I’m Maggie and I’m Here

I'm HereBeing a part of the FIT Team couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  Midway through our grant, my office moved into the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center (CEC) on the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) campus.  Omaha Public Library (OPL) is one of 30 community or UNO organizations housed in the CEC.  The CEC’s purpose is to inspire and support collaborative efforts that benefit the community as a whole.  It is also “the only stand-alone, comprehensive, engagement-specific university facility in the country” according to UNO’s website. More

I Want to Be in a Meeting Like That!

I Want to Be in a Meeting Like That!When I was called downtown to talk to Theresa Jehlik I wondered what that was all about.  She inquired about my interest in becoming a member of a new FIT Team.  I thought, “Sure, I guess I’m game for anything…”  I had already attended some meetings facilitated by Cheryl Gould and Sam McBane Mulford at Omaha Public Library.  I was impressed how confident and comfortable they were in their facilitator roles.  They acted like they had known us all our lives!  These “meetings” didn’t always seem like a “meeting” in the traditional sense because they weren’t!  By using games and activities to bring people together (I mean EVERYONE, even the traditionally shy and reserved people who never spoke), everyone was thoroughly engaged and loved it.  There was a great sense of play, camaraderie, and connection that made the time fun, memorable, and productive.  My staff who attended facilitated meetings returned to the branch more energized and shared the experience!  I want to be in meetings like that!  I want to help facilitate meetings like that! More

Facilitation and Story Time

Story TimeI confess. I’m a children’s librarian. I love kids. I love how I get to be a kid around them. Although we played a lot of games, our trainings were all about adults! So I wasn’t sure how learning about facilitation would help me do my current job. More

I Carry Blue Painter’s Tape in My Bag

Blue Painter's TapeHow has the FIT Team experience helped you in your personal and professional life?

Ah, let me count the ways.

Personally

First, the ground rules had great influence in my life.  Second, I made some incredible personal connections through this experience.  Third, I learned things that have been useful in all aspects of my life.  Fourth, I connected with my kids through the games and activities we have done.

I previously wrote a few posts about how the ground rules became part of my personal life.  The one that has had, and continues to have, the most impact, is Everything is an Offer.  That attitude of gratitude and acceptance is very powerful.  I need to keep it in mind more often – especially as my kids become teenagers. More

The FIT Team Impact on My Life

Conflict ResolutionParticipation in the FIT Team has impacted my life in unanticipated ways.  This experience provided benefits for my navigation of the world.  When this project began, the number one most terrifying thing was the possibility of conflict resolution during facilitation.  I’ve shied away from conflict as long as I can remember.  I just want everyone to be happy, healthy, and respectful to each other all the time.  This should be an easy thing, right?  Just thinking I might hurt someone’s feelings, pride, and/or cause offense can be nearly unbearable.  While the FIT Team experience equipped me with tools to defuse a touchy situation, it also taught me to just be okay with conflict.  More

Accepting Gifts

Everything is an OfferWe recently completed two days of facilitator training which involved some intense, messy, and difficult work.  Training continues to be invigorating and draining at the same time.  Since we’ll be going back for more training in a few weeks, I’d like to reflect on how facilitator training has changed me in ways I didn’t expect.

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