Facilitator Archetypes


June 26th, 2007

Last night I hung out for a few hours with other facilitators (what is the collective noun for facilitators? a rabble of facilitators? a host of facilitators?) at one of the regular Victorian Facilitator Network meetings.

Andrew Rixon and cartoonist/illustrator extraordinaire (and long time friend) Simon Keebone took us through the process of creating a fairy story about our facilitation experiences. It took a little while to warm up to the task on this grey, wet, cold Melbourne night but once we got into it is was remarkably easy to construct a fairy story.

Andrew reminded us of some of the key elements of a fairy story – we all know where they start and end (the Disney versions anyway) – there’s an alternative ending of ‘never living happily ever after’ (the Grimm version) too. And there’s lots of creatures in fairy stories – and magic – and faraway places – and trusty allies – and untrustworthy tricksters.

So we created our fairy stories in groups of 3 and told them – and this is where the magic of the night happened. With a few key descriptors of the actual facilitator in the story Simon was able to draw on flip chart (in front of our very eyes) a cartoon of the facilitator. If I’d been the protagonist in the story I would have snaffled the pic to take home! So picture this – arranged on the floor was half a dozen pics of facilitators in different guises.

Andrew introduced us to the archetypes of facilitators that he’s working on based on a series of on-line surveys conducted earlier this year.

The healer

The teacher

The warrior

The visionary

And we identified these archetypes in the stories and the work we do as facilitators some real insights started to emerge – and great discussion would follow…but what! We’ve run out of time! We had to finish – and so do I, for now, so more on this later.

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