Community Partnership Program Update

Spring 2018 Community Partnership Program Team Leader Training

Facilitation Training with Our Team Leader Development Committee

The Art and Science of Facilitation

Our Xperitas Community Partnership (CP) Team Leaders oversee many aspects of their programs. Team Leaders facilitate trip logistics, assure capable leadership for team reflection and experiential learning, and serve as the primary person responsible for ensuring positive relationships and interactions between Xperias guests and the partner community on our cultural immersion programs.

To ensure our Team Leaders are well-trained, our CP staff and Team Leader Development Comittee plan and execute periodic training sessions and inservices for our current Team Leaders and Team Leaders in Training. On May 12, our volunteer attendees were introduced to the ORID Focused Conversation Method by Grace Janssen, Emilia Kaczynski,Tyrel Nelson, Rita Johnson, Katie Balk and Jan Smith as part of the ongoing Team Leader development process. The ORID method uses a designated facilitator to guide a group through four levels of questioning, with each level building on the understanding gained from the previous levels. After reviewing the role of an ORID facilitator, our Leaders and Leaders in Training were able to practice the ORID method using specific examples of situations they might encounter while leading an Xperitas cultural exchange program.

So, what does ORID stand for?

Objective > Reflective > Interpretative > Decisional

The ORID method, developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) in Canada, is based on the way our brains take in information, make sense of that information and then move into a state of action. ORID focused conversations are based on the theory that people need to be aware of both the factual data and their emotional responses to the topic in order to maximize their analysis and decision-making in regards to the situation. Another way to think of the four level of ORIDs might be:

Senses > Heart > Head > Action

The ORID method has proven to be effective for our CP Team Leaders because it values both the rational and experiential sides of our brain to arrive at a point of clarity for all stakeholders in a discussion. The ORID method is interactive and requires input from the entire group to work to its fullest potential. ORID is useful to clarify differences, move quickly to a deeper understanding of the issue(s) at hand, and to achieve a mutually agreed-upon action in a non-confrontational manner. One of the attendees at the ORID training session was our Executive Director, Leslie Gale, who had this to say about the training session and, specifically, the ORID method:

“The ORID method that we learned during this session is an incredibly powerful tool for facilitation of structured conversations.  I am so grateful to Xperitas Community Partnership Program staff and to the dedicated volunteers from the Xperitas Team Leader Development Committee for sharing this tool with us in such an interactive and engaging way.  I came away from the session believing that this method can be very effectively employed in both our Language Immersion and our Community Partnership Programs to ensure that participants are able to deeply reflect upon their experiences in another culture and gain a better understanding of the assumptions, judgements and values that impact their ability to engage with diverse populations.”


Team Leaders and Team Leaders in Training convened at Xperitas' Minneapolis headquarters on May 12, 2018 for a special training session organized by Grace Janssen, Emilia Kaczynski,
Tyrel Nelson, Rita Johnson, Katie Balk and Jan Smith of our Team Leader Development Committee.

We are proud and thankful for the Xperitas staff, and dedicated volunteers, who spent a beautiful spring Saturday at the office with us to sharpen their cross-cultural facilitation skills. We are currently enrolling applicants for our 2018 Team Leader Training Program, which will take place September 7 - 9, 2018, in Camp St. Croix, Wisconsin. 

For more information on our Team Leader Training program and complete details on how to apply to become a team leader, please visit our Team Leader Training webpage.