Engaging in Liberating Structures to Create Meaningful Connections

A talk by Addie Reinhard DVM
Graduate Research Assistant, University of Kentucky

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About this talk

Liberating structures can be used within an organization to improve communication and collaboratively solve challenges, and these structures differ from conventional structures such as traditional lecturing, brainstorming, and open discussion by allowing more individuals to participate in the discussion (Lipmanowicz & McCandless, 2013). By engaging more individuals in the discussion, more ideas and solutions to common issues facing an organization can be generated. Liberating structures create an inclusive environment where everyone feels like they have the ability to contribute to the conversation. These liberating structures are easily learned, easily accessible, and can be used in a wide range of settings.

In this workshop, participants will be guided through a brief overview of liberating structures and how they can be used for team building to enhance communication and engagement. Online resources will be provided to attendees, so they will have the ability to use liberating structures after leaving this workshop. The focus of this workshop will be immersion into the liberating structures to allow attendees to directly experience these structures in action. Attendees will build new connections with other attendees, gain clarity on their individual purpose within veterinary social work as well as common purposes of the group, and reflect on what they have learned in the session, why that knowledge matters, and what they will do with the information going forward. I feel confident that these liberating structures will enable the establishment of meaningful connections among conference attendees. Attendees should leave this workshop better connected to each other and with confidence to use these liberating structures in the future.

Learning Objectives 1. Understand the benefits of liberating structures compared to conventional structures 2. Build new connections with other summit attendees through use of team building liberating structures 3. Utilize liberating structures in a group or organization to engage individuals

References Lipmanowicz, H., & McCandless, K. (2013). The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash a Culture of Innovation. Liberating Structures Press.

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