I am called in as an external consultant to facilitate meetings, usually when there is a large degree of complexity, when there are divisive issues within a group, when there are high-stake decisions to be made, when there is a crucial need for outside-the-box thinking and fresh ideas, or when a group simply needs help to connect on a deeper level.
My facilitation approach is based in various methodologies including Deep Democracy, the Art of Hosting and Harvesting, Theory U, Action Inquiry and the Expressive Arts field. I draw heavily on my strength as a visual communicator (serving the 80+% of group members who are visual thinkers) and on simple somatic tools to create movement in otherwise stuck situations. I have worked in a variety of sectors including education, arts and culture, health care, First Nations, immigration, energy, green technologies, IT, pharmaceuticals, transportation, neighbourhood planning and housing.
The types of meetings I usually facilitate include:
Photo Credit: Jeremy Murphy
I don’t rely on a cookie-cutter approach to meetings. I custom-design every meeting, drawing from a divers and versatile set of facilitation frameworks, philosophies and tool-kits that I know intimately.
I am a conflict expert, with a PhD and a record of scholarship and practice in this area. I can lead a group through difficult and emotionally charged interpersonal, inter-cultural, inter-generational, societal and ideological conflicts. I can take the group deeper, where most facilitators would freeze.
I see conflict as a generative force when groups are ready to face it. My approach to conflict resolution turns tension into a valuable opportunity for group members to realign their energies and revitalize their organization.
My facilitation approach is emergent, light, dynamic and fun. No two meetings are the same, and no meetings are boring. I draw extensively on visual, auditory and kinesthetic resources to meet every thinking style.
I increase the efficiency of group processes by offering clarity and helping groups break through stuck dynamics. I help organizations save time and money and create well-supported decisions that are immediately actionable.
I build relationships with my clients and engage with their challenges as a thinking partner. I don’t believe in dependency on consultants. I build the capacity within the groups I work with to solve their own problems.
It was a pleasure to work with Aftab from start to finish. She is clearly a deeply experienced facilitator who can quickly glean the aim of a gathering and the tone. We found that Aftab quickly became one of our team, able to track with out goals and to add valuable insights. Onsite, I felt confident to present her as one of our team due to her strong work as a graphic facilitator but also as someone who could integrate into the group well. I would recommend Aftab highly to anyone who asked and I hope our team will get to work with her again.Christine Ageton, Chief Program Officer, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
Thank you so much for your really great work facilitating the plenary morning of our conference. At lunch, I was told by a member of the theatre community who had come from the Philippines that this was the first time he felt happy about theatre in Canada. Thank you for giving that gift to him and to the rest of our community.Dawn Brennan, Director, Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance
Thank you for the amazing work facilitating our Student Forum on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The tension between Muslim/Arab/Palestinian and Jewish/Israeli student groups has been ongoing on our campus and came to a head around BDS. The evening session you facilitated was unprecedented and many feel that of everything that has happened, that session has been the one really positive outcome. It was amazing to realize that a large group of people with very strong opinions can actually have dialogue even though they passionately disagree.Anne Kessler, Vice President Academic and University Affairs, UBC Alma Mater Society
I was so excited by your facilitation style and learned so much from watching you work. You bring such dynamic energy, lightness and appropriate humour even to the heaviest group situations - and it really works.Johann Rehnberg, Managing Director, Manaki Consulting
Thanks for making the conversation on equity in the Vancouver theater community go so smoothly. Taming a roomful of theatre-folk is no simple matter, but you made it look deceptively easy. Even us privileged white guys felt comfortable!David Copelin, Playwright & Dramaturg
You facilitated us through one of the most divisive issues our organization has ever faced. The process challenged us, but at the end we came up with a solid statement that clarifies our values, deepens our commitment to social justice, and stands up. I'm feeling really good and extremely proud that we came through the other side intact, and even more open and united as a team. Phew! And thank you.Drew Dennis, Executive Director, Out on Screen