We train people in the skills and states of mind they need to build:
- more participatory and democratic organisations and groups;
- more powerful campaigns and change activities;
- more effective and resilient ways of working.
This takes many forms. We offer training, online and in person, on a wide range of topics. These include but are not limited to: communication and working with conflict, facilitation, consensus and other forms of participatory decision-making, effective and healthy groups, sustainable activism, mediation and conflict resolution, community campaigning skills, planning (strategy, campaigns etc), co-operative values and being a good co-op member, diversity and inclusion, working with the media, public speaking, direct action and training for trainers. Below you can find a brief description of the most popular of these followed by a handful of case studies to give a flavour of the kind of work we do:
Consensus decision-making training
Consensus is often viewed as a highly participatory decision-making process. And when coupled with co-operative values, plus deep listening and empathy, it can be both participatory and effective. You may have experienced some meetings in which the process was terrible. That’s why our consensus training emphasises the states of mind that underpin consensus, and not just the technical process. We can also support you to explore consensus alternatives such as Crowd Wise and consensus-oriented decision-making.
Facilitation is a key group-work skill: helping a group reach decisions well, to listen to what’s really being said and left unvoiced, and to support a group to build trust and good communication. Our facilitation training explores facilitation as a set of roles that can be shared between all group members, and focuses on facilitation as an attitude and not just a set of tools and techniques.
Communication and conflict resolution training
We draw on the traditions of community mediation and Process Work (process-oriented psychotherapy, or World Work) to work with you to increase your understanding of conflict, and leave you feeling more confident and competent at working effectively with it.
Strategic campaign planning training
Understandably, many social action groups and organisations want to work more strategically. As well as facilitating your strategy and visioning sessions, we offer training in the skill of strategic thinking and planning. We focus on meeting people where they are at, and incorporating strategic skills and values that come from ‘the heart as well as the head’. Not everyone is a natural strategist, so we can cover a variety of approaches to strategy to ensure you can plan in a way that works for your whole group.
Direct action training
For some direct action is an effective tactic, and for others it’s an ideological statement. Our direct action training explores these debates as well as focusing on practical techniques, safety, support, comfort and communication. It’s as experience-based as we can make it to allow all participants to get a real sense of direct action, and make their own decisions about their role and involvement.
Co-operatives UK wanted to develop a package of training for workers’ coops around the UK. Rhizome was involved from the outset, identifying training needs and developing a two-year programme. We delivered workshops on topics including working with conflict, being a good co-op member and strategic planning. The programme is ongoing.
Ploughshare housing co-op
We provided conflict awareness training to Ploughshare housing co-op covering conflict styles of behaviour, the emotional impact of conflict and group dynamics. The training also helped enable co-op members to manage conflict better and improve the resilience of their community.
Newcastle No Borders
We provided facilitation training for Newcastle No Borders, who run English language conversation groups with asylum seekers and refugees. The groups build community across different cultures, backgrounds and experience. The training empowered local volunteers and members of the group to facilitate welcoming and participatory conversations.