Learning facilitating leadership

Lauge Baungaard Rasmussen, Mette Sanne Hansen

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    This paper explains how engineering students at a Danish university acquired the necessary skills to become emergent facilitators of organisational development. The implications of this approach are discussed and related to relevant viewpoints and findings in the literature. The methodology deployed for this paper is empirical and conceptual. A specific facilitation project carried out by six international engineering students is presented. The importance of combining cognitive, emotional and synergistic skills is highlighted on the basis of this example, the authors’ extensive experience in teaching facilitation and the literature. These types of skills are most effectively acquired by combining conceptual lectures, classroom exercises and the facilitation of groups in a real-life context. The paper also reflects certain ‘shadow sides’ related to facilitation observed by the students and discussed in the literature. The educational process description and reflections presented in this paper can help university staff and mentors in public and private organisations to adopt interactive methods for education and training. A brief overview of the methods used is included in the Appendix. By connecting the literature, the authors’ and engineering students’ reflections on facilitator skills, this paper adds value to existing academic and practical discussions on learning facilitating leadership.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)1484-1506
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Education
    • communication techniques
    • conceptual and practice-based learning
    • distributed leadership
    • Facilitation skills
    • interactive methods
    • ways of knowing


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