Learn how to facilitate meetings: Ku‘ikahi offering workshop at resource center

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The nonprofit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center invited instructor Kimberly Dark to teach “How to Facilitate a Meeting” from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center, 1055 Kinoole St. in Hilo.

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The nonprofit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center invited instructor Kimberly Dark to teach “How to Facilitate a Meeting” from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center, 1055 Kinoole St. in Hilo.

“The word ‘facilitate’ comes from the Latin root facil, ‘to make easier,’” Dark said. “That’s just what a good facilitator does — makes it easier for a group to achieve its highest aims. And, ironically, when a facilitator is highly skilled, the group hardly even knows it’s been helped.”

This community workshop provides a day of skills-building for anyone who is in a position to conduct a meeting — at home, on the job, on boards or in community settings.

In Dark’s Saturday workshop, participants will learn how to help a group prepare with clear materials, supplies and room setup; best use the time allotted to work toward a goal; clarify its mission and people’s roles; and minimize conflict and still handle difficult issues.

Dark teaches how to bring out people’s hidden talent, skills and creativity. She also teaches how to develop an awareness of power relationships that will help the group move skillfully from one issue to the next, incorporating new participants as needed.

“If you participate in public meetings like school boards or the County Council, or want to sidestep conflict by helping people informally organize their aims, or help a group work methodically toward a long-term goal, then this workshop is for you,” Dark explained.

Dark has been consulting in conflict resolution and facilitation for more than 20 years. Her first training in 1987 with the Colorado Institute for Conflict Resolution focused on group and family problem-solving. She completed mediator certification with the National Conflict Resolution Center in 1996 and served on the San Diego Mediation Center Community Justice Advisory Board from 1997-98. For 11 years, Dark served as principal for Current Change Consulting.

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Her consulting specialties include community facilitation, training and group conflict resolution. As her schedule allows, Dark teaches in the sociology departments at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and California State University, San Marcos.

Tuition for “How to Facilitate a Meeting” is $75. Group discounts and partial scholarships are available. To register or apply for a scholarship, contact Jenifer Aveiro at Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center at 935-7844, ext. 1, or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.