I make presentations and offer facilitation training focusing on decision-making and conflict resolution skills. My open enrollment courses are open to leaders, consultants, teachers and facilitators in every sector. I also teach at universities and build customized in-house training programs for organizations.
The main training course I offer follows the globally recognized curriculum of The Lewis Method of Deep Democracy (link to http://deep-democracy.net/). Developed in post-apartheid South Africa, Deep Democracy is the main methodology that creates the backbone of my own facilitation practice, particularly in the areas of decision-making and conflict resolution. I am one of three instructors in Canada who are certified to train in this method.
In addition, I build in-house customized modules for organizations in:
Photo Credit: Jeremy Murphy
Very often in trainings we get a framework or a theoretical introduction to the topic and are told to take it back to apply to the groups we are part of. The focus of my courses is on practice. You will walk away with practical tools that you have already had a chance to put in action within the class.
I don’t only talk about the tools – I show you how they are used throughout the entire class. I facilitate the course in a way that demonstrates the very facilitation tools I am teaching so that you can experience what you’re learning. The learning is much deeper as a result.
I don’t use role-play exercises and I don’t create imaginary scenarios. We learn from the live dynamics of the group of people in the course, using our own diversity of opinions and the tensions between us as our learning ground. Everything in the course is ‘real’, making for a potent learning experience.
I make a safe space for practice and I will push you only as far as you are comfortable to go in your practice during class.
I create a reflective space for processing your own issues that get in the way of being a great facilitator, leader or group participant. Many people comment that the class is a transformative experience for them.
I can provide coaching to deepen the learning experience after the course.
As a social planner, it is essential to create safe spaces to share personal experiences, to be open towards the views of other people and groups, and embrace emotions that are more often excluded from the rational public discourse. During my studies at UBC, I was very honored to have taken two courses - Facilitating Group Discussions and Participatory Process Facilitation - instructed by Aftab Erfan. These courses were life changing for me at a personal and professional level. I now feel more comfortable facilitating community dialogues, I can address conflict more constructively, and connect with individuals with empathy.Jose Fernandez, Social Planner, City of Vancouver
As my coach and mentor in the Deep Democracy Personal Development program Aftab’s neutrality and capacity to be present modelled something to which I aspire. I learned to trust myself, and hold and value my alternative view, my ‘no’, as well as my ‘yes’. Aftab’s wisdom and skill, knowledge and compassion continue to be inspirational.Susan Kilgour, Principal, Wulagi Primary School
I took a Deep Democracy Intermediate course with Aftab to learn techniques for working with groups and to improve my skills as a facilitator. As Aftab led our group she not only guided us through the content, she was also an active example of the skills and techniques in practice. Aftab has an incredible capacity for listening, and for gently but firmly challenging people. Through the facilitation training Aftab helped me identify and face some deeply held fears and judgements that affect my relationships and my ability to work with people. Amazingly, she managed to make me feel comfortable during this very uncomfortable process! I can highly recommend Aftab as a teacher for anyone because she tailors her approach moment by moment to the person or group she is working with.Katherine Trajan, Environmental Engineer, City of Calgary
This day of facilitation training was exactly what our group of Indigenous community leaders had been asking for. You left us with some great practical tools and had a huge impact on the group. They are already wanting you to come back!Colette Anderson, Community Initiative Officer, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada