Blog > The most common facilitation question

August 29, 2010

When offering facilitation training, one of the most common questions from facilitators is about how to deal with difficult people and tough crowds. This seems to be the single most common fear amongst facilitators, wondering how they will react to individual and group challenges, disruption, annoyance, cynicism or disruption.

So this is why I’m really excited about this one-day workshop I’m offering with mates Simo Routarinne (status and improv guru) and Johnnie Moore (all round great bloke) as a pre-conference workshop for this year’s European International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Conference in Helsinki, Finland. It’s on October 14 and is called On Your Knees – Status and Facilitation.

Here’s a little taster: Status, or power, games are inherent in meetings – whether acknowledged or not. Sometimes status can get in the way, creating tension between individuals and limiting the potential for authentic communication and engagement.

Understanding the dynamics of status is a brilliant tool for facilitators. Not only does it provide a lens in which to view the sometime baffling behaviour of participants, it is also a way of using your own status, that is raising or lowering it, to influence the group. Status is the tool we already use to create distance or close-ness between people.

On Your Knees will be seriously playful. We’ll look at the subtle – and not so subtle – ways in which we embody and play out status games in facilitation. We’ll explore multiple small and diverse interventions drawn from improvisational theatre.

Why is it called On Your Knees? You’ll have to come along to find out!

Registration details here. Early bird is until 20 September.

If you can’t make it, I’ll be writing about it here and we’ll be offering it wherever there might be demand.

Information about the Europe IAF Conference is here.

And here’s a podcast I did with Simo about status.

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