Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0214, July 26, 2005 | 7,000 Subscribers....
 

Dear friends,

One of the most important "self-facilitative" skills we can demonstrate, and the hallmark of an advanced facilitator, is our ability to be truly "present" with their groups. In this week's article, "Your Presence is Your Present to Your Group," we explore what I mean by being "present", why it's important to facilitators and group leaders, and some tips to practice this skill with your groups.

Special Offer for the next 25 FacilitatorU.com Members!

I recently came across an ebook on running effective meetings called, "Miracle Meetings, 3 Simple Steps That Will End Dysfunctional behavior in Your Meetings," by Dike and Peg Drummond. After reading the book, I was surprised for two reasons. One, I've not seen many e-books out there on meeting facilitation, and two, it was an extremely well written book with easy to understand and apply tips. Knowing that this book will be useful for both beginning and advanced facilitators and group leaders, I talked to the authors and worked out a deal for the next 25 people to sign up for a FacilitatorU.com annual membership. See the details at the end of this issue.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher

 
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The Point


Your Presence is Your Present to Your Group
Be a model by residing in present moment awareness.

Self-Facilitation Skill


One of the attractive aspects of facilitation is that you don't have to do the work for your group. Though sometimes, what you do have to do is a lot harder. One of those things, which I see as the hallmark of an advanced facilitator, is our ability to be truly "present" with our group. Let's explore what I mean by being "present" and why it is important.

To be present, you have to release your attention to the past or the future and invest your full attention in the present moment alone. In this state of mind, paradoxically, you know nothing because your are applying your brain power to fully experiencing what's happening with and among your group. This is important because very few of us really ever live fully in the present moment. When we do witness someone in this state, it's powerful and transformative, not only for them but for everyone in their presence. A fully present facilitator serves as the clearest mirror possible for her group, which in turn the group the opportunity to see themselves--their actions, their thoughts, and their feelings at once clearly--which has a way of revealing the best next action with regard to the work they're assembled themselves to do.

Application


How do those of us who aren't so adept at being present get better at it? Here are some simple tips:

- Practice an attitude of gratitude and appreciation. Be grateful for being in a position of group leadership and grateful for the insights that you trust will come in the moment. This element of trust is essential as it allows you to more easily rest in the present. Fear of not knowing what do do thrusts you into the past or future causing you to miss the opportunities available now.

- Notice when you are evaluating or judging what you or others are doing. Again, these are the voices of the past or future that sap our attention. Further, judgments are a reflection of our own unresolved emotional issues. What a wonderful opportunity to take note and to put it aside for later resolution. Simply notice when you are not in the present and gently return to being present. This is an ongoing practice.

- Be gentle with your course corrections. It's easy to become frustrated when we begin to notice how often we aren't present. Any frustration or judgment about our ability to be present is another impediment. We all drift in and out of the present. Just notice this with a neutral or even better, a loving attitude, and come back to the now.

- It doesn't have to make sense. What comes to you to share with your group, or what happens as a result of how you show up in your group as a result of being present with them doesn't have to make sense to you. You may begin to notice some incredible things unfold or may be surprised by the things you're compelled to do or so from this place of present moment awareness. Your job is only to trust and act in accordance with the presents of the present. This is its magic working. You don't have to figure it out, as it is far beyond your capacity to do so.

- Be a facilitator of few words. The less you say the more your presence is felt and the more you're intuition will show up.

- Give up your need to be a success. A lot of what we do as group leaders, consciously or not, has to do with our desire to be "successful," in whatever form that happens to take. Being fully present and responding from the present moment will insure the deepest and most pervasive success your group is ready for.

- Just stay with it. At times resistance, both yours and theirs, may show up to tempt you out of the present. This is the time to continue the practice as resistance often is a sign that breakthroughs are around the corner.

- Practice a meditative discipline. Practicing a meditative discipline is the easiset way to be present. Practice strengthens your ability to be in the present with your groups, particularly when things heat up. Mastering presence in the privacy of your own home will be the best gift you can give to yourself and your groups

Action
 
Practice being present with your next group. Come prepared as usual, and give up your need to know, say, or do anything to assure some preconceived notion of success. Please let us know what happens.
In the Spotlight

Special Offer for the next 25 FacilitatorU.com Members!


I recently came across an ebook on running effective meetings called, "Miracle Meetings, 3 Simple Steps That Will End Dysfunctional behavior in Your Meetings" by Dike and Peg Drummond. After reading the book, I was surprised for two reasons. One, I've not seen many e-books out there on meeting facilitation, and two, it was an extremely well written book with easy to understand and apply tips that I know will be useful for both beginning and advanced facilitators and group leaders. I talked to the authors as well and got quit quickly that these people have a true passion for leading better meetings and empowering group leaders.

We've worked out an agreement with Dike to add his new ebook to our website at FacilitatorU.com and, he is graciously allowing us to give 25 copes of this $30 ebook away, in addition to the three bonuses that come with it, to the next 25 members who sign up for FacilitatorU.com. The bonuses include "The Guerilla Facilitator's" manual for group participants, a discount for one of his live trainings, and his monthly newsletter.

You can have a look at the ebook here. Or click here to join FacilitatorU.com now and receive this book as part of the many membership features.

Comments or Questions?

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