The Art of Facilitation in Complexity

A 4-day online training in essential facilitation skills in complexity

More than ever we need the wisdom of the whole group to deal with complex challenges, such as how to anticipate the time after corona, how to help shape society, organisations, teams integrating the insights and practices that evolved in the past months and current situation. These (and other) conversations in small and large groups will need adequate facilitation.

In ‘The Art of Facilitation in Complexity’ you will be introduced to complexity theory and what is needed to facilitate processes in complex situations. Who needs to be involved? What type of process and what type of dialogue methods are needed? We will touch upon group dynamics, recognising what is happening in a group and how a facilitator can support groups to use the potential that is present within the group to solve its own issues.

Because of the Corona measures, we have adapted the programme and will offer the training in four modules, all online (4 times half a day). The training offers a mix of theory and practice. There will be ample opportunity to experience, reflect and practice. We will of course pay attention to online facilitation as this will be part of our new ‘reality’.

The training is preceded by an individual intake, to identify what you hope to learn and to understand the type of facilitation challenges you face. Based on these intakes the training content will be fine tuned.

Before the start of module 1, the participants will receive a preparatory assignment. In between the modules the participants will receive assignments to practice with what has been covered in the module and to prepare themselves well for the next module.

For who?
The training is particularly suitable for professionals with some experience in guiding complex group processes, such as (social change) leaders, consultants, managers and facilitators in all sectors. Anyone who is involved in facilitating, chairing, leading meetings, (learning) events, workshops etc. will benefit of this training.

After the training, you have:

  • Improved your facilitation skills to enable transformation
  • Insights in design principles for complex settings
  • Enriched your toolkit of facilitation methods useful in complexity
  • Designed and facilitated an own session
  • Tips and tricks for online facilitation


  • Intake

Module 1: 19 June (10.00-13.00) 

  • Why and when facilitate participatory processes (guiding principles:  participation ladder and complexity theory)
  • The role of the facilitator
  • Online facilitation tips and tricks

Module 2: 3 July (10.00-13.00)

  • Design of group processes (guiding principle: Theory U)
  • Facilitation methods
  • Online facilitation tips and tricks

Module 3: 23 September (10.00 – 13:00) 

  • Facilitation practice and reflection
  • Group facilitation. How do you stimulate self-management in groups? What can you do when a group gets stuck or polarises? How do you deal with minority voices?

Module 4: 7 October (10:00 – 13:00)

  • Facilitation practice and reflection
  • Meta-skills of a facilitator. How do you recognise what’s really going on in a group? How do you ensure my own neutrality?

The costs for this training are €400 for independent consultants and €500 for organisations (exempted from VAT).

If you join with two people, the second person receives a 50% discount.

About the trainers

Han Verhoeven and Monique Janmaat both have more than 25 years of experience with training and facilitation of small and large group processes in the Netherlands, Africa and  Asia.

They support organisations and groups in the question how to navigate complexity.

They use methods that build up the strengths and successes of the participants and stakeholders such as Appreciative Inquiry and Future Search. They both trained professionals in facilitation techniques. Han is IAF Certified Professional® Facilitator en assessor, Deep Democracy practitioner en BreinCentraalLeren Professional® and Monique is a certified Deep Democracy Instructor.

More info? 

Deep Democracy (Level 2)

Deep Democracy is a practical (facilitation) method to start dialogue together. It actively looks for the wisdom of the minority. Alternative points of views are heard, explored and brought into the decision-making process. This results in widely supported decisions and optimal use of the potential of the group. This new view on decision-making and group dynamics enables co-creation.

The Deep Democracy level 2 training course is provided in collaboration with House of Deep Democracy/Dialogue Hunters.

This two-day level 2 training of Deep Democracy is meant for everybody who was enthusiastic about Deep Democracy after participating in the level 1 course and who wants to delve deeper and hone their skills further. You learn how you can use Deep Democracy as a facilitator, leader or manager of a group, as a member of the group or even in situations in your private life. You learn how you can express your own interests and can be able to facilitate neutrally. Next to that, we will dedicate ample time for the dynamics below the water line, through role mapping and techniques in step 5, such as throwing arrows, the argument and let’s talk.

