Follow your natural rhythm to stay connected with yourself and your group.
From Facilitation U: As facilitators, particularly when you're training, have you ever felt compelled to speak fast and spill out the goods in order to keep people interested and engaged? In a world where the McDonalds paradigm often infiltrates our better intentions, do you let quantity trump quality and speed overtake depth? I know I've done this before. I get caught up in the moment and loose myself in a frantic desire to deliver the agenda...my agenda!
Most of us already suffer from information obesity and we're starving for quality, depth, and connection. And though we're conditioned to respond to high speed, broadband relationships, I believe we all yearn for a taste of thoughtful sincerity that touches our souls.
Ever feel like you are speaking to a room full of warm bodies, but no one is home?
Feel like you poured your life experience into your presentation, crafted every bullet point for maximum impact, practiced your speech to perfection, suited up, showed up, but no one is even listening up?
Steve Davis of FacilitatorU.com reminds us: "Speakers and seminar leaders don't need to know everything."
Below, Davis shares insights on how to engage participants as an authentic facilitator (rather than facilitating through speechifying).
Sometimes the objective of a given session doesn't go as planned. Things can be going just fine when suddenly, the unexpected happens and threatens your entire process. In my humble experience as a facilitator, I've learned to look forward to things "going wrong!" Why? Because, if they are handled well, they can present some of the richest learning or barrier-removing opportunities available. In fact, I've come to see these occurrences as gifts, offering my groups the chance to explore in ways I could never have planned.
Be familiar with the tactics people use to cloud an issue.
PHOTO: A crowd watching the annual stick-bashing festival in Lombok by simpologist
The front of the room can be a disorienting place to be... especially when the crowd turns hostile. All it takes is for one or two people to kick up some mud and suddenly the group is disoriented and off-target.
Steve Davis of Facilitator U. shares some wisdom from a short article written by David Ellis, author ofBecoming a Master Student, entitled
"How to Fool Yourself: Six Common Mistakes in Logic".
These six points seem
relevant to our interest in clear, critical thinking as facilitators,
in his article, Getting to the Truth.
With all the topics to lament in the news and society today, let's remember the power of celebration.
When working with your team or clients as you kick off the new year, Steve Davis of FacilitatorU.com reminds us in the post below to celebrate successes, challenges, wins and losses, friends, colleagues, children and bosses.
It's easy when we're trying to present something new, particularly in a training environment, to be overwhelmed by all that we want our participants to know on the subject.
As good trainers, teachers, and facilitators, we want our audience to get the most learning in the least time. The problem is that this type of thinking can get us and our audience confused.
Trying to deliver too much information impedes learning. Learning isn't solely about information. It's about using information to accomplish something we couldn't accomplish before. This requires time to digest, integrate and apply new ideas.
The practice of getting full nourishment from everything in your life.
Steve Davis of FacilitatorU.com describes how we can discern and distinguish the urge to accumulate stuff (information, relationships, customers, ideas, experience, food, etc.) vs. the process of assimilating and nourishing our bodies and careers as facilitators.
ABOVE: An elderly man and a child perform tai chi together. source
Three Insights about Facilitation from Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0368, Nov 11, 2008:
Truth by its nature is simple. Expressing our simple truth to the best of our ability is curative. Expressing our relative truth allows the wisdom of life to unfold as needed, when needed. We must be willing to jettison the idea of political correctness in service to our personal version of truth, however it looks. If something sounds complicated or doesn't make sense, it's not really true. It's a head trip. How the process unfolds can be extremely complex but always elegant and beyond the mind's ability to anticipate or significantly influence.
Trusting in the intelligence of life gives it the space of operate. Any issue in the life of an individual or group will find its own best resolution if those involved express their truth and provide the space and time for the solution to unfold. Any efforts to force, cajole, or manipulate what is, impede the natural flow of life.
Presence facilitates flow. The inner space occupied by each participant influences "the field" of the group. Noise in any mind adds noise to the field. Quiet minds clear the field. A clear field makes what's next self-evident and facilitates the flow of the group's work.
We live in two worlds – the world we have lived in and the emerging world.
Adapting to the differences between these worlds enables us to accommodate to the rapid level of change that is occurring in business. It will also allow us to play an active part in that change. Emerging, is an increasingly interdependent and collaborative world. In fact collaboration plays a central role in the management of change.
Greater levels of collaboration require Collaborative Leadership.
The alternative is not pretty – we are dinosaurs waiting for the meteor. Collaborative leadership is the application of a few basic principles. By embracing these principles we can harness the energy and attention of the people around us.
The core principles of Collaborative Leadership are: Presence, Purpose and Path.
Keeping the Ego—representing reason, common sense, decision-making and personal ambition—sublimated to the needs of the moment is key to participating fully.
Ego defense mechanisms
are psychological strategies used by humans to cope with reality and to maintain self-image. They are often used by the ego when our unconscious behavior conflicts with reality and the behaviors of those around us: usually driven by fear and desire.
The real trick as a facilitator is to achieve a level of mindfulness that is aware of the suffering and needs of all parties, now and into the future, while remaining unattached.
This article from FacilitatorU.com shares a wonderful story of how a
2-year-old became a teacher on the importance of mindfulness and joy.