Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0192 February 22, 2004 | 7,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

Have you ever been in a conversation, or witnessed one, where it seemed that the dialogue was between people who were living on two different planets? Or perhaps you've been in groups where the values and viewpoints were so incongruent, that it seemed resolution was impossible. There's been a lot of research done over the years that indicates that adults evolve through a hierarchy of developmental levels, just as children do. People at each of these levels shares a common set of values and a similar worldview. We explore one such model and its application to meeting facilitation in this week's article, "Why Aren't We On the Same Wavelength?
" We hope you find it useful and as always, we welcome your comments on this subject.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: Why Aren't We On the Same Wavelength?

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: "Humor, an Essential Ingredient for All Good Facilitators

The Evolving Self

Self-Guided Teleclasses and Intranet License: Find out how
to put facilitation training on your company Intranet.

If any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation, group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might interest our readers, please send them to us.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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Group Management Skill

Why Aren't We on the Same Wavelength?
Understand that people occupy different levels of personal development, each with their own worldview and value set.

The Point

Levels of Personal Development

One often-overlooked difference among groups is that individuals within them can fall into different levels of personal development in a hierarchical fashion. Just as children grow through developmental cycles, there are many well-validated theories of adult stage development, each with its corresponding sets of values, needs, and worldviews. These stages seem to be part of the human developmental pattern and are independent of culture. However, the environmental conditions will either support or hinder further development, hence cultures with more freedoms and opportunities tend to inspire higher levels of growth and hence their cultural center of gravity is often higher than that of less developed countries.

Understanding these different levels of development, their needs, and motives, will help you to better communicate within levels and help to resolve the inevitable conflicts that arise between individuals within each level. Richard Dunsign describes the following four levels of development in his book, “You and I Have Simply Got to Stop Meeting This Way.”



Level 1: The Dependent Level

Dependent people feel they have very little power of their own. Any power they feel they have comes from their leaders. They work hard but out of a sense of duty or loyalty to the leader. They need a great deal of structure, regulations, and procedures to guide their actions. They often fear interactions with groups and seeing themselves as relatively powerless, they don’t fully utilize their talents in meetings.

Level 2: The Self-Succeeding Level

At this level one sees themselves as responsible for their own success and goes all out to make that happen. They make substantial achievements in an organization and define success in terms of himself and his unit. He’ll do almost anything legal to get what he needs to make things work for him. He sees organizational survival as a “win-lose” proposition. He’s a frequent contributor in meetings, but when the issue moves into his “turf,” his interest in group success wanes quickly and he’ll manipulate ferociously to protect his own.

People at this level challenge the leader by dominating the “weaker” ones and manipulating the group to his or her own ends. They tend to be good at making the system work for them and can be used well for that purpose. They are also good at thinking “out of the box.” One problem in meetings arises from the opposite viewpoints assumed by dependent and self-succeeding people. They operate on different wavelengths and are often in conflict, either overtly or covertly

Level 3: The Social-Concern Level

People at this level are pleasant to have around in meetings. They are concerned about what others think and value getting along and consensus decision making. They give positive strokes easily and care openly. On the flip side, they resist structure, authoritarian leadership, and acceptance of goals they didn’t help to create. They often have trouble getting on with the task and without clear goals in front of them; they will waste a lot of time.

The leader needs to build a framework for action and keep focusing people at this level on the task. Their vitality of caring can release a lot of energy; the challenge is to harness it effectively. People at this level resist the self-succeeding person because of his crassness and selfishness. They tend to nurture and protect the dependent person, which has the effect of making him more dependent.

Level 4: The Self-Investing Level

People at this level have outgrown the need for direction from others, for the thrill of personal success, and even for the caring of a close group. They are more in touch with who they are and the resources they possess. They seek to find out more about themselves, they are challenged by the possibilities of using their unique set of talents on worthwhile projects. They invest themselves only in goals worthy of their time and energy and resent time and energy spent on manipulative games. They shun groups that emphasize rules and procedures. They are very accepting of themselves and those at earlier stages of development. They don’t pull others down and don’t allow them to tell them how to be either.

