Crossing the threshold


December 2nd, 2010

The Hero’s Journey has always intrigued me. I most recently wrote about it here. So when designing a workshop recently, I dived into Nancy Duarte’s book Resonate to explore how she applies the Hero’s Journey to presentations.

In summary, the Hero’s Journey (as described by Christopher Vogler in The Writer’s Journey) consists of

1. The Ordinary World

2. Call to Adventure

3. Refusal of the Call

4. Meeting with the Mentor

5. Crossing the Threshold

6. Tests, Allies and Enemies

7. Approach the Inmost Cave

8. Ordeal

9. Reward (Seizing the Sword)

10. Road Back

11. Resurrection

12. Return with the Elixir

Bingo! – a new insight regarding The Facilitator’s Journey. While there is an expectation from some that a facilitator can take a group on a complete journey, enabling the participants to return to their ordinary world of work, changed and with the elixir, the reality is quite different.

As facilitators, the best we can hope for is to get participants to crossing the threshold. How so? Shouldn’t we be aiming, at least, for Reward, if not Return with the Elixir? Crossing the Threshold is leaving the workshop – whether that be a couple of hours, or a day or two – ready to take the next steps on the journey, a journey they need to take in the workplace, not in the artificial workshop environment where the realities of the real world can be suspended.

If people leave a workshop enthused for the journey, armed with tools from the mentor (some understanding of themselves or their colleagues, a new awareness, a different view of the world) and have the confidence to bear the tests, allies and enemies ahead, then we have done what we can.

1 Comment so far

  1. Karen on December 6, 2010 1:51 am

    Best hero’s journey explanation I have ever come across is at http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html and associated videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/clickokDOTcoDOTuk

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