Facilitator Journal | Issue #0268, September 6, 2006 ....
Have you ever facilitated a group of facilitators? In my experience,
this can be a challenging thing to do. Some of my most frustrating
experiences with groups have occurred when working within groups
of my peers. Reflecting
on these experiences, I've made some observations that may help
us see facilitation a bit more clearly. I look forward to hearing
about your experiences and specific comments on this matter.
The Facilitation Debates
Help us stir the proverbial pot. Check out the question
of the week after the main article and send us your thoughts on
it to stimulate debate and round out our perspectives on key topics.
Facilitation R&D Teleconference
For the past three years, I've been thinking about how
to map the art and science of facilitation into Ken Wilber's Integral
Model. Recently, I've begun moving forward in my efforts to formulate
this model and perhaps glean some new insights from it about achieving
results in groups. You're invited to a roundtable teleconference
on this model on September 18th cohosted by colleagues at the Integral
Learning Community (ILC) at the University of Wisconsin. See details
at the end of this issue.
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the challenges of leading a group of leaders.
I've attended several workshops in the past aimed at facilitators, trainers,
coaches, and group leaders. In these workshops, we of course get the opportunity
to work in small groups to complete assigned tasks. One thing that continues
to strike me is how difficult it can be working within a group of fellow
facilitators. Some of my most frustrating experiences with groups have occurred
when working within groups of my peers.
Why is this? I've pondered this a bit and have come up with some of my own
ideas as to why facilitating a group of facilitators is a lot like the proverbial
herding of cats.
I believe that working amongst a group of facilitators can teach use some
valuable lessons about facilitation. Here are some of my observations.
a group of leaders isn't easy. First, facilitators like to, well,
facilitate when they're in groups. So sometimes it's difficult to lead
a group when everyone else is leading it in their own direction.
we need an "assigned" facilitator? Facilitators often
forget about the importance of assigning a facilitator when working
with groups of facilitators, because again, we're all facilitators so
why bother? Wrong! Few groups work well without someone in charge.
love processing. I find facilitators can really get hung up on process.
But no wonder! That's our strength. We feel comfortable talking about
process and most of all, "being in process." This can be a
great weakness however if process and content tip too far out of balance.
love to participate, or not. In groups of facilitators, I've seen
the level of participation go either over the top toward everyone wanting
to speak at once, to total content neutrality. Either situation can
make it tough to move forward. Some of my experiences have made me wonder
why we often work so hard to get full participation. I suppose the distinction
here is full participation versus full "simultaneous" participation!
love to be transparent. Again, another great facilitator strength
that can turn sour is our willingness to share "everything"
we sense. The important distinction here is to share only those things
that move the group toward its goal.
will listen to reason.
Fortunately, most facilitators have great hearts and want the best
for their groups. Therefore, I find that if I can keep my wits about
me, and drop some well place questions and reflections, that often is
all that's needed to get the group back on track.
how do you show up as a participant in groups of other facilitators? Do
any of these observations hit home with you? If so, what are your insights?
I'd love to hear them.
facilitators been like for you? What have you found to be the best remedy?
I look forward to hearing your perspectives and experiences on this. Please
click reply and email your comments to me.
Debate this one
A big "thank you" to the following people who responded
to last week's question which was:
Should facilitators work for clients with questionable practices
(hire illegals, polluters, unethical practices, etc.)?
I've included their comments below...
From Kimberly Douglas: I would say it depends. If the work you are
doing is to help them promote or implement illegal or unethical practices,
then I would say no. However, I do believe that positive change can
come from the inside (if not mandated from the outside), and as a facilitator,
I would like to be a part of helping to create (and build mechanisms
to sustain) that internal drive for positive change.
Ginger Lordus: Yes, without a doubt. Facilitators allow clients to move
to another or higher place of knowing. Who are we to question if ones
practice or intent is unethical? We all perceive another
from our own level of consciousness. Any fear or judgment of another
action or being is through our own perception. I suggest we embrace
all that is before us as an opportunity to move through fear and judgment
for ourselves and others.
From Fred Niziol: I
suppose, that as with all questions put to a facilitator, the answer
is a resounding "it depends". It depends on the facilitator.
If the questionable activity is blatantly illegal, I'd draw the line,
as I assume most facilitators would, and not work for the client. After
that, it depends on who is defining questionable: for example, the NRA
opposes many firearms laws; folks not of that opinion accuse that organization
of questionable lobbying practices; people opposed to the anti-Iraq
war groups methods accuse them of unethical & questionable practices
e.g. protesting at funerals;. To work for a client doesn't necessarily
mean that you agree with their ends; a good facilitator is detached
from the content & enmeshed in the process. So in the end, it does
depend. It depends on how good a facilitator you are & if you can
put the practice of the craft ahead of your personal feelings &
week's question is:
What are some ways you've seen facilitation impede the progress of
click reply and email your comments on this question to me. Those questions
that garner adequate response will be converted to articles for future
issues of this journal. Thanks for your interest and involvement!
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Integral Facilitation: "Facilitating Optimal Results in
September 18, 2006, 12:30-2:30PM Pacific (3:30-5:30 PM Eastern)
For the past three years, I've been thinking about how to map
the art and science of facilitation into Ken Wilber's Integral
Map. Over the past couple months, I've begun moving forward
in my efforts to formulate this model and perhaps glean some
new insights from it about achieving results in groups. My colleagues
at the Integral Learning Community (ILC) at the University of
Wisconsin are co-hosting a roundtable teleconference on this
model on September 18th. Here are the details...
The focused effort of committed people in groups is an extremely
powerful instrument. It has been engaged by social activists,
harnessed by business, and inspired by politicians and poets.
Over the past few decades, a method called facilitation has
been evolving and showing up at town hall meetings, in board
rooms, and in working groups throughout the worlds of business,
government, industry, and education. All sorts of techniques,
practices, and mindsets have been applied by the facilitator
to aid in group cohesion and success. Facilitation, however,
can not be reduced to flip charts, markers, or the latest slick
session will describe and engage the Integral Learning Community
(ILC) in Madison, WI with the possibility of integral facilitation:
defining a comprehensive scope of facilitation to achieve optimal
results in groups. Steve Davis and Darin Harris will help uncover
the potential for a full systems approach to facilitation using
Ken Wilber's "four quadrant" model.
the first hour a descriptive teleconference will take place,
while the second hour will allow more seasoned integral practitioners
to delve deeper in the material. Find out more by visiting:
here and send a blank email to register for the call. The
bridge line is limited to 50 callers so call in early to secure
a spot on the call.
Schedule. The first hour of the
call, from 3:30-4:30
PM Eastern, we'll present an Overview of the model as it stands.
From 4:30-5:30 Eastern we'll engage in a group discussion and
suggestions for continued development and use of the model.
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