Facilitator Journal | Issue #0271, September 26, 2006 ....
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.
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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be an Allopathic Facilitator
by a holistic approach to your interventions.
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
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
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"
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
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
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
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.
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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Conflict in the Workplace...
you be a more effective facilitator or leader
with a more solid base of conflict resolution
skills under your belt?
organizations and relationships encounter conflict.
It's what we do with it that makes all the difference
in the world.
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.
Did you know that everyone has a unique style
and response to conflict? Knowing
your styles and response is critical to effective
o Do you feel comfortable modeling effective conflict
resolution skills as a facilitator? This
is one of the best ways to prevent conflict from
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.
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,
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.
the end of the 5 days, you will:
your own conflict resolution style and
response to conflict.
able to employ effective conflict resolution
strategies with any group.
how to deal with impasse in groups.
able to recognize others conflict styles
more confidence in dealing with conflict in
groups and organizations.
the keys to implementing conflict resolution
and staff facilitation programs within organizations.
October 9th-13th, 2006, 10:00
AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time),
one hour each day.
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.
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during
the 5-Day course...
of a Comprehensive Conflict Resolution Program
The nine keys to designing and implementing an
integrated conflict resolution program in your
- Core strategies for facilitating effective responses
to conflict so that all staff are invested in
and Strategies * The Heart of Conflict
- The three primary communication styles and their
conflict style counterparts.
- Four key communication skills you need to effectively
- How to model these skills at critical points
of conflict within groups.
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.
- A six step model to assure the success of any
- 10 Strategies for Managing Impasse.
- 8 Special Considerations for Managing Multi-Party
- 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
- 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
here for full details and registration