Mastering Facilitation to Navigate a Fractured World with Jo Nelson

Workshops.Work · February 21, 2024

About Track

Jo Nelson is one of the founders of ICA Associates Inc. and the International Association of Facilitators, as well as an IAF Hall of Fame inductee. All of which is to say, this episode is special. To speak with a founding mother of the organised practice of facilitation is a rare privilege.

As a result, this episode is one that zooms out a little, so that we might trace the growth of facilitation as a movement. Jo walks us from facilitation’s roots as a modular component of training to its blossoming as a unique and powerful resource for leaders in every corner of the world.

We didn’t just stay in the macro view, though. We had (and enjoyed) plenty of opportunities to talk about some micro learnings and specific takeaways. There’s lots to learn, reflect on, and enjoy in a conversation with Jo — it’s a delight to share it with you. 

Find out about:

  • Jo’s view on the evolution of facilitation, having been involved from the earliest days
  • Why listening is fundamental to facilitation and how it touches so much more than our work
  • How Jo learned to leave her ideas and preferences at the door — and how that improved her facilitation
  • What it means to master the art of facilitation
  • Why a binary search for ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is incompatible with facilitation
  • Jo’s five Working Assumptions that guide her workshops and approach to facilitation
  • Examples and resources from ICA and Jo’s own toolkit

Don’t miss the next episode: subscribe to the show with your favourite podcast player.

And download the free 1-page summary, so you can always have the key points of this episode to hand.


Watch the video recording of this episode on YouTube.

Jo’s website.

ICA Associates website.

More on ORID/ Focused Conversation Method.

Working Assumptions resource.

Connect to Jo:

On LinkedIn.

Support the show:
Make a one-off donation and contribute to the ongoing costs of running the podcast.

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Check out the podcast map to see the overview of all podcast episodes:

About Creator


The world is waking up to the power of facilitation. Whether it's hosting a workshop, holding better meetings, or leading happy and productive teams - we want to make collaboration easy and effective. Dr. Myriam Hadnes is the founder of NeverDoneBefore, a global online facilitation community and festival, and this is her podcast. 'workshops work' is 50% sandbox and 50% classroom, a safe space for anyone interested in facilitation to learn more about the craft. Each week, a professional facilitator, trainer, or coach joins Myriam to discuss their interests and experiences in the world of facilitation. The conversations are open, and honest, and make facilitation understandable and accessible to all.Get practical tips and advice from a raft of experts and uncover the magic ingredients that make workshops work. You can download a free 1-page summary of each episode on

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Track Includes

  • 10 Key Takeaways