Facilitator Journal | Issue #0137 | January 27, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...
Do you ever wish that you could be more "autocratic" in your
role as a facilitator? Probably not. But this week's article, "Politeness,
Openness, and Autocracy," (POA) explores the importance
and appropriateness of using just this trait at times within your groups.
This POA idea comes from the book, "Spiral Dynamics," by D.
Beck and C. Cowan, a pet model of mine of late that you'll be hearing
much more about in the months to come. I look forward to your comments
on the article.
a great week!
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Becoming a Learning Facilitator.
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course is for teachers and trainers and explores how to make the leap
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Register by 31 January at a discount. See details below.
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Openness, and Autocracy
Be a compassionate
autocrat for effective process for all concerned.
In our efforts to be compassionate, catalysts and advocates, eager and
adept at inviting full participation from all concerned, we may at times
forget the need to be outright autocrats. No I'm not mad. I just know
that the temperament of many facilitators may resist this invitation,
or this ability in them may have atrophied from lack of use as a result
of egalitarian rebellion.
Just last week, in my latest Random
Acts of Facilitation Teleclass, one student brought forth the dilemma
in dealing with a group of strong, alpha males (strong, outspoken, aggressive,
task-oriented) and their resistance to following their grounrules. She
voiced her concern that sometimes she felt that she was falling into the
same dysfunctional behavior that they were when at times she was forced
to fiercely intervene to get their attention.
If everyone agrees
to how they want to behave to achieve a healthy process, and they've designated
a facilitator to help them maintain the integrity of that process or "container,"
then any failure to intervene on a breech of that container is a failure
on the part of the facilitator to maintain its integrity. It may even
be necessary sometimes to protect the container with great ferocity. Just
as at times we go off to fight wars to stop other wars, though our intentions
aren't always as pure as the driven snow, sometimes this needs to be done.
It's how it's done, with whom, and for what reasons that's important.
If continuous breeching
of process occurs with little regard or learning from facilitator interventions,
then it may be time to reexamine the container boundaries. And as always,
the facilitator doesn't make the decisions about the shape of this container,
she merely points out issues and engages the group in redefining its new
boundaries, ie. behaviors, if in fact they want to. And ultimately, some
groups may drive us crazy operating in seemingly dysfunctional ways, and
may not be ready or willing to change their approach as they are obviously
receiving something they want or need in the process...another dynamic
that the facilitator can help them explore, or not.
Politeness, Openness, and Autocracy
Don Beck and Chris Cowen, speak of the POA model in the book, "Spiral
Dynamics," a topic we will be talking much more about in future issues,
as three essential tools for skillful leadership, and for effective relationships
for that matter.
- Demonstrates a sense of civility--we all want to be treated with respect
- Shows genuine interest in people.
- Adheres to established social norms and cultural differences out of
respect for others.
- Strikes a good balance between interest in the lives of others and their
right to personal autonomy, privacy, and freedom.
- Listens without becoming distracted, yet can express personal time constraints
honestly and directly such that the other person doesn't feel disrespected.
- Generates trust within the group and among its participants.Be honest--we
all want to be trusted.
- Fosters a climate that gives permission for others, as individuals or
groups, to be communicative and straightforward.
- Does not mean everything is an open book; but when confidentiality and
security are important, the need is explained up front. Appropriate privacy
is as much a part of an Open arrangement as disclosure.
- All but the most enlightened groups still need for someone to "be
- Means taking charge, accepting responsibility, knowing where "the
buck stops," and being wiling to put yourself on the line.
- Autocracy is accepted, even enjoyed in the presence of Politeness and
Openness which tend to remove fear from the equation.
- Can be a "collective" affair. In other words, enforcing groundrules
developed by a group is actually an autocratic action taken in service
to the whole.
Would you like to republish this or other articles from the journal?
You are free to do so providing you follow these guidelines.
Ask yourself about your relationship to autocracy and how you effectively
use it in your groups. Please email
us your thoughts on this topic.
Appreciative Inquiry Teleclass
a Provocative Approach to Unleashing the Power of Groups. This
four-session teleclass on Appreciative Inquiry, is a facilitation strategy
for intentional change that identifies the best of "what is"
in order to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be."