Content training course 

  • Practice the four steps, the check-in and the check-out, soft shoe shuffle
  • Apply Deep Democracy as a leader, as someone with a stake and as a member of the group, without formal supervisors or leader roles
  • Deepen role theory: recognising dualities, roles and fractal patterns in groups and/or organisations
  • Solve dualities and conflicts through Step 5: the technique of throwing arrows, the argument and let’s talk (application of the method in a one-on-one conversation)
  • Gain insight in the meta skill neutrality and what to do if you lose it

More info?

Deep Democracy (Level 1)

Deep Democracy is a practical (facilitation) method to start dialogue together. It actively looks for the wisdom of the minority. Alternative points of views are heard, explored and brought into the decision-making process. This results in widely supported decisions and optimal use of the potential of the group. This new view on decision-making and group dynamics enables co-creation.

What do you learn in this training?
During the two day Level 1 training you will learn the basics of Deep Democracy. Next to that, you will learn practical methods that you can directly apply in your own work or private situation. The focus is on recognising the voice of the minority and how you can add this wisdom to the decision of the majority. You learn to deal with the rational and emotional aspects of decision-making. There is also plenty of space to practice during the training. You learn to:

  • Follow group dynamics and to target your interventions
  • Look at groups in a different way
  • Work with tensions and conflicts in groups
  • Take decisions that are 100% supported
  • Realise transformations in groups
  • Strengthen relations in groups.

Content Level 1
The programme is not fixed and will be decided upon by the group through Deep Democracy. In this way, you immediately experience the method concerning small decisions. Elements of the programme are:

  • ­Facilitating check-in and check-out process
  • Recognising terrorist line behaviour in the group
  • Role theory (fundamentally different way of looking at a group)
  • Applying the 5 steps of Deep Democracy; an approach to surface all alternative opinions and perspectives and take them along in decision-making
  • Specific methods such as ‘Soft shoe shuffle’ and ‘The Argument’
  • Increasing awareness about the roles you take up in a group
  • Your own neutrality in a group and the impact of it.

The study load is 16 hours. After finishing this course participants will receive an official Deep Democracy Level 1 certificate, as well as access to Deep Democracy Level 2 and to the online Deep Democracy community.

More info?

Sprockler Training

Sprockler is a response to an increasingly complex world in which we endeavour to make sense of what happens. It uses a unique combination of qualitative (stories) and quantitative (numbers) data. It bridges the worlds of subjectivity – stories – and objectivity – numbers.

With Sprockler you can create story-based inquiries to collect actual experiences. This generates meaningful data that contributes to the learning capacities of your organisation, company or community.

People have valuable experiences to share

People are often treated as passive sources of information rather than active sources of inspiration. This happens in monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management and strategic planning. How many boring, inadequate, or misplaced questionnaires have you received? It is easy to ask people what they think, but they will not tell you a lot if they are not convinced that the issues they raise will be addressed. People have valuable experiences to share if we can only engage and inspire them.

Sprockler has three tools: Designer, Collector and Visualizer to design your inquiry, collect your information, and visualize your data in an attractive manner.

This training is for you if you:
  • Are using stories to understand what is going on and look for ways to make more of it.
  • Have the aspiration to use stories to do research, but have no idea where to start.
  • Need to measure the impact of your work, but are fed up with standard data collection.
  • Want to explore new features and enjoy the full potential of Sprockler.

This practical online training will help you to:

  • Understand in which situation Sprockler can be best used
  • Use the Sprockler tools, including the designer, app and online collector and the visualizer
  • Be introduced to the art of asking the right questions for Sprockler
  • Be introduced to inspiring non-extractive ways of collecting your stories
  • Understand the practicalities of Sprockler, including the support of different languages, devices.

Your trainers Han Rakels, Lisette Gast and Anne van Marwijk are experienced Sprockler practitioners and have extended experience in a broad variety of face-to-face dialogue methods that inspired the development of Sprockler.

The first two modules of the training focus on the 5 process steps of Sprockler, the basic principles, the different types of questions and the options for collecting and sharing results. In the next modules you learn to work with the process and the tool.

The training is spread out in 4 mornings of 09:30 – 13:00 in 4 weeks. The next options to join are:

  • Friday 12, 19, 26 June & 3 July
  • Wednesday 2, 9, 16 and 23 September

The costs are €350 pp. The training is also suited as an in-house training. The advan-tage of this is that you can immediately start working on your own case. The course can be given in Dutch, English and Spanish.

