Anne Pattillo and I have worked together for a few years now delivering Facilitating With Confidence and other facilitation training across Australia and New Zealand and in Africa and south-east Asia. Based on that experience we’ve tweaked our Facilitating With Confidence program and our approach.
At the heart is a belief that facilitation is a deep capability – something we can draw on to adapt and improvise our way through complexity, difficult decisions and everyday work. And our approach – to training and facilitating – is based on a single rule: the key to advancing any problem or situation is to get others to work on it together.
Sounds simple. Get others to work on it together. And it is. Or can be. The real skill in facilitating is not knowing yet more processes; it’s not the ability to ‘control’ a group; or even the capacity to design a workshop. It’s the interpersonal skill of getting others to work on a problem or situation together.
How hard can that be? After all it’s what we humans have always done – gathered in groups, talked about what’s happening, worked together to solve problems or adapt to new circumstances.
Yet so few of us seem to have the capacity to draw others in to work together, to overcome individual egos and agendas, to tap into our group genius and to improve our collective circumstances. Facilitation, as a deep capability, tries to do just that.
And the way we want to facilitate is with a light touch – little effort, big impact – creating a space for others to shine rather than taking up the space ourselves.
Help us further develop our understanding of facilitation as a deep capability. What does it mean for you?