Within these classes we will explore the four dynamics of AI: Discovery,
Dream, Design and Delivery. Plan to bring with you the challenges you
have encountered or are experiencing in the group/organizational change
process. These one-hour sessions will be interactive and we will encourage
discussion of specific situations in which Appreciate Inquiry might be
here for details.
Dynamics : Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change (Developmental
Management), by Don Edward Beck, Christopher C. Cowan
Spiral Dynamics draws extensively upon over 40 years of research
by Beck, Cowan, and their mentor Clare W. Graves. The original research
data includes over 500,000 interviews conducted over five continents,
and is comparable to other "biopsychosocial systems development"
research conducted by Jane Loevinger, Stanley Milgram, Laurence Kohlberg,
Erik Erikson etc.
What makes Graves
unique however is that he created a dynamic model of human consciousness
evolution which can assimilate other models and worldviews. He also recognized
that insights from Cognitive Psychology, Genetics, and Neurophysiology
would need to be examined. Fans of Neuro Linguistic Programming, General
Systems Theory, Memetics and the Human Potential Movement will find a
wealth of material, plus reading resources for further specialized research.
SD has been applied
to resolve racial tension in South Africa, in education systems and government,
by the World Future Society State of the World Forum, Arlington Institute,
and Integral Institute, and by major companies such as Nedbank and SouthWest
Airlines. -- Alex Burns, Melbourne, Australia
Steve Davis helps facilitators, coaches, consultants and leaders who are
struggling to present themselves confidently, empower their groups, enhance
their facilitation skills, and build their businesses on and off line. Please
or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session, or to
share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. If you find this newsletter
helpful, please forward it to your friends.
If you'd like to reprint this article in another publication, you are free
to do so providing you follow the guidelines
here. Thanks for reading!
Teaching...Become a Learning Facilitator Learn
strategies, tools, and techniques to make the shift from
Teaching to "Learning Facilitation."
us for this 5-day experiential TeleClass with FacilitatorU.com
founder Steve Davis.
course will explore how to make the leap from conventional
teaching to the skills, attitudes, and practices necessary
to create and facilitate a learning environment.
Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to participate in your
Learning Facilitator teleclass. Your facilitation and knowledge
were great together. I also appreciate the positivity and support
of all of the participants. I look forward to your facilitation
in the future. -- Chalis Leeper, Training Specialist --
How the 5-Day Format/Training works...
1. You dial
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weekdays, February 9-13, at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time)
for a 60-minute focused training segment using a telephone conferencing
2. You work through a 50-page learning guide during the course
(about an hour a day of study and field work) which you complete
by Friday, or sooner if you wish.
3. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject
matter with the instructor and your classmates via an online
listserve during the course.
4. During the week, you may access the instructor via email
for help or situational questions.
you'll be learning and doing during this course...
the Landscape of Learning
- What is "Learning?" Who Learns? Who teaches?
- Review distinctions between Teaching, Training, Mentoring,
Coaching, and Facilitating
- The Content/Process Paradox
Changing the Paradigm
- Shift from Director to Guide
- "Ability to do" vs. Info delivery
- Shifts for students and for teachers
- Relating to shifts in worldviews
- From curriculum development to needs assessment
a Learning Facilitator
- Core Values
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- Learning Cycle
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- Habit Model
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- Communities of Practice
- KOLB Learning Cycle
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- Open Space Technology
from participating in the training...
Enhance your love of teaching and training
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about empowering groups.
of this training is $89. Everything you read about above
is included. And, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. MFJ
readers who register by January 31st can register for $79.
9-13, at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time)
included with your training...
addition to the training described above, you also receive:
- Content rich 50-page Student Learning Guide
- Free access to the participant-only website
- Free access to the RealAudio version of the training.
This teleclass held my attention, kept me thinking, and
gave me inspiring ideas and tools
that I look forward to using in my next workshop.
--Sherry Leblanc, Executive Life Coach--
Just click on the
link below to register and you'll Immediately receive an email
with instructions to access the course along with a 50-page
learning guide. This course
is limited to 20 individuals, first come, first served. If you
have any questions about this course, please don't hesitate
here to register by 31 Jan
for discounted fee of $79.
in training for your whole group?
or call 805-489-4130
and we'll customize
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the satisfaction guarantee
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