Previous participants shared:

Super exciting and time flew by.
That such a tool and process exists!
Pleasant and interactive training, with good use of online tools. 

More info:

Find out more about a recent example where Sprockler was used and listen to DM&E Thursday Talk by Stine Chen (Oxfam Novib), Nele Blommestein (Sprockler) & Lisette Gast about how Oxfam Novib,  Saferworld and partners used Sprockler to conduct a baseline measurement for their project on access to fair, legitimate and effective Justice in Pakistan.

Navigating Complexity

Perspectivity offers you a new 1-day training: Navigating Complexity

  • Do you work with multiple parties that are different from each other?
  • Do you want to achieve results together, but do you face a lot of effort, resistance and / or energy?
  • Does the word ‘complex’ often fall when it comes to your project, challenge or your cooperation?
  • Do you have the idea that you do not understand each other enough?
  • Do you feel that you do not have the right (process) tools?
  • Would you like to learn more in the field of facilitation, co-creation and / or collaboration?
  • Do you feel that complexity offers a wealth of opportunities, if only you knew how to tab them?

In these turbulent times understanding complexity means, looking at the world through different eyes. Experiencing a world full of possibilities and how to take advantage of them. Learn how to navigate your complex issue, challenge or environment …

Work together with more cohesion, ease, results and energy.

What are we going to do?

We will introduce you to what is going on with (increasing) complexity and what that means for leadership, behavior, cooperation and organization in our society – and in organizations, in governments, and in partnerships. You will be introduced to the Cynefin framework on complexity and you will practice with it. We will work with the 9 ‘Complexity Navigator’ building blocks, to realize breakthroughs and results in complex issues. We bring in case studies as examples and participants will work with their own (work-)situations.


After this training, you will:

  • Know what ‘complexity’ is and why it is not the same as ‘complicated’
  • Understand why projectplans do not work in complex environments
  • Recognize constructive and destructive behavior in complexity
  • Have insight into how you can navigate in complexity
  • Experience the power of dialogue and how dialogue can lead to joint efforts/results
  • Get an idea of suitable methods and tools
  • Experience different interactive that move people
  • Receive new insights so you will find new perspectives for action.  You will be able to give (more) guidance in complexity.

Practical information

This training is also available in Eastern Africa.

LEGO Serious Play

Are you looking for a way to get everyone involved? A way in which everyone can speak out about what is important to them, with colleagues but also across teams, departments or even throughout the whole organisation?

But do you find that you cannot really do that in ‘traditional’ meeting set-ups? Are you finding yourself too often stuck in tiring, boring and repetitive discussion? Or have you tried some methods but were not able to produce satisfying results with the group?

It is possible with LEGO Serious Play.

LEGO Serious Play stimulates action, creativity and reflection. It helps you and your team to look, reflect, listen and learn in a collaborative fashion. It is a proven method that is fun and impactful and turns ‘heavy’ themes into light ones.

Perspectivity is facilitating three short LEGO Serious Play training sessions in the upcoming months for people who are curious to learn more about the technique and how to use it themselves. In this training, we will show you the effects and applications of this 100% interactive work form. You will immediately find out why this is so much fun, which will make you want to work with it immediately.

About the trainer

Anna takes LEGO Serious Play wherever she comes. Whether it is in start-ups, NGOs or larger government organizations, LEGO always makes every group of people smile and let them build, experience and play constructively with ideas and challenges. The result: more coherence, energy and inspired action in what you do together.

More info? 

Designing Dialogue Processes

How do you conduct a constructive dialogue with a large group? How do you organize the process – and the room – in such a way that attendees engage in a valuable conversation?

Expert facilitation on the spot is half the work. The other half: careful design and use of appropriate methods that meet the situation at hand.

Dialogue in complexity

The world is becoming increasingly complex. There are many issues that we can no longer resolve by ourselves, within our department or organization. We need the wisdom of those involved to understand what is going on and to come to new insights.

The debate is often not the right form. The focus on being right, hardens viewpoints and often drives parties even further apart. The dialogue is much more suitable to bring different perspectives together.

Very special to experience how participants took an open attitude from the very start.

