Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0293, March 13, 2007 ....
 


Dear friends,

As facilitators, we are naturally observant and insightful when it comes to observing and assessing the group dynamics. Still, we are human, and being human, we filter available data through our lens of biases, experience, and conditioning. With every observation we make, at best we can only make inferences as to what's really going on. These inferences may often be right on, but not always. We'll serve our groups well by always remembering this.

This week's article, "It's Not the Spanish Inquisition," teaches us a simple perspective that will help us navigate our groups via curiosity, a perspective that will show us the path of least resistance as we move our groups through the most heated situations. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com


 
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The Point


It's Not the Spanish Inquisition
As insightful as you are, understand that you still make inferences,
so navigate via curiosity.


Intervention Skill

As facilitators, we are naturally observant and insightful when it comes to observing and assessing going dynamics. Still, we are human, and being human, we filter available data through our lens of biases, experience, and conditioning. With every observation we make, at best we can only make inferences as to what's really going on. These inferences may often be right on, but not always. We'll serve our groups well by always remembering this. Further, the idea that any conclusions about our observations are subject to question, is even more important when making facilitative interventions from within the group as a participant.

Armed with these insights, you might be tempted to ask, "So what?" And to that I say, "That's the spirit!" The spirit of curiosity is what I'm talking about. Here's an example. Tell me, how would you respond to the following two scenarios if you were on the receiving end?

Two Interventions

"OK, I can see what's going on here. You just don't respect each other much in this group. Once you get past this, you're group can move forward."

Or...

"Hmmm, let me check something out with you. It seems that most inputs shared in this group are met with criticism. What is this about?"


As a group member, how would you respond to each of these interventions?
What's the difference? The first one comes across as a foregone conclusion, the second as an inquiry. An attitude of curiosity is one of innocence and pleasant to relate to. An attitude of certainty leaves little room for exploration. Among the top coaching skills my friend Thomas Leonard used to teach was one he called, "Navigate via Curiosity." This is a perspective that also serves group leaders quite well.

So how does one "Navigate via Curiosity" in a group. Here is an interesting approach...

Application


Navigating via curiosity is more an attitude than a skill. Your comments will come mostly in the form of questions asked in a neutral or innocent tone. You'll come from a place of sincere curiosity, realizing in fact that "facts" are only perceptions that we've stopped questioning.

A tool that can help you come from the perspective of curiosity was brought to my attention by my friends Dike and Peg Drummond of www.SuperTeams.com. They suggest using the "Columbo" persona to probe a group, especially when you're trying to influence it from within.

For those who grew up post "70's", Columbo was a detective character played by Peter Falk in the nighttime series "Columbo." Columbo was an unassuming and seemingly absent-minded character. He dressed in sloppy clothing, drove a dumpy car, smoked a fat cigar, and also seemed to ask the most innocent and naïve questions, usually in passing. His trademark move was to spin around on his way out the the door at the close of an interview, rubbing his brow, saying, "Oh I'm sorry. If you don't mind, there's just one more thing that I just don't understand…." Columbo's disarming, humble, and innocent attitude, always got him the answers he needed to solve the most difficult cases.

What if you were to "navigate via curiosity" to help your groups solve their most difficult cases? What, if anything, would you have to give up doing or being? Oh, and there's just one more thing that I've been meaning to ask. What, if anything, would you have to change about the way you see yourself as a group leader?


Action
 

So now's your chance, answer these questions and send them to me. I'd love to hear what you come up with... What if you were to "navigate via curiosity" to help your groups solve their most difficult cases? What, if anything, would you have to give up doing or being? What, if anything, would you have to change about the way you see yourself as a group leader? Just reply to this email to submit them.

Resource


F$ree Report: This Meeting Sux, I'm Stepping in...With Conscious Acts of Leadership.

Download this concise 9-page report that includes:

  • Quick but effective things you can do right now to change the course of your next meeting whether you're the designated leader or not!

  • Three reasons why it's in your best interest to exercise leadership in your meetings no matter what your position.

  • The two basic skills you can use over and over again to change the course of your meetings.

  • How to correct five of the top dysfunctional behaviors in meetings as a participant.

  • How to have the right "attitude" as a participatory leader to make the greatest impact in your meetings.

  • An opportunity to become part of a Free Meeting Synergy Working Group to receive coaching to be a more effective group leader.

Click here to download the report now

Note to Publishers
 
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Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Monday
Introduction to the Facilitation and Self Facilitation Skills.

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Tuesday
Relating with compassion and understanding.

6. Be Ignorant.
7. Make Smiles Happen.
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9. Acknowledge the Elephant.
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Wednesday
Group Dynamics and Facilitation

11. Build the Container.
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13. Mine the Unexpected.
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16. Facilitate Full Participation

Thursday
Organizing and Presenting yourself confidently, professionally, and authentically. 

17. Prepare for Success.
18. Get Real.
19. Make Experiences, Not Speeches
20. Watch the Body Talk.
21. Be your message

Friday
Intervening to shift group energy

22. Tame the Tormentors.
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Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation Training...
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In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:
1. Access to the participant-only website (lots of resources, forms, etc.).
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Pricing and Dates...
The full cost of training/access is only $89, which includes a free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee. Class meets at 1:00-2:00pm EST daily, April 16-20, 2007.

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About the satisfaction guarantee
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