask questions to explore)
    3. Silence is as much participation as speaking
    4. Respect confidentiality
    5. Stay on topic
    6. No violence
Safe Space Guidelines

Using this technique my eyes opened to the power of silence. Having had it drummed into us from a young age that we must speak up, especially in the corporate world, this may seem at odds with our own life experiences. We discussed how we must understand why someone is silent to ensure they are in a comfortable position whether it be in a sharing session, work, counselling or other settings.

Key Learnings

After 4 hours of challenging ourselves, sharing and exploring safe spaces in a new way, we all walked away from the event with a wealth of knowledge and insights. Some of our key learnings were:

  1. Leadership positions require supporting others and overcoming personal fears, sometimes without voicing them out to lead effectively.
  2. Trusting ourselves, the group, and the process is important for individual and collective success.
  3. Breathing techniques help us maintain focus and calmness in challenging situations.
  4. Safe spaces are important for healing and growth, particularly after traumatic experiences. The professional counsellors in the group shared that they use this technique, which can be adapted to the circumstances.
  5. Trusting others, even those we don’t know well, is a leap of faith that can yield surprising results.
  6. The power of silence must be respected and creates an opportunity for better understanding.

Finding My Safe Space

For me, the most memorable moment came at the end of the session when I jumped off the six-story tower. Following Fun’s technique of creating my own safe space, I breathed in, then out and felt my place of inner calm in the eye of the storm of what I was about to do in taking the jump. The initial seconds of freefall were terrifying, but as the mechanism kicked in to break my fall, I experienced a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment. This emphasised to me the importance of creating our own safe spaces amidst the chaos of a crisis, whether at work, at home or in other situations.

Finding My Safe Space

I find that the FNS Community of Practice event, “CoP in the Field: Scaling New Heights,” was a fitting start to FNS’s 20th anniversary celebrations. We gained valuable lessons in trust, choice, and the power of creating safe spaces. As FNS continues to support and connect facilitators across Singapore, events like this are a reminder of the transformative potential of the facilitator’s role and the importance of continuous learning in our journeys as facilitators and individuals. Happy 20th anniversary FNS!

By Line

This article was written by Holly Naylor, a British content writer specialiszing in sustainability who has lived in Singapore for 14 years. Holly helps businesses of all sizes craft their sustainable branding message on their websites, in reports, and much more. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn or email holly@theinspireandcreate.com.

Upcoming Events

Join us at our next event, CoP in the Park: Reconnect with Nature and Yourself in Fort Canning, on 18 May 2024 Saturday 8:30 am – 11 am. Expect to immerse yourself in an experiential journey through Fort Canning Park that blends nature exploration with self-discovery.

Desire to elevate your facilitation skills? Contact FNS today to find out how you can facilitation skills can help you to be more effective with groups you are working with. Contact us at admin@fns.sg or visit our website at www.fns.sg for more information.