Facilitator Journal | Issue #0397, June 9, 2009
When others are telling you what they hold to be true, they can be very persuasive. If fact, often the certainty in their voice alone causes you to overlook their otherwise obvious assumptions or limiting beliefs. This week's article, Pierce the Facade speaks to the importance of staying centered in your own truth so that you can pierce veils of certainty that hold dysfunction in place.
JOFC Vancouver! Many participants who have attended our Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration workshop in Madison have come away transformed in their view and practice as leaders and facilitators. Even those with intermediate and advanced skills leave the workshop having been impacted both personally and professionally. I'm looking forward to visiting Vancouver for this workshop during the week of July 27th. I've decided to make this into a driving adventure from southern California, taking extra time to meet readers and customers up in Vancouver and at spots along the way. If you live along this route and would like to meet, I'd love to connect with you on this journey. And of course, I'd love to take this workshop journey with you as well if you feel so inclined. Click here for details and registration.
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Pierce the Facade
People seldom tell
their whole truth. Help them do so and it
will change their lives.
Wedon't mean to lie but we're all just so accustomed to
embellishing or withholding our whole truth that it becomes
habitual. This habit is reinforced socially (as in "I'm
just trying to be nice"), politically (as in
"politically correct"), and personally (as in
"I'm just fine"). We often get stuck or off track in
our lives because we've deluded ourselves in the name of expedience.
One of the most powerful things you can do as a facilitator,
after you yourself become aware of the lie, delusion,
or incongruence; is to gently make others aware of
it. This can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your
you're facilitating a
problem-solving session with a group of executives who are
having problems working together as a team. None of them can put
their finger on why they can't work together more effectively,
but they talk non-stop about their individual problems that are
occurring as a result.
Each of them can't wait to make their case and they often
interrupt each other to articulately express their point of
view. You find yourself tempted to buy in to their story and
quite frankly, you're a little intimidated by the brilliance and
charisma that each executive displays in stating their
But deep down, you sense something is off. You feel intimidated
and you smell their need to be right pervading the
atmosphere. You also know that their communication and relating
style is not a recipe for successful teamwork. What do you
It's time to simply stop the group and state your truth.
"As a member of your team, I have to tell you that I'm
feeling unheard right now. I sense that each of you are pushing
your individual agendas and ignoring each other. Is this the
kind of team you want? If you chose to relax your desire to sell
your own ideas long enough to discover the interests you share
in common with your peers, you will have made the first step
toward developing the team you're after."
next time you have the opportunity to facilitate or even
participate in a group, listen carefully for what's being said,
not said, and how it's said. Try "reading between the
lines" so to speak, and unearth the lie. Then you might
even be so bold as to share your perception in a clear but
diplomatic fashion. Make sure to own any feelings you have and
to share your insight without judgment. This may take some
practice, so try doing it to express something positive that you
observe first. I'm interested in hearing what happened. Please send me your comments by replying to this email.
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