Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0270, September 19, 2006 ....
 

Dear friends,

This past summer I was invited to deliver a half-day facilitation workshop for a group of program managers within a large corporation. When I arrived prior to the start of the workshop, I began speaking with the participants. One young man got my attention. He was one with whom I'd spoken with during my workshop preparation who holds a relatively senior position in the group. Let's call him "Bill." He seemed a bit tired, depressed, frustrated, but above all, very bright and very real. I sensed immediately that he could serve as a mirror into the present for my group. In this week's article, "Find an Mirror," we discuss the value of drawing on a person or object to help anchor or mirror your intention for a group.

FacilitatorU.com News

New 5-day Teleclass: Transforming Conflict in the Workplace.
Remove the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations in this 5-day teleclass series led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman. See details after the article.

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Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher

 
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The Point


Find a Mirror
Use a person or an object to help mirror your presence and intention for your group.

Self-Facilitation Skill


This past summer I was invited to deliver a half-day basic facilitation workshop for a group of program managers within a large corporation. This was sponsored by the group leader, who was a big fan of facilitation and whose primary goal for the session was to increase interest among his team in learning more about facilitation. To tailor the training, I had short telephone discussions with the leader and several of his staff. Through these discussions, I received hints that there were larger systemic issues that were inspiring a desire to increase facilitation skills, that facilitation alone would not remedy.

When I arrived prior to the start of the workshop, I began speaking with the participants. One young man got my attention. He was one with whom I'd spoken with during my workshop preparation who holds a relatively senior position in the group. Let's call him "Bill." He seemed a bit tired, depressed, frustrated, but above all, very bright and very real. I sensed immediately that he could serve as an emotional barometer for the group. By emotional barometer, I mean that he was the type of person who could not help but be transparent with his thoughts and feelings. He would unwittingly serve as my mirror into the present during my workshop.

Now you may be asking what I mean by "mirror" and why I might need such a device while facilitating a training. Good questions.

However present and real we might attempt to be while leading groups, it's not unusual for us to get caught up in our thoughts, our material, a tangent tossed in by a participant, or any number of other distractions or delusions. Having a mirror can be helpful in keeping us grounded in the present and in our intention while we work.

During this workshop, I found myself checking in regularly with Bill to note his reactions. This turned out to be a great tool for me as Bill helped me stay real. His reactions showed me when I was losing him, when I was talking too much, when I wasn't real and present, when I needed to move on, when what we were doing was irrelevant, and so on. He was in fact my mirror who assisted me in keeping the pace, energy, and content on course.

Application


So how do you go about creating your own mirror and furthermore, how do you use one during your group work? Here are some suggestions.

- First, find a mirror. You may not always be as fortunate as I was at finding a "Bill" in your group. But do spend some a little time if possible looking for particularly sensitive and transparent members who might serve you in this way. They may not always be the most pleasant among the group, and sometime for good reason. If a group is significantly dysfunctional and everyone else is acting as if everything is wonderful, who would you rather trust? The most friendly and cheerful one, or the one who seems to be reflecting the problems you're there to help them solve?

- No mirror? Bring a talisman.
If we can't find a person to be a mirror for our group, consider bringing a special object that you either conceal in your pocket or display somewhere in plain view. Use this object to serve as an anchor or reminder of your intention for the session and/or how you choose to show up with the group.

For example, I have a small, flat stone that contains an image of an eagle carved on its surface. If I carry it in my pocket, each time I reach down to feel it there, I recall my earlier intention to rise above any confusion that shows ups, retaining a "bird's eye" view of the situation to help this group rise above and triumph over their current issue.

- Use the mirror. Read the body language and sense the mental and emotional state of your mirror periodically. Don't give your mirror undue attention, but monitor their response as you would any other participant, perhaps giving their response greater weight as you adjust your delivery. At one point, I found my mirror looking exhausted and I was feeling a bit drained myself. We were moving into a particularly long stretch in order to finish on schedule. I made a point to check in with him and ask if there was anything he needed to do to re-energize. He apologized and declined, but this seemed to be all he needed to shift both his energy, the group's, and mine.