In a constructive dialogue, you search for the whole and the connection between the parts, instead of dividing an issue into pieces. You question assumptions instead of defending them. You learn by discovering together instead of persuading and selling. You look for shared meaning, instead of consensus on a component.

Two-day in-company

In this two-day training ‘designing dialogue processes’ you learn the why, how and what of a constructive dialogue. The training offers you the basics to design large scale dialogue processes in complex settings. The training is intended for those who need to bring diverse stakeholders in complex situations together to achieve innovative breakthroughs.

The training is well-suited for managers, internal facilitators, organization and communication professionals who want to engage in (large scale) dialogues with internal and external stakeholders.

At the end of the training participants have a shared image and knowledge of:

  • The value of dialogue for socially complex situations
  • Building blocks to create common ground and mutually reinforcing actions with large groups of diverse stakeholders
  • When to use dialogue effectively, and when it is not appropriate
  • Principles of designing dialogue processes
  • A number of different work forms and possible applications
  • Shared image and knowledge of rules and facilitating techniques to conduct a constructive dialogue.


  1. Why dialogue: complexity & polarization
  2. In dialogue: conditions for success, steps and levels of listening
  3. Complexity Navigator: Building blocks design the dialogue process
  4. Principles of process design: goal, stakeholders, level of participation, process choices, program structure
  5. Dialogue methods for large groups, such as Open Space, Dialogue Circle, Future Search, Appreciative Inquiry, World Café, etc.

Various dialogue methods are applied during the training to experience different approaches.

Depending on your organisational needs and the duration of the training (between one and two days), we can pick one or two actual topics that play within your organization. This way the participants themselves experience the rules, steps and levels of listening and get a shared experience to reflect on together during and after the training.

More info

Stories of change

Stories of change are a great way to communicate the value and progress of a project in an accessible way.

Explore and demonstrate change

Stories of change are used to explore and demonstrate change that happens during an academic or field research project or programme. They allow the researcher to supplement quantitative indicators with qualitative information about changes in knowledge, behaviour, attitudes, practice and policies. Information that cannot easily be captured in quantitative metrics.

Bring your project to life and induce adaptive learning

Stories of change bring your project to life. Especially for outside audiences, such as external stakeholders, politicians, project financiers and the general public. Stories of change focus on small changes, showing little steps towards impact. This often leads to a wider understanding of the overall results or potential future results.

Storytelling is an art, not a science.

Stories of change induce adaptive learning within the system. They can be used to illustrate the Theory of Change (ToC) and allow stakeholders to investigate and reflect on factors that have enabled or constrained the change to occur (or not). These can be intended and unintended and may reveal important lessons about underlying assumptions. The insights are captured in a story. 

Theory and writing

The Stories of change training programme teaches academic and field researchers how to develop and present their stories of change. The training encourages them to identity small changes with potentially big impact and helps them to turn these into appealing stories that bring their research to life.


One-day group training

  • Get into the storytelling mode
  • Storytelling: the human nature
  • Getting to the essence of your story
  • Scripting your story in three steps:
    1. Brain writing
    2. Free writing
    3. Script writing
  • Writing tips
  • Publishing formats: blog, podcast, article, infographic

Follow-up: Individual written exercise to elaborate a story of change on a current project. With individual follow-up coaching, feedback and group reflection.

The positive feedback helped me to get rid of my insecurity about my writing.

In-company training

  • Number of participants: Between 8 and 32
  • Period: 1-day group training followed by individual coaching and feedback (4 hours p/p)
  • Costs: In consultation
  • Study load: 12 hours
  • Location: In-company
  • Trainers: Petra de Boer & Lisette Gast

More info:

Read the report of the Stories of change programme offered at NWO-WOTRO.

To register, send an email to

CoResolve: Participatory Leadership Training

This 2 -day training course is for anyone that struggles with the balancing act of driving an agenda and believing in participation and inclusion. The course provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to do so successfully.

  • Are you driving a process to achieve your goal with the group you are leading or advising?
  • Do you believe in the need of participation of all – including that odd voice?
  • Are you looking for a way to harness the energy arising from conflict and turn it into fuel for productive group processes?

Then this CoResolve training is made for you!


The 2-day program consists of:

  • 12 hours training – The training comprises of 5 learning modules and is based on the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy. It covers background, theoretical understanding, diagnostics, detailed steps and experiential learning.
  • 4 hours follow up – The follow up enables participants to practice and refresh the tools during the session and provide a platform where people can address and discuss issues subsequent to the initial training.

