Awareness and Management (GAME) Skill
Process is Always the Same.
Treat "Problems" as Learning Opportunities.
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the objective of a given session doesn't go as planned. Things
can be going just fine when suddenly, the unexpected comes along
and threatens the entire process. In our humble experience as
facilitators, we've learned to look forward to things
"going wrong!" Why? Because, if they are handled well,
they can present some of the richest learning or barrier
removing opportunities available. In fact, we've come to see
these occurrences as gifts, offering us the chance to explore in
ways we could never have planned.
These events may come from either inside or outside of the
group. But no matter their source, they give you the chance to
see how participants behave in the midst of life happening. And
because as human beings, we tend to operate according to
patterned responses, how we do anything is how we do everything.
Or put another way, "the process is always the same."
So these opportunities can be used to make participants aware of
behaviors that are either expediting or blocking the results
say you're facilitating a work group seeking to solve some of
their staff problems. The group leader explains that a recurring
issue is that few of their members actually show up at their
staff meetings, and those that do show up aren't really
Very early in the meeting you notice some patterns with the
group leader. First, he talks most of the time and seems bent on
having an answer for everything. He doesn't check with the group
about what they want to work on and consistently changes the
group's focus for no obvious reason. The rest of the group clams
up when he does this. It's apparent to you that this is a common
pattern probably contributing to the problem.
So you decide to use this as an opportunity to check out this
pattern. You first get Bob's permission to accept feedback on
some of his behaviors that you're observing. After some
inquiry amongst the group, you find that most of the group feels
put off and undervalued by Bob's behavior at meetings to the
point they don't often want to come or contribute.
After questioning Bob about his perspective, you find that he
never knew how the group really felt and took their silence as
an invitation to just talk through the meetings. Here's a chance
for you to ask him, "Where else in your life do you operate
on poor assumptions without checking them out?
This kind of intervention can cause powerful shifts in
participants by getting them to unravel patterns real-time and
to reflect on where else this pattern is showing up in their
lives. Once you're aware of a disempowering pattern and
it's reach in your life, that alone is sometimes all that's
required to change it.
next time you're facilitating or participating in a group, be
aware of your own patterns of behavior in the group. After the
meeting, clarify the pattern for yourself in writing and ask
yourself where else in your life this pattern shows up. Make a
decision to either change it or do more of it (depending on what
it is). Get help from those you trust to make this shift in your
behavior. I'm interested in hearing about your experience. Please
me your thoughts, stories, and experiences on this issue.
You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything : A Workbook
by Cheri Huber
As a working counselor, I am constantly searching for
therapeutic tools and this workbook is currently my favorite
resource. Even though Huber explains the causes of suffering
from the Buddhist perspective, you don't have to be Buddhist to
appreciate the theory behind the exercises. In using the
exercises, a person may cut and paste, draw, paint, color, or
write their responses. By encouraging such creativity in
responding, a person can express themselves in a wide variety of
media, rather than just the normal verbal medium which dominates
counseling. In the book, Huber truly covers many issues
including relationships, self-esteem, holidays, emotional
health, death and grief, and so much more. I recommend that
every therapist in practice would benefit from using this book
not only in their work with others, but also in working on their
own issues. I return to it time and time again in order to feel
centered and focused as a person and professional.
What Are YOU Up To?
Thank you to all who
responded to last weeks survey question. From your responses, it
looks like we have a predominance of people involve in Coaching,
Training, Organizations, Leadership, Teaching, and Consulting,
in that order.
I'd like to offer more tools on this
site and to do so, I'd love to know the answer to this question:
What kind of tools, resources, skills, etc. would help you be a
more effective facilitator given your current role?
Please email your responses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating Dialogue With Our Readers
In an effort to stimulate
discussion on facilitation tips, tools, and processes that are
relevant to your interests, we'd like to hear from you. Please
post your answers to the questions at on our interactive forum
to stimulate discussion on these topics, or simply send me your
feedback and I'll post it here or at the forum. Here is some
recent feedback from one of our readers:
am a Personal Development Coach that specializes in assisting
individuals overcome self-defeating and self-limiting beliefs
and behaviors. I am called upon often to speak to colleges,
groups, and very recently at the University of New Mexico's
annual Women's Conference. I believe in what I teach
because I've been there myself. I have discovered that the
secret to my appeal to audiences is in sharing my stories as
examples so they get to see the real me. At that moment, they
are able to make a heartfelt connection to their own lives and
we are all better for it. People don't often remember what you
do. People very seldom remember what you say. But people will
always, always, remember how you made them feel. --Susan
Turnbull, Albuquerque, NM
Please email your questions
and input to email@example.com.
Thanks. We look forward to hearing from you.
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Steve Davis is a Business and Life Coach facilitating others to
stretch beyond their full potential in their business and
personal lives. Please email
your stories, comments, suggestions, and ideas. I'd love to hear
from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it
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Thanks for reading!