- Don't act on everything the mirror shows you. While tapping into a personal barometer can be beneficial, be aware that giving any one person undue attention at the expense of the remainder of the group can be counterproductive. Don't assume that the responses of the mirror are all about you and your presentation. Even when mirroring others, human beings have a way of letting their own "stuff" leak through at times that may have nothing to do with the present moment. So consider your mirror's input in addition to all the other information available to you before deciding to change course.

Action
 

Have you ever used a personal barometer or a talisman in your groups? How might you try this approach yourself? Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.

 
 
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In the Spotlight


Transforming Conflict in the Workplace...

Would you be a more effective facilitator or leader with a more solid base of conflict resolution skills under your belt? 

All organizations and relationships encounter conflict. It's what we do with it that makes all the difference in the world.

Remove the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations in this 5-day teleclass series: Transforming Conflict in the Workplace, led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman.

o Did you know that everyone has a unique style and response to conflict? Knowing your styles and response is critical to effective conflict resolution.

o Do you feel comfortable modeling effective conflict resolution skills as a facilitator? This is one of the best ways to prevent conflict from escalating.

o Did you know that 80% of effective conflict management consists of effective interpersonal communication? Knowing how to facilitate this kind of communication is key to mining the positive energy of conflict.

o Do you know what it takes to establish conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations? This knowledge is in growing demand for facilitators, coaches, and consultants.

In this class you will learn conflict resolution skills for facilitative leaders by exploring and evaluating your own styles and personal responses conflict, learning and practicing conflict resolution strategies in the context of group facilitation, and exploring how you can implement conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations.

By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Know your own conflict resolution style and response to conflict.
  • Be able to employ effective conflict resolution strategies with any group.
  • Understand how to deal with impasse in groups.
  • Be able to recognize others conflict styles and responses.
    Have more confidence in dealing with conflict in groups and organizations.
  • Know the keys to implementing conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations.
  • And much more..

When...
October 9th-13th, 2006, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), one hour each day.


How the 5-Day Format/Training works...
1. Dial into your class every day for 5 days (Mon-Fri) for a 60-minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. Work through a workbook during the 5 days which will step you through key conflict resolution skills and strategies.
3. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject matter with the instructor and your classmates via an online discussion forum during the course.
4. Access to the instructors via email for specific help.

Course Outline...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Monday
Components of a Comprehensive Conflict Resolution Program
- The nine keys to designing and implementing an integrated conflict resolution program in your organization.
- Core strategies for facilitating effective responses to conflict so that all staff are invested in success.

Tuesday
Communication Skills and Strategies * The Heart of Conflict
Resolution

- The three primary communication styles and their conflict style counterparts.
- Four key communication skills you need to effectively manage conflict.
- How to model these skills at critical points of conflict within groups.

Wednesday
Strategies to Understand and Manage Defensive Behaviors
- Two key strategies to managing your own defensive responses to conflicts that arise.
- Four ways to encourage assertive communication among group members to prevent conflict from escalating.
- Three keys to working with disagreement that will prevent conflict from occurring.

Thursday
Collaborative Negotiation Strategies
- A six step model to assure the success of any negotiation.
- 10 Strategies for Managing Impasse.
- 8 Special Considerations for Managing Multi-Party Disputes.
- Five types of power essential to identify to facilitate conflict management.

Friday
Synthesis * Designing Staff Facilitation/ Mediation Systems to Transform Conflict in the Workplace
- Building the foundation of a staff facilitation program.
- Keys to the design and implementation a collaborative dispute settlement system.
- Key steps to starting your conflict mediation program or reviving a failed one.
- Individual Coaching and Q&A


Click here for full details and registration



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