Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0271, September 26, 2006 ....

Dear friends,

Often we are called in to facilitate organizational interventions by organizations that are "sick," meaning that their dysfunction has become so untenable that something simply must be done about it..."Our organization is broken and we need to fix it!" Pressured for a quick fix, we are often challenged to stand by approaches we know to be effective. In this week's article, "Don't be an Allopathic Facilitator," we explore strategies to maintain a holistic approach to your interventions. 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. membership Discount for College and University Students.
In an effort to get our materials in the hands of future leaders and those involved in educating our future leaders, we've recently instituted a significant 66% discount on FacilitatorU memberships for college and university students and faculty. If you are in any way connected to a college and university and can help us get the word out, please contact me to discuss it.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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The Point

Don't be an Allopathic Facilitator
Stand by a holistic approach to your interventions.

Intervention Skill

Allopathic: The Western Medical model in use today, is based upon the concept that the physician is responsible for the healing, and that "disease" must be eradicated from the body using heroic intervention.

I chose to use this term to describe an issue that often befalls us in our efforts to facilitate organizational interventions. We're often called in by organizations that are "sick," meaning that their dysfunction has become so untenable that something simply must be done about it..."Our organization is broken and we need to fix it!" Let me provide a metaphorical example.

Some people mindlessly eat fast food and ice cream sundaes for years until one day diabetes sets in or their heart stops. They rush off to the hospital to get "fixed," with little thought about how they've been responsible for the day to day actions they took or didn't take that facilitated this emergency.

Just as we can ignore our bodies needs at the expense of our physical health, some of us ignore ours and others emotional and social needs, at the expense of building our technical capacities, only to find one day that no one can work with this technical "genius" because now he's an emotional moron. Further, because the leaders for whom these individuals work have not been willing to moderate their venom for others, they now feel it's time to call in the "doctor." Someone with the power to hire and fire, whose given up the power to manage ineffective behavior, now feels it's time to have an expert come in to fix the problem!

So we get the call. Organization "ABC" wants us to come in and fix their severe dysfunction that's threatening this project or that. They want you to come in and give a one-day training in communication skills because that's what seems to be lacking around here with "these" people.

You're tempted to say yes as this is a well-paying piece of work and well, you need work and you can come up with a great training agenda, deliver what they've asked for and be done with it. But in your heart, you know that this problem is far more complex than a simple training can remedy and contains issues, yet to be discovered, that will dictate alternative interventions.

Please fix this for us. It is central to Allopathic belief that the disease is stronger than the body, and that man must decipher disease processes and develop specific treatments for each disease.

But even in Allopathic medicine, the diagnosis is left to the physician. Often as facilitators, we're called in to deliver the treatment diagnosed by the leader. Not only is the leader seldom equipped to render this diagnoses, they are often a contributing aspect of the disease.



Natural and Holistic practitioners maintain that it's the body itself that does the healing, not the doctor. The disease itself represents a body out of balance, or simply one that has reached the point where it can no longer compensate or maintain homeostasis given the level of toxicity, deficiency, or neglect.

Be a Holistic Facilitator. Set the tone for the organization to heal itself by NOT coming into it as an expert. Show up instead with an attentive presence and clear desire to support their healing, self-awareness, and growth. Engage with your clients more as a student rather than an expert.

Listen to the Patient. The people in the system know better than anyone what's wrong in the system and with the system. Before diving into a pre-prescribed training or intervention, interview all the people involved at all the levels possible to get their candid reading on what's going wrong.

Facilitate Commitments from Management. Many problems with teams in organizations are reflections of problems with management. Unless management is willing to acknowledge this and take the first steps to changing, systemic change is unlikely.
Coach them to discover how they are contributing to the problem and encourage them to change first.

Discover Barriers to Wellness. Help the team clarify their positive vision for their organization and to discover the barriers to this vision. Facilitate their development of solutions and their commitment to action, including systems of accountability and measurement of progress.

Let Training/Coaching Needs Show Themselves. Prescribe training and coaching interventions after you and the group is clear on where it needs help. When they tell you what they need to learn and where they need support, they'll be ready to receive it.

What if They Want the Allopathic Approach? I understand that many organizations may not accept the above approach and will pass you over looking for an expert to quickly come in and solve their problem. In this case you have a choice, to pass on the work or try to bring some holism in with your "solution."

Assuming you choose the latter option, do all you can to manipulate the schedule and apply the above strategies, explaining all the while the benefits (long term, real solutions) that will most likely result from a more holistic approach.

How do you deal with pressures to be an Allopathic facilitator? How can you become more Holistic in your approach? 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..

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...

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.

Communication Skills and Strategies * The Heart of Conflict

- 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.

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.

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.

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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