Courage and vulnerability


March 2nd, 2013

Artists perform. They live for their art, whatever that may be.

I’m learning more and more about my art – connecting people and ideas aka facilitating – from other artists.

This week I offered a workshop on Creative Facilitation. There were people in the room who had known me a long time, others who I met for the first time that morning. I introduced the workshop by saying I felt like a performer, with some old material and some new stuff.

I also explained why I still regard myself as a beginner, learning as I am to incorporate music into my workshops. The beginner mind is open and curious; the expert mind is closed and certain. I first learnt to do my craft, as many artists do – processes and techniques that I honed – and then started exploring being an artist. The difference between doing and being is courage and vulnerability. Courage to break away from the mould of what people expect facilitation and facilitators to be. Vulnerability to know that not everything I do will work, or be liked, and understanding that my art is not for everyone.

And if you watch this TED Talk by Amanda Palmer, you will understand why people like her are my inspiration. She nails the impact of courage, risk-taking, vulnerability and ultimately the connections and love that shows up.

3 Comments so far

  1. Amanda on March 3, 2013 1:37 pm

    Thank you so much for the link to Amanda’s TED talk. The part about the ‘no sticker price’ for music really lit up for me and how something similar-ish could/does work for facilitators. I’ve been mulling on this as I leap into the independent world and would love your thoughts!

  2. Viv McWaters on March 4, 2013 8:50 am

    Hi Amanda
    Pricing is always fraught, and many of us don’t do this work for the money, though we do have to make a living (and in my case, enough to fund my travel habit 🙂 Alarm bells always ring for me when the first thing a client wants to know is your daily rate. My answer is usually, it depends. It depends on the complexity of the job, their budget, my enthusiasm. I prefer not to lose a job I really, really want to do just because of cost and I also prefer to build a relationship with a client first, then do the transactions. Now where have I heard that before? That’s right – conversations, relationships, then transactions! So I think the idea of ‘no sticker price’ for facilitators is interesting. It is one of the reasons I created my criteria for work (where out of 8 only one relates to money). I think there’s a lot that facilitators can learn about relating to clients etc from the music industry. Cheers, Viv

  3. Amanda on March 10, 2013 1:13 pm

    So true about the ‘it depends’ – I’m finding there is lots of heart-listening for me when it comes to a potential piece of work, because there are so many different factors at play. And I love your reminder about conversations, relationships then transactions! And gracefully being in the tension that arises in our transaction-dominant society, even amongst those who are trying to do good work in this world while needing to somewhat play by the rules of the existing game. Thank you thank you!

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