Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0358, Sept 2, 2008
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This week’s article "Primal Facilitation", explores the blending of Daniel Goleman's four domains of emotional intelligence with the primal energies of masculine and feminine as applied to our roles as facilitators. Goleman's model was intended to help leaders draw from a larger repertoire of skills to meet appropriate scenarios. Certainly these apply to the group leader as well. Overlaying the dynamic and static feminine and masculine traits brings yet another dimension to bear on the big picture of facilitation and reminders as to how we might round out these skills in our groups.

It's back to school and we are excited to offer 2 teleclasses this month
bulletCreating Presence and Spontaneity on September 8, 10 & 12, 2008 (1-2 PM EST). Please check out some of the comments received about the workshop. Click here to register for the teleclass. The self paced audio version of the workshop is now available for purchase.

bulletThe Art of Emotional Intelligence on September 15, 16 & 17, 2008 (1-2 PM EST). Click here to register for the teleclass.

We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community. Please continue to send the wonderful feedback.

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The Point

Primal Facilitation

Access appropriate domains of emotional intelligence in your group work.

Intervention Skill

As human beings, we each embody the combined energies of masculine and feminine, often referred to as "primal energies." When in balance, the dance between the masculine and feminine is poetry in motion. Learning to balance these energies is part of our journey toward mastery as group leaders and as human beings.

While facilitation may be seen by many as a largely "feminine" oriented skill set - meaning the facilitator seeks to create and manage the space necessary for others to do their work--it's important to look at how both masculine and feminine energies can be employed in a balanced fashion for effective and comprehensive group facilitation.

In his book, "Primal Leadership," Daniel Goleman identifies the four domains of emotional intelligence - self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management - and how the development of these four competencies spawns different leadership styles. The best leaders maintain a style repertoire, switching easily between "visionary," "coaching," "affiliative," and "democratic."

Bert Parlee, of the Integral Institute proposes a blending of Goleman's four domains with dynamic and static primal energies. I believe this model relates and informs not only leadership styles, but facilitative styles as well. These domains and their associated qualities are summarized in the table below:

(Static Masculine)

Precise, patient, planning, perseverant, methodical, detail-oriented, organizing, strategizing, serious.

(Dynamic Masculine)

Risk-taking, quick, strong, protective, confident, persuasive, forceful, competitive, inspiring.

Social Awareness
(Static Feminine)

Relaxed, trusting, supportive, helpful, nurturing, passive.

Relationship Management
(Dynamic Feminine)

Enthusiastic, creative, emotional, meaning-making, playful, adaptable, imaginative, demonstrative.

Just as attachment to any one of these styles limits our leadership capacity, imbalance between masculine and feminine energies can cause problems too. Sharon Shane, in her book, "In the Garden of the Goddess," tells us how masculine and feminine show up in the world both in and out of balance:

"If there is an over emphasis of [static] feminine energy everything remains in passivity, lying dormant, and our creative potential is unable to be expressed in the world. Imagine the daydreamers who can never quite actualize their dreams. Their creativity is stillborn.

The energy of the masculine will take action to bring the feminine imagination into materialization. Masculine energy is interested in the form of creation and what shape it takes. Without this strong, dynamic will everything would rest in inertia and nothing would be made concrete. It is the state of doing. When there is an overemphasis of too much masculine energy, the Spirit expresses itself in the form of willful domination. Even though they may be extremely active in their daily routine, a person with an imbalance of too much masculine energy will be out of touch with their intuition and usually lacking in imagination and nurturing qualities.

Whereas the feminine is conceptual and perceptual, the masculine is generative and productive. The will of the masculine aspect moves in a direct line, while the feminine bends and curves. In our current civilization, both the male and female genders of the mass, collective consciousness have swung into an overbalance of masculine energy and not enough feminine. The pendulum is slowly shifting back towards the center, as each individual participates in reclaiming the feminine within. In order to balance the scales, the soft curving energy of the feminine needs to help the strong, dynamic masculine will to become more flexible. To attack a situation straight on is not always the best solution, but to weave and arch around and in between can create the space to generate the energy of cooperation."


bullet Static Masculine
We manifest Static Masculine as a facilitator by staying conscious to our own inner process--being aware of what's going on inside us, our biases, insights, intuitions, and experiences--we share them with our groups in service to moving them forward. The static masculine helps others become more self-aware. He helps groups clarify their mission, vision, and reason for being, patiently letting the group get to where it wants to go on its own terms. He is the visionary, the "Good King."

bullet Dynamic Masculine
We manifest Dynamic Masculine whenever we need to shake a group out of stagnation (group think, inaction, over-processing) and into action. Further, we employ this strength when protecting group members from hostility or attack from other members. Conflict resolution will sometimes require the sword of the dynamic masculine facilitator to cut through confusion, misunderstanding, aggression, and malaise to inspire a group to focus together on moving toward the realization of their collective vision. He is the "Warrior."

bullet Static Feminine
We manifest Static Feminine when nurturing and validating individual and group behaviors, engaging in activities and behaviors that build trust and healthy relationships. Static Feminine knows when to take a passive but supportive stance, trusting the process and allowing her group to do its own work. She is sensitive to the group culture and supports the group in finding ways to work together that clarify and honor its beliefs and values. She is the sustainer, the "Great Mother."

bullet Dynamic Feminine

We manifest Dynamic Feminine when we design and facilitate active processes that will move a group forward. She fosters and inspires creativity and enthusiasm for the group cause. She brings lightness and play to break up serious and stuck energies. She makes it safe for us to express our feelings and helps us work through them in healthy ways. She helps us to work together in ways that we never imagined we could. She pleasantly surprises us with our own strengths. She is the "Medicine Woman."


Which element of the Masculine and Feminine needs work to bring you more into balance in your work as a facilitator? Make this work the theme of your coming week and practice bringing out this side of your primal nature. Please send us your questions and comments.

This Week's Offer



Creating presence & spontaniety
How to lead with a lasting and positive impact

3 Day Teleclass
September 8, 10 & 12, 2008 | 1-2 PM EST

Creating Presence & Spontaneity
This class meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to cover age old wisdom of creating presence and spontaneity. Together we will create specific action items we can take to lead with a lasting and positive impact. This course is for facilitators at any level or group members that simply want to know more about creating presence so that they can make the groups they are a part of more effective. Being spontaneous eliminates the stress of what should be next and brings the attention to fully being engaged.

Master Facilitator's facilitate their inner process so that they can be present with those they're facilitating. They maintain a learning orientation to life, remaining open to new ideas and input. They are committed to their own self-care to maintain the high energy and awareness required of a facilitative leader, and as a model for others.

Click here for more information

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