FESA Facilitator Story: Suman Baskota
When I got a call from the office about having to do a one-on-one online session due to the crisis caused by the pandemic, I became extremely nervous as it was a new practice for me as well as for people participating in this course. In order to overcome those nerves, I decided to do a practice testing session before going live.
For this practice session, I asked my wife for help in order to check my audio level, how clear I can be heard, video quality, how the participants will see the information, and began to learn about the different features. Then, I set the stage; from framing the camera so that my face can be seen clearly to making sure any background noises do not get distracting for others. Finally, I chose a participant from my list who I was familiar with in order to start simple. I focused on basic tools and the features that were more straightforward which helped establish a strong team dynamic and reinforce positive feelings. That session was amazing, it helped make my confidence level high as I continued with other sessions.
In these other sessions, the two most significant challenges that I faced were managing the energy of the participant and maintaining the active participation of the participants. I found that participants would get distracted if I relied on the same facilitation format, so I started introducing a variety of practical day to day examples as well as began to ask for their feedback that would help limit the distraction. In one of these sessions, as I was talking about credit cards and essential information regarding it, I felt that the participant was not that interested or felt bored.
Another challenge I faced was with active participation. As the session started to progress, it began to be difficult to understand whether the participant was taking anything from the presentation as it was mostly a one-way conversation. So, I started asking questions and for their opinions that created plenty of opportunities for connection and validation. In one of the sessions, I realized that a participant was listening without responding. Here, I asked him about his current shopping life and tried to figure out the amount he usually spent on actual needs versus the amount he spent on wants. He evaluated with a little math and was surprised that he spent a lot on those which he did not need. This activity made his participation active and helped him to understand the concept.
I realized that despite some weaknesses and difficulties, these one on one online sessions have several strengths as well. First, it was easier to give all my attention to a single participant and get them involved in the discussions. Second, the energy level of the participants was easier to boost by using different day to day practical examples. Third, in such sessions, participants felt more secure, so they were more open to asking personal problems.
Therefore, from the last three months of one on one online sessions, I believe that participants were happy, and they were able to learn essential information that helps in their everyday life. It was extremely satisfying. Thank you, FESA for this wonderful opportunity.