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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0024 | October 23, 2001
6,600 Subscribers

Self-Mastery Skill

Practice Emotional Mastery
Manage your internal world--quickly recover from emotional imbalance.

The Point?

As a human facilitator, when facilitating group process, your own emotions are likely to come up occasionally. At times, you may find yourself feeling anger rise as a group pushes a hot button of yours or challenges you or your approach. You may face fears of being inadequate or ill-equipped to handle an emerging group conflict, or deep emotional outpourings of a group member. Or you may find yourself identifying with the pain or sadness expressed by a participant.

To be effective in your role as a facilitator, you must be able to manage your feelings, whatever their source. This doesn't mean that you repress them. It means that you are aware of what's going on inside, that you own your feelings as your own, and that you heed the message that they have for you, and act on it responsibly. 

So what is emotional mastery? What are emotions, for that matter? A simple way to view emotions is simply energy in motion. They become problems only when we judge them as wrong, bad, inappropriate, etc. When we misperceive our emotions, we may miss the message that they carry or stuff them down, only for them to emerge stronger later. Emotional mastery is the ability to process our emotions so that their message gets to us, and their energy is used for appropriate action.

I love how Peter McWilliams interprets the purpose of our basic emotions in his book, "Do It."
- Fear is the energy to do your best in a new situation.
- Guilt is the energy for personal change-it is anger directed toward ourselves, and anger is the energy for change.
- Unworthiness keeps us on track--just as we can have anything we want, we can't have everything we want. So too, we are worthy of anything we want, but we may not be worthy of everything we want.
- Hurt feelings are a reminder of how much we care.

So how can you use this information as a facilitator? I suggest that you release any old beliefs you hold around emotions and begin to cultivate present moment awareness as your emotions arise. Begin to look at them, not as good or bad, but simply with curiosity, and with the question, what's energy for?


Here are some examples of how your emotions might be effectively expressed in a group:

- To help validate a participant and to help them feel more connected to themselves, you may share the feelings arising in you as a result of them sharing their experience.
- To assist a group in moving through pettiness and resistance to being fully present, you might express some of the anger and frustration you feel observing their process.
- If you feel tears of sadness arising as a result of someone sharing something deeply personal, letting this emotion flow displays your humanness and builds trust with the group.
- If you feel anger and frustration over the group not moving the way you think it should, use this energy to be fully present and fully honest with the participants about their process.

These examples are not meant to show how you can use emotion to manipulate participants, but as possible positive outcomes of sharing authentic emotions.


Your assignment this week is to practice reinterpreting your emotions. Practice observing emotions that arise in you and release prior judgments you might have about them. Focus instead on listening to the message they hold for you. And if you should be so bold, act on this message by expressing the emotion in a positive fashion. Iím interested in hearing what happens for you. Please email me right away and let me know what happened. I'd love to hear about it!

Skill Related Resource
Master Your Emotions Course
Master Your Emotions course, is very useful in getting clearer about how emotions affect your life. Use this program to become much more aware about how you react without thinking in so many situations, and learn a few simple tricks to help calm yourself at such times. Many have found this course very useful. It lasts for 8 months, and you receive a new lesson each month. If you want to find out more about the course, and get some free tips on mastering your emotions, please visit the following web site: Master Your Emotions!

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Reader Survey 
What Do Facilitators Charge For Their Services?

We've included a question from Carol Markett and we're looking for perspectives from those of you that do paid facilitation gigs out there. Thank you Carol for your question!

I have a friend who has been asked to facilitate a workshop for 6-8 weeks for 40-50 hours. She knows nothing about pay rates for facilitators. Can you give her some advice about how much to charge for her services? thanks so much
Carol Markett

Please send us your input on this question or go to our Topic Forum to answer it. Thanks for your help in making the site the best facilitation resource site on the web!

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About the Author: 
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 to your friends. Thanks for reading! 

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Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on October 30, 2001. 


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