Passionate and Blinkered


April 6th, 2008

istock_000005294363xsmall.jpg Today I went to the footy (Australian Rules Football) at the MCG. My team – the Richmond Tigers – lost to Collingwood (boo!!!). Unless you barrack for Collingwood, you pretty much hate them – everyone does. I love the atmosphere at the MCG – thousands of screaming fans. A fast-paced game that is pretty much unintelligible to the uninitiated.

I was struck by my own biases. And the roller-coaster of emotions depending on how my team was performing – and how unfair the umpire appeared. And I was struck by the biases of those around me. For one side or the other. No half measures. Uniquivocal.

Which got me thinking about facilitating when someone has a real passion for something and I ask them to consider something else. I know what I’d do if role were reversed. I’d shut down. So, the question is something like ‘how do we tap into people’s passions and engage them with other ideas?’ I don’t know the answer. I do know that it’s reminded me of the importance of presence when facilitating – to be noticing what’s going on and responding to what is, rather than what I expect or hope. To be unblinkered by my own biases. It’s harder than it sounds.

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