The real challenge of facilitation

September 6th, 2012

Everybody’s afraid. Of something. The future. The past. Our capability, or inability; the voice in our head that says yes and the other one that says, no. Can I? Will I? Should I? Will I look foolish? Make a mistake? Be successful? Be too successful?

This is good to remember when facilitating, or with a group of people at any time. There will be a variety of expectations, and a variety of needs, stated and unstated.

The trap to avoid, I think, is to try and please everyone. This might lead to nobody being unhappy, and also nobody being particularly excited or challenged either. Lowest common denominator, safe-as-houses facilitation. And events.

While it’s easy to focus on techniques as a facilitator, what’s more challenging for me is working on compassion and bravery. Compassion to know that people are scared. And bravery to take them to their learning edge anyway.



3 Comments so far

  1. Nadene on September 6, 2012 3:44 pm

    Wonderful to pick this up on my tweet feed this morning, thank you for these wise words they willl guide me through an exciting day of facilitation.

    Sunny wishes

  2. Jeffrey Cufaude on September 6, 2012 10:47 pm

    While everyone has fears, as facilitators we would be wise to remember that everyone also has hopes, dreams, and aspirations. We help create the containers where all of the can be present.

  3. One, two, three | rhizome on September 11, 2012 4:40 am

    […] Viv McWaters talking about compassion and bravery in facilitation […]

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