Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0342, May 15, 2008
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This week's article, Practicing Emotional Mastery is about recovering from emotional imbalance by managing our internal world. Emotional Intelligence is a gateway to self-awareness and when mastered, we bring a whole new perspective and insights to ourselves and the groups. As facilitators, bringing the gift of self-awareness to groups can be our biggest contribution.

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Look forward to seeing you next Tuesday. Thank you for being a part of this growing community.


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The Point

Practicing Emotional Mastery
Manage your internal world and quickly recover from emotional imbalance

Intervention Skill

As a human facilitator, when facilitating group process, your own emotions are likely to come up occasionally. At times, you may find yourself feeling anger rise as a group pushes a hot button of yours or challenges you or your approach. You may face fears of being inadequate or ill-equipped to handle an emerging group conflict, or deep emotional outpourings of a group member. Or you may find yourself identifying with the pain or sadness expressed by a participant.

To be effective in your role as a facilitator, you must be able to manage your feelings, whatever their source. This doesn't mean that you repress them. It means that you are aware of what's going on inside, that you own your feelings as your own, and that you heed the message that they have for you, and act on it responsibly.


So what is emotional mastery? What are emotions, for that matter? A simple way to view emotions is simply energy in motion. They become problems only when we judge them as wrong, bad, inappropriate, etc. When we misperceive our emotions, we may miss the message that they carry or stuff them down, only for them to emerge stronger later. Emotional mastery is the ability to process our emotions so that their message gets to us, and their energy is used for appropriate action.

I love how Peter McWilliams interprets the purpose of our basic emotions in his book, "Do It."
bullet Fear is the energy to do your best in a new situation.
bullet Guilt is the energy for personal change-it is anger directed toward ourselves, and anger is the energy for change.
bullet Unworthiness keeps us on track--just as we can have anything we want, we can't have everything we want. So too, we are worthy of anything we want, but we may not be worthy of everything we want.
bullet Hurt feelings are a reminder of how much we care.

So how can you use this information as a facilitator? I suggest that you release any old beliefs you hold around emotions and begin to cultivate present moment awareness as your emotions arise. Begin to look at them, not as good or bad, but simply with curiosity, and with the question, what's energy for?

Here are some examples of how your emotions might be effectively expressed in a group:

bullet To help validate a participant and to help them feel more connected to themselves, you may share the feelings arising in you as a result of them sharing their experience.
bullet To assist a group in moving through pettiness and resistance to being fully present, you might express some of the anger and frustration you feel observing their process.
bullet If you feel tears of sadness arising as a result of someone sharing something deeply personal, letting this emotion flow displays your humanness and builds trust with the group.
bullet If you feel anger and frustration over the group not moving the way you think it should, use this energy to be fully present and fully honest with the participants about their process.

These examples are not meant to show how you can use emotion to manipulate participants, but as possible positive outcomes of sharing authentic emotions.


Your assignment this week is to practice reinterpreting your emotions. Practice observing emotions that arise in you and release prior judgments you might have about them. Focus instead on listening to the message they hold for you. And if you should be so bold, act on this message by expressing the emotion in a positive fashion. We are interested in hearing what happens for you. Please email us and let us know what happened. we would love to hear about it!

This Week's Offer

Before Steve Davis left for the 6 month retreat, we had started to design a workbook on Emotional Intelligence. Steve provided his valuable input for the layout and structure as the master designer. Even though the last few weeks were extremely busy, Steve gave his guidance, and our EI workbook is now ready to be launched along with a Powerpoint presentation. For those of you looking to bring a new uplifting perspective to Emotional Intelligence for your clients please see this week's special offer below for the EI workbook and the Facilitators Powerpoint presentation.


FaciliatorU Emotional Intelligence Courseware
The materials are structured around four quadrants that cover the following aspects of emotional intelligence:
bullet I-Awareness or Self-Awareness
bullet Managing Actions and Behaviors of Self
bullet We-Awareness or group awareness
bullet Managing Actions and Behaviors of the Group

The common thread that runs through these four aspects is the ‘Resilience Factor’ or the ability to be aware, open, flexible and courageous to manage the actions and behaviors of the self and the group.

This course is designed to accomplish the following learning objectives.
bullet Empower yourself and others
bullet Learn the art of emotional mastery
bullet Enhance your negotiation power
bullet Manage emotions and communicate effectively in challenging situations
bullet Understand how to expand personal influence
bullet Expand your ability to be creative and innovative

Click here to preview the first chapter of the course

Click here to purchase and for more details


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