We're creating a new look at FacilitatorU.com starting with our
new logo that you see here to the right (if you can't view this,
please click here to view
it on the site). The process of facilitating change in the way we
show up is often considered an inside job. But simply "being"
different on the outside can impact how we are inside as well. As
we evolve here at FacilitatorU.com, a small step in changing how
we look is providing us with a metaphor for our future.
In this week's article, Seeing Your Future in Metaphor, we consider
how this image reflects our core beliefs around facilitation and
change that we wish to live into and how you might translate some
of these principles into your work with groups seeking to do the
same. Also, in celebration of our new look, we're offering a "New
Look Discount" this week only: 20% off either the Basic or
Premium FacilitatorU.com memberships. Click
here for details.
Join Shadow Work Facilitator, Alyce Barry and I this Thursday where
we'll discuss: Creating
Safety and Trust in Your Groups: A
Transformative New Approach to Working With Resistance.
a provocative new approach to managing resistance based on her Shadow
Work training. Read about the details of this interview after the
article below and join us this Thursday, November
10th at 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time) for this provocative
Improvisational Facilitator Returns
Sue Walden and I will be leading another session of the 5-day teleclass,
"The Improvisational Facilitator," the week of November
14th. This class always receives rave reviews. We'll present powerful,
practical improv techniques you can use to immediately enhance your
facilitation, training, and group leadership skills. This class
is very interactive and uses many innovative experiential activities
that will surely surprise you. See details at the end of this issue.
Seeing your future in metaphor
Using physical models to show your group the way to healthy change
Ginger Lordus has been encouraging me to upgrade my FacilitatorU.com logo
for the past several months. I agreed that I'd like to make it more professional
and more reflective of my values and philosophy, however, it remained
a low priority in my mind. Further, though I could have hired a professional
artist, who, through trial and error, would probably render something
close to what we wanted, I hated the idea of paying a lot of money for
the gamble that someone outside of my industry could fully grasp and translate
the essence of facilitation in a picture.
Ginger would often get visions of possible logos and attempt to sketch
them on paper. Not being an artist either, she would often become frustrated
trying to clearly express on paper what she saw in her mind's eye.
Then early last week, after reviewing her latest sketch on the refrigerator,
I began dabbling on the computer with another logo concept. I found a
piece of clip art that had a hint of what I was after and started playing
with ideas. I came up with something rough that was at least in the ballpark.
Ginger thought it was a great start and started making suggestions and
sketching changes to improve it. I got on the computer and began rendering
these changes. Little by little, our new logo began to take shape. The
interesting thing is, for the logo to evolve, we were required to embrace
our values and concept of facilitation and translate it into something
tangible...into a visual image.
Once we thought it was perfect, Ginger said, "Wouldn't it be great
if we could make it move?" Oh boy, just when I thought I was done,
she asks for a deeper cut. I knew how to make it move but I also knew
it would require several more hours of work to make that happen. Well,
I spent those hours and the movement added even more to this logo's message.
Here are some things
we learned about facilitating change in a group (of two in this case)
using an external focus--a physical model--as a metaphor. In our case,
we used a logo. In your case, you may be working with a group attempting
to improve their teamwork and communication, or something else all together.
So pick a metaphor that can be tailored to represent where you want to
be as a team. It might be a collection of flowers and weeds, complete
with bugs and butterflies. Or it might be a toolbox, a box of office supplies,
or the very room you're working in.
Start somewhere. With our logo, we started with a rough
piece of clip art that had a faint resemblance to what we were after.
It gave us a starting point to talk about and refine from there. Anything
can be used as a model as its function is that of a screen for you to
project onto. A blank screen however, is much harder to comment on than
one filled with something you can change.
Keep it simple. It seems to me that the best logos are
those that say the most with the least. Our most universal symbols are
very easy to understand and remember. The more you can say with the least
amount of information, the better. So as you develop your physical metaphor
for your group, only add those objects that represent an essential element
of the dynamic you seek to model.
Handle the details. The development of our logo required lots
of very subtle little changes. Little curves on the hands and feet, straightening
jagged lines, a little tip of the foot to "kick off" the "U",
signifying the fact that sometimes we need to help our participants "let
go" of their need for our leadership. Fine-tuning the details allows
us to clean up all those little twigs that over time, become a huge beaver
dam in the way of the change we want to make.
It's about U. At Facilitator"U", the "U"
stands for "University" but it also stands for "you."
We believe the act of facilitation is greatly impacted by your ability
to facilitate yourself. Your inner state is always reflected in some way
by your group. If you're at peace, you'll contribute to the group's peace
of mind. If you believe in the brilliance of your group, their brilliance
is more likely to show up. Hence our logo shows the facilitator lightly
holding and letting go of the "U", providing only the support
needed to help "you" on your way toward the next version of
yourself you seek to become.
