To improve the generation and communication of ideas, elicitation of information and transfer of knowledge GIFPA use (and teach) the following techniques or skills:
Brainstorming is a workshop technique used to generate ideas which will, hopefully, be useful in solving some problem.
The technique enables a group of people, who are set some problem, to come up with various suggestions for a possible solution. It is run by a facilitator who should merely record suggestions without comment. It is important that no suggestions are in any way belittled as sometimes an off-the-wall suggestion leads to an innovative solution.
Once the brainstorming session is completed, the ideas are reviewed rationally to see if any of them contribute to the solution of the problem in question.
Facilitation is the technique of encouraging discussion among a group of individuals who are engaged in some problem solving activity.
Many groups contain dominant personalities whose influence can overpower the discussion. The facilitator should be capable of encouraging the widest possible input from everybody taking part. The facilitator is also required to suggest lines of debate if and when the discussion dries up or comes to a natural halt. They should ensure that all aspects of the subject under debate are discussed.
A mentor is an adviser to a less experienced person in some field of endeavour. The mentor is (or should be) seen as a trusted advisor who can provide support and guidance which is encouraging and non-judgemental. In all too many cases mentors are not properly trained and are often chosen because of their technical skills rather than their personal ones.
Effective mentoring is very reliant on personal skills, a badly chosen mentor may do irreparable harm to a less experienced person. Conversely, well conducted mentoring can be a very powerful way of transferring knowledge, skills and responsibilities. The very best mentors always seem to claim that they have learnt more from the experience than the mentored!