UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Extension Dairy Team is resuming its successful Friday Facilitator Forum webinar series for dairy advisory teams in September. “Staying on Course: Helping Your Team to Achieve its Goals” will be presented September 16 by Dr. Lisa Holden, associate professor, Penn State Department of Dairy and Animal Science.

This session in the series will offer strategies that dairy advisory teams can use to break long-term goals into manageable chunks that can be monitored and completed. In addition, new tactics for refocusing goals for long-term teams to revitalize and energize team members will be explored.

The Friday Facilitator Forum is designed for dairy advisory team facilitators, as well as team members. The goal is to provide useful information about popular topics related to successful team operation. Participants join team members from across the United States in a one-hour format featuring interactive presentations from experienced team facilitators followed by questions and discussion among fellow team leaders from various states.

The forum’s real-time, web-based format offers a cost-effective and efficient way to gain new skills and to network with other team facilitators and members. There is no fee to participate in this online series, thanks to a grant from the Center for Dairy Excellence.

“Facilitation and leadership skills need to continually be honed to be most effective,” notes Holden, who is coordinating the forum series with Robert Goodling, Penn State Extension educator. “Finding new ways to motivate your team, to set and achieve goals or to apply management tools make you a more valuable asset to your teams and your clients,” Holden explains, adding: “Sharing ideas about successes as well as struggles with other facilitators will help you learn how others are managing their teams and making progress with their dairy clients.” 

One forum will be held each month, September through March, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. Each session will feature a 20- to 30-minute presentation about a team-related topic followed by discussion among participants. The complete Friday Facilitator Forum includes:

  • October 21, 2011 - Making Data Count: Managing Information for the Team. This interactive session will delve into the sources, reports and tools that help teams synthesize information from the vast amount of data available to them. Learn ways to more efficiently manage and report key data and information that fit your teams’ goals. Instructor: Robert Goodling.
  • November 18, 2011 - Bringing the Right People to the Table. Much expertise about business operations exist outside of our usual agricultural industries. Learn how SCORE representatives have successfully integrated into dairy teams in Pennsylvania for the benefit of both farm and team. Instructor: SCORE representative, to be announced.
  • December 16, 2011 - Understanding Team Dynamics. Key to any successful teams is recognizing and managing the various team dynamics that can arise from time to time.  his session will present a series of evaluation tools and team management styles that help to address various team dynamics and help prevent potential pitfalls before they arise. Instructor: Robert Goodling.
  • January 20, 2012 - Dealing Effectively with Difficult Team Members. Work with teams long enough and you will bump into that well meaning team member who simply can’t keep quiet or the one who never quite remembers all the details for their assignment or the team member who is never on time. This session will present a series of short examples of various difficulties and discuss some strategies for managing these “difficult” team members. Instructor: Lisa Holden.
  • February 17, 2012 - Confidentiality, Liability, and Legal Tangles. A session about “best practices” for avoiding negative legal consequences when working with teams. Guest Instructor: Ross Pifer, director of the Penn State Agricultural Law Reference and Resource Center.
  • March 16, 2012 - Topic to be announced

Although there is no fee to participate, advance registration is required by noon the day before the first session you wish to attend. To register, contact the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, toll-free, at 888-373-7232 or register online at:  Participants must have a high-speed internet connection to access the training site, as well as a microphone and speakers to participate in the discussion.

Source: Penn State Extension