Be patient. Two
weeks ago, our article explored the "Theory
of the U," from the book, "Presence." Briefly, the
"U" in the model represents "Sensing," or deep observation
free of assumptions; "Retreat and Reflect" to allow inner knowing
to emerge; and "Realizing," acting swiftly with a natural flow.
As we interact with our metaphors, this theory applies. Every metaphor
is a mirror telling you something about "you." The deeper you
travel down the "U", observing and reflecting, the more knowing
shows up around the issue you're reflecting about. So invite your group
to stay with their metaphor, mining all the meaning available, much of
which may be unconscious at first, to get the most from this exercise.
Stay in your heart. All the fancy strategies, methods,
and models in the world can be used to orchestrate fantastic possible
futures, but if these futures lack the heart and commitment of the group,
they'll never be realized. The work we do as facilitators and as participants
must have heart to be realized. Further, as facilitators, we'll be most
effective when we are coming from our hearts and connecting with our participants
on this level. We've got to "care" about them and their work
to truly be of much help. One of the little details on our logo, though
almost imperceptible, are little hearts in each of the graphical elements.
We thought this added a nice touch and an accurate rendering of the relationship
between facilitator and client.
Now what? So you helped your group find something tangible
they can use as a metaphor for their work--a room, a drawing, a collection
of tools, etc. You've helped them to tailor, sculpt, and fashion it to
represent as closely as possible the change they seek to embody. When
everyone can say "Yes, that's it!" They will have done the work
required to make a change together. When they're stuck, use discussion
or hands-on work with the model to help them find out what's in the way
and to find a way through it. Having worked together to make the changes
necessary to reach consensus on their model, have your group identify
the things about the process they used that contributed to their success.
Then help them strategize how they can apply this process to another change
Build a physical metaphor this week to help you take the next step personally
or go help your group move to the next level of change. If you're stumped,
let the top of your desk represent what's going on in your life right now.
What does it tell you about the current state of your life? Is there something
you want to change about it? If so, do it now? Now what comes up for you?
us what you discover, we'd love to hear from you.
Safety and Trust in Your Groups:
Transformative New Approach to Working With Resistance.
Alyce Barry, Certified Shadow Work Group Facilitator and Coach.
Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Alyce Barry
and Steve Davis on Thursday, November
10th at 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time).
"Just in Time" Learning
do we resist change? Shadow Work Coach Alyce Barry offers a surprising
answer: there is a part of the self whose job it is to resist, and it's
resisting for good reasons. You can learn to address that part of a
person who's resisting and get it working for you rather than against
you. Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Alyce Barry and
Steve Davis on Thursday, November 10th
at 1:00 PM EST (NY Time) and learn how honoring resistance
can help move your group forward. Some
of the points we'll discuss are...
Why people resist change.
Why resistance is a good strategy.
How to get resistance working for you instead of against you.
Five kinds of resistance, and how to disarm them.
How to create safety and trust in your groups.
How to empathize with a group member even when they are criticizing
or attacking you.
You will also have an opportunity to participate in an optional exercise
to view your own resistance as a good strategy.
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass
Three Free Bonuses!
1. Illustrated Shadow Work Model.
2. Article: "Five Kinds of Resistance and How to Disarm Them"
3. Article "Two More Responses to Fear in Your Groups."
seminar is free to FacilitatorU.com members.
Click here to view features and benefits of membership.
for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.
easier than you think...your
life is already an improv!
improv techniques to become a more effective facilitator,
trainer, and group leader
When... November 14th-18, 2005, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern
(NY Time), 75 minutes each day.
A week after the course I
have found myself talking about and actually using the techniques
taught! The experiential based learning really worked for me and I
learnt whilst having fun – always a good way to retain new learnings.
The course has provided me with a toolkit of great techniques to improve
my own facilitation, as well as some enjoyable exercises to use with
delegates. I have nothing but praise for both Sue and Steve, who walked
their talk with their own facilitation skills – they simply
flowed through the course with grace and intelligence. The content,
the materials and the facilitators is 5 star stuff and I highly recommend
it to any facilitator. --Amanda Alexander, Coach
and Founder of CoachingMums.com-- Click
here for details and registration
Managing People You Rarely See
Teleclass on the Management and Facilitation of Virtual/Distributed
Unlock the potential of your virtual team as an effective
Art of Managing an Outstanding Virtual Team. Managing people from
a distance isn’t easy.
Do you need to get rapid results
from people collaborating across multiple locations? This
class will discuss managing remote relationships and frameworks for
successfully managing projects across large distances. There are issues
created by the geographic distance between team members. But those
issues can be overcome, and in fact, the potential of a distance team
to accomplish amazing feats far outweighs any logistical liabilities.
Project development teams scattered around the country or around the
globe can take advantage of the best scientific minds, technical skills
and subject matter experts...if they can manage the remote relationships
effectively. This course will build remote management competencies
by providing a framework for success and applying it to real-life
examples. The course contains consolidated information packed into
a one-day format.