Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0216, August 9, 2005 | 7,000 Subscribers....
 

Dear friends,

How often have you seen behavior in a group and you weren't sure just how deep you should probe in exploring underlying patterns of dysfunction? This week's article, "How Deep Do I Intervene," offers a simple 5-level model that will help you identify the various levels into which you can intervene, in addition to some general guidelines about how deep you should when you do intervene.

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


How Deep Do I Intervene?
Know the appropriate level to intervene in group process to achieve the desired result.

Intervention Skill


Dr . Schwarz in his book, "The Skilled Facilitator," offers an excellent model describing the content of interventions at progressively deeper levels, from superficial to deeply personal. These five levels are briefly summarized below and also illustrated in a diagram you can view here.

Level 1: Structural-Functional
Focus on attitudes, values, beliefs, and perceptions about roles and functions of members with little regard for individuals' characteristics.

Level 2: Performance-Goal

Focus on attitudes, values, beliefs, and perceptions about performance in a way that focuses on goals rather than processes.

Level 3: Instrumental
Focus on attitudes, values, beliefs, and perceptions about changing work behavior and work relationships (processes).

Level 4: Interpersonal
Focus on attitudes, values, beliefs, and perceptions that members have about each other (feelings, relationships).

Level 5: Intrapersonal
Focus on attitudes, values, beliefs, and perceptions that each member has about his or her own functioning, identity, and existence (self-awareness). 

Basic Guidelines for Using this Model

For developmental facilitation, intervene at the level sufficient to identify the root causes of the problem. These types of interventions tend to be deeper according to the above model.

For basic facilitation, intervene at the lowest level necessary for the group to accomplish its substantive task at hand. These interventions tend to be more superficial.

Intervene only to the level that the group is willing to commit its energy and resources. This is not to preclude explanations to the group of the consequences and rewards of going deeper and discussions that might create an environment or approach where members would feel more comfortable doing so. It's just that group members should consent to the depths interventions might reach before they are employed.

Reader Wendy Barnes also offers this quote from The Tao of Leadership, by John Heider. "Run an honest, open group. Your job is to (facilitate) and illuminate what is happening. Interfere as little as possible. Interference, however brilliant, creates dependency."




Application


Examples of interventions at each level are included below.

Level 1: Structural-Functional
An intervention here might involve exploring the responsibilities of a new Information Technology (IT) director a company is considering hiring to solve some of the IT problems they're having.

Level 2: Performance-Goal

An intervention at this level could explore problems within the organization in the IT arena, without discussing any individual involved.

Level 3: Instrumental
Interventions at the instrumental level might explore how certain individuals carry out their roles, share information, make decisions, and coordinate activities that affect the IT issue. For example, perhaps Mr. Jones orders software without thoroughly exploring the needs of all the software users.

Level 4: Interpersonal
Interventions at the interpersonal level may inquire what staff members think, feel, or believe when they aren't queried by Mr. Jones when software purchases are made for them.

Level 5: Intrapersonal
Interventions at the intrapersonal level might explore what individuals think, feel, or believe about themselves around certain issues. For instance, an intervention at this level might involve asking Mr. Jones what beliefs, feelings, or attitudes he uses to guide his decisions on software purchases. 

Ultimately, the purpose of interventions is to move a group toward it's goal. If the group's goal is simply to solve the problem at hand with no desire to look at underlying patterns that might cause the problem, then we must respect that desire and use only those higher-level interventions appropriate to that end.

If on the other hand, groups seek to uncover and heal their dysfunctional patterns, interventions to the deepest level may be necessary and encouraged based on the groups' willingness in the moment.


Action
 
How does this model clarify some issues you've had with interventions in the past. How will you apply this model to your interventions in the future?

Last week we talked about insights around corporations inspired by the film, "The Corporation." We also suggested that facilitators might these insights to inspire discussions that might help transform the corporation into a more benevolent force. We'd love to hear any feedback you have on the article or any experiences you had as a result of putting our recommendations into practice. Please email us with your stories.
Resource


Intervene With Confidence ebook, by Steve Davis, FacilitatorU.com

According to our readers, and in our own experience, Group "Intervention" is one of the most challenging skills to develop as a facilitator. So, we are especially pleased to offer this Facilitator's Guide for Group Intervention. "
Intervene With Confidence" is practical, easy to read, with models, tips, and strategies you can use right away. It also includes an audio portion that answers real world problems around Intervention, models that will help you decide when and when not to Intervene, how deep to Intervene, and how to Intervene gracefully. This illustrated 33-page guide will help you to drill down deep and master the art of Intervention in any situation. A must to include in your personal Facilitator's Toolkit.

A better alternative...

Get this guide and many other resources
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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 copies 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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