The modules provide you with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Deal with resistance
  • Make collaborative decisions
  • Understand relationships and group dynamics
  • Resolve tension.

In addition, the basic training module of the CoResolve Participative Leadership Program offers a custom-designed web-based platform supporting this program. The platform allows participants access to the learning material, exercises, discussion groups and the ability to connect to other participants internationally.


Leadership is a broad word and can be applied in different contexts. In the CoResolve Participative Leadership Program, a leader is identified as anyone driving a process to achieve an objective. Whether you are an executive, processional, manager, teacher, consultant, community worker or a student leading a project or driving a process, you gain from this program.

Most leaders are employed to drive strategy and gain results and should be spending 90% of their time on these outputs. In reality, however, most leaders spend their time trying to resolve people issues and dynamics. Usually these issues are neither rational nor logical. Furthermore, they don’t respond well to logical thinking processes and resolution tools. When leaders apply these logical tools the issues are more likely to cycle repeatedly, wasting valuable time.

The CoResolve Participative Leadership Program specifically focuses on this area. Participants are taught process driven theoretical principles and tools which equip participants to deal with the irrational human element in business. The program is experiential, enabling participants to gain confidence by applying the tools through practice.

The course provides you with the knowledge and skill to:

  • Facilitate rich conversations which unleash engagement and spontaneity, creativity and excitement
  • Harness the dynamic power and collective intelligence of the group by enabling even the quietest of participants to find their voice and express their views
  • Create safety, in large and small groups, that allows difficult conversations to take place
  • Search for the wisdom of the minority in groups and improve majority decision-making by incorporating the minority’s wisdom
  • Read the dynamics of a group, recognize early signs of resistance and emerging conflict and act in a timely manner to reduce tension
  • Understand the obstacles to good communication and build foundations for shared understanding
  • Begin and end meetings with a powerful way to connect the group and be aware of what is happening in the room
  • Resolve differences of opinion
  • Recognize underlying tensions that block group progress
  • Diagnose shifts in group dynamics as they become polarized and rigid and select appropriate facilitation tools to use in such situations.
  • Resolve differences of opinions, arguments and conflicts. Instead of allowing anger and blaming to continue, recognize and unleash the creative potential that lies within every conflict
  • Understand and learn how to use tension as an opportunity to enhance learning, leadership development and interpersonal relationships

This training is also available in Eastern Africa. The study load is 16 hours.

More info?

Agile Communication

The world is moving. Changes follow each other more and more quickly and are simultaneously influenced by many actors and factors. It is an illusion to think that you can continue to orchestrate the communication centrally. After all, communication takes place continuously, everywhere and by everyone and with constantly changing character, actors and needs.

How do you organise communication in an ever-changing environment? This requires an agile attitude. With a flexible attitude we can respond much better to change. That may seem simple, but requires a substantially different way of working.Scrum is an innovative method to deal with this. Developed in IT, but now also widely used outside. Scrum works in short cycles – with fixed roles, recurring meetings and useful lists – which also help the Communication department to become agile.

With a flexible attitude we can respond much better to change. That may seem simple, but requires a substantially different way of working.

In the in-company Agile Communication training for communication teams, you learn what agile scrum has to offer you as communication professionals. Why the long-term plan no longer works and you are better off focusing on short-term results. How you can deliver value in short cycles. How you can involve your client and your stakeholders more closely. And how you can work together with more fun and be more productive.

This training offers a mix of experiential exercises, reflection, theory and practical examples. During the training we will work with your own projects, so that you can apply the lessons learned immediately in practice.

After this training you know:

  • What agile communication is and why you need it
  • How to organise your projects agile
  • How to achieve results that really matter
  • What the conditions are to make agile work
  • How you can introduce agile methods in your organisation

For whom?
The training is intended for communication managers and professionals who are looking for practical tools to be able to deal with change flexibly.

Petra de Boer from Perspectivity, experienced communication professional and proces facilitator. Petra is co-author of Scrum in action, the first Dutch handbook for Scrum outside of IT (Business Contact, June 2015).

In-company training
This training is offerend as a tailor-made in-company training. Discuss the opportunities with Petra de Boer.