Self-investing people have powerful resources and seek to be used. They will withdraw from meetings that have phony goals and hidden agendas. Traditional meeting leaders do not understand them and instead of trying to change their behavior, they are better off finding creative ways to harness their energies.

Using Developmental Levels to Improve Meetings

Like the generation gap, the department gap is often merely a development-level gap. It’s useful to understand what people need and give it to them. Dependent people need direction and structure until they can provide their own; self-succeeding people need both a way to get things done and a way to receive credit for what they helped achieve; and socially concerned people need to the chance to make group decisions and to care for each other. However, fully serving personal needs don’t always serve the needs of management. Therefore, personal needs must be acknowledged but contained by clear meeting goals and expectations. Within a clear meeting framework, the facilitator can orchestrate all of this human variety so that group goals are met.


What challenges have you had in groups that might have originated from issues with levels of development?. We'd love to hear your comments or experiences on this subject.

Facilitation Expert Series

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: "Humor, an Essential Ingredient for All Good Facilitators. Featuring Ann Fry, author, speaker, trainer, and founder of the Access this pre-recorded one-hour tele-seminar via real audio or CD.

"Just in Time" Learning

Access this pre-recorded, one-hour teleclass with Ann Fry and Steve Davis and explore how humor can help you as a facilitator and how to tap into your own sense of lightness on demand.

Some of the points discussed are...

Learn what we mean by "humor" as an ingredient in our work.
Learn the difference between appropriate and inappropriate humor.
Understand how humor makes a difference in the direct work you do with groups.
.Identify where you fall on the serious/fun scale ... between 1 and 10
Learn the distinction between Fun and Funny.
Know, without a doubt how to tap into your own unique sense of humor.
Learn how to use Improv skills to get your groups more involved.
Develop the beginnings of a plan of action for adding more FUN to your facilitation experience.
Experience a couple of "improv" activities to see that humor and fun can happen on the phone or in groups and process what we learn from it.

Four Free Bonus Articles.

1. Proper hiring can foster 'happiness' in workplace.
2. Ideas for Celebrating Humor in the Workplace
3. How to Get Your Employees to Produce for You.
4. The Lighten Up Approach to Emotional Wellness

About Ann. Ann Fry has been a psychotherapist for over 20 years which certainly prompted her to balance her life with humor. She has, for the last 10 years, been a corporate trainer and professional speaker, specializing in Stress Management and Team Building Through Humor. In both her coaching and training, she helps people be more productive, through having a healthy sense of humor. She is committed to making the world a happier place and believes that in the workplace, "a happy employee is a productive employee." She helps people manage their stress, build their people skills, balance their lives and most importantly have a healthy sense of humor. Ann is the co-author of the book, "When Was The Last Time You...?", as well as the co-author of "139 Ways to Lighten Up the Workplace.

Click here for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.


The Evolving Self
, by Robert Kegan

The Evolving Self is one of the best books that I have ever read. Kegan's eloquent presentation of the dynamic process of human consciousness evolution is incredible. Kegan presents the very best of developmental theory, while at the same time acknowledging and avoiding the trappings that such a perspective tends to fall into. Developmental theory can often lead to a very compartmentalized view of people, but Kegan's emphasis on the person as a meaning-making process sidesteps these tendencies. Throughout his writings, I felt an incredible empathy with the undercurrent of evolution sliding under all personality. Rather than using his model to categorize myself and those around me (as I have an unfortunate inclination to do with developmental theory) I instead found myself identifying with the universal forces that run through all human beings which express themselves in and as the developmental stages. This might perhaps seem like an unimportant semantic shift, but in actuality it discloses a monumental difference between these two stances. This is true precisely because my ability to help another is proportional to the degree to which I can identify with them and their struggles. The warmth of this genuinely empathetic approach to psychological development is refreshing and liberating. --Joshua A. Leonard --
In the Spotlight

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Random Acts of Facilitation-- Self-Guided Real Audio Version
If you'd like to learn this material at your own pace and on your own schedule, you can purchase the real audio version of this teleclass complete with the learning guide. Click here for details
or click on your desired option to the right for immediate purchase. CD versions include access to the real-audio recordings and electronic learning guide (pdf) immediately after purchase.

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Appreciative Inquiry
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Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch

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