Master Facilitator Journal


Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0400, July 7, 2009

Dear Friends,
RSS Subscribe

A couple of weeks ago I took part in an Ascension Retreat in the forests of Northern Georgia. While we spent most of our days meditating, each evening we had a meeting where we shared our experience. One evening, a very heated conflict erupted between two women at the retreat who also happened to be roommates in a cabin with several others. This week's article, Simmering in a Stew of Conflict, explores an alternative to conflict resolution that does not necessarily involve its facilitation in a conventional way. Instead, we explore how the conditions might be set up to let a conflict stew in such a way that it burns itself out! I welcome your comments and stories as they relate to this article.

Motivational Speakers: How Charismatic Delivery Can Short Change Your Audience". Join this free teleseminar on July 22, 12:00pm PT. In this teleclass, you’ll not only learn 3 keys to empowering your audience with less effort, but you'll also have a fully interactive experience on MaestroConference, a new technology that allows you to engage me and other participants as if we're in a live workshop.

My teleseminar is one of more than 60 free trainings during Maestro Month - an unprecedented offering from world-class leaders such as Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, Michael Port, and John Gray. The trainings in health, personal growth, business, spirituality and societal change include 16 NY Times bestselling authors, all helping you to unleash your full potential. I'm excited to be part of this group and to introduce you to more of their work. Click here to find out more.

Like these other teachers, I believe people learn best when they're interacting --when they're dialoguing about what they're learning, which is what MaestroConference now makes possible. The folks at Maestro are sponsoring this extraordinary event so you can be one of the first people to experience the beta version of their learning platform. If you find it valuable, they're betting you'll spread the word about their service. There is thus no "catch," just free learning from inspiring Maestros. Register Now to gain access to my teleconference and up to two other calls during Maestro Month. There are also eight free gifts from sponsors.

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, facilitators, and as people. 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.


Blessings,

Steve
Founder, FacilitatorU.com

Advertisements
The Point


Simmering in a Stew
of Conflict
Know that there are alternatives to conflict resolution that may have better long term impact.


Group Dynamics Skill


A couple of weeks ago I took part in an Ascension Retreat in the forests of Northern Georgia. While we spent most of our days meditating, each evening we had a meeting where we shared our experience. One evening, a very heated conflict erupted between two women at the retreat who also happened to be roommates in a cabin with several others.

One of them recounted the events that led to the conflict while the other listened on. After some time the other woman shared her account of what transpired, which sounded quite a bit different. As a facilitator, my first impulse was to jump in and help them understand the other’s point of view, with the hope it would lead to some kind of resolution. I refrained from trying to resolve the conflict because the purpose was not about issue resolution. Rather, the purpose was to choose where we put our attention: on the seeming reality of our outer circumstances and beliefs about them or, on the truth of the present moment.

So each women, while obviously upset with the other, was also committed to dealing with the situation at its source. That is, they were both interested not so much in understanding the hot buttons of the other so that they could relate in a civil fashion. Instead, they were interested in completely extracting their buttons.

How did they do this? In the next section, I'll do my best to share my observations and direct experience on how conflict might be transformed without moving through a resolution process.


Application


Now let's get real here. Conflicts don't usually just work themselves out do they? The vast majority of the time I'd agree. But given certain conditions, I believe that conflict can be resolved at its source, within the hearts and minds of each individual involved. Here's how I think this might be done.

  • Each party must be willing to at least accept the possibility that their outer reality is a reflection of their inner reality perceived through the filters of their conditioning.

  • Each party must also be willing to accept the possibility that an inner state of peace is not dependent in any way on outer circumstances.

  • The above premises make possible an invitation for each party to accept 100% responsibility for their conflicted state. This translates into a personal statement along these lines: "I accept that my feelings of upset and judgment toward the other party originate within me. These feelings are mine and mine alone."

  • Once ownership is accepted, each party has the opportunity to "be with" their feelings of conflict. By simply witnessing feelings of upset without judgment or a desire to change them, eventually they either pass or their true source--an erroneous perception--becomes evident. During this period of inner reflection, each party may find it helpful to express what they are experiencing or seeing in the presence of the other. The full disclosure of one's erroneous perceptions to another usually invites compassion.

    I realize the idea that inner conflicts are caused by erroneous perceptions may fly in the face of reason to some. So let's take a look at this. Ask yourself first, what is the source of your hot buttons or triggers? When you are triggered emotionally, what goes through your mind? Take a moment and check it out.

    Isn't the source of your unrest an argument with what is? Aren't these triggers simply deeply entrenched definitions of how the world should be. Without these judgments of right and wrong, only compassion exists. This is our natural state.

  • Once each party finds peace and clarity within themselves, nothing more is required. Still, some action may be evident. There may be a request or confession made to the other. There may even be an entry into sorting out details in the physical world to improve future interactions. But now, with internal filters cleansed of irrational judgments, the emotional charge is missing and the work is easy.

Now back to the conflict that erupted on a Tuesday night. By Friday night, the two women were embracing as friends, expressing their love to one another. The sharing around this conflict that occurred during the ensuing nights was sometimes nonexistent. But by Friday night, each of them had come to recognize the source of the charge they had experienced. In both cases, the charge originated from experiences that had occurred much earlier in their lives. Once this was recognized, their hot buttons lost their juice and the conflict did not so much resolve and dissolve.

Sometimes letting a conflict stew with the right intention allows it to burn itself out! I welcome your comments and stories as they relate to this article.


Action


Have you ever had a conflict dissolve in the fashion described in this article? Or do have anything to share with regard to these ideas? I look forward to hearing either. Please share your thoughts and experiences with me by replying to this email.


This Week's Offer


FacilitatorU Lifetime Membership


FacilitatorU MembershipWhat's FacilitatorU Membership do for you?

  • Save a significant amount of time, travel expenses, and training costs by tapping into all of our "just-in-time" training, tools, and resources from the comfort of your own home or office.
  • Access an increasing array of tools, training, and resources to support your work with groups.
  • Tap into a community of fellow facilitators, trainers, group leaders, and change agents for collaboration, learning, and support.
  • The wisdom and experience of a growing number of recordings of specialized experts in the field.
  • Use our articles to augment your training programs and group work.
  • Access a growing library of online tools, ebooks, and other resources to make your job easier.
  • Make yourself visible to others who visit this site looking for your talent.
  • Keep your skills up-to-date and your passion enlivened with regular contact with other change agents leading positive change and constructive action worldwide.
I've just come to the end of a series of workshops run over the last 8 weeks and wanted to thank you for all the guidance, education and support that you have provided via FacilitatorU.com. The workshops have been a resounding success, but that was due to the approach I learned from you about preparation; the confidence I gained from the teleclasses I attended and the regular reminders of the basic skills found in your weekly newsletter. It is clearly a winning combination. --Julia Amunwa, Programme Manager


Click Here to View Membership Features

Note to Publishers

Would you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are f$ree to do so providing you follow these guidelines.

We grow by recommendation only when you find our material of use! If you enjoyed this issue, we'd love it if you'd spread the word. Click here to use our interactive form to tell your friends about MFJ, and as a thank you, you will receive our f$ree Facilitator's Self Assessment.

Tellafriend

©2001-2013. Powered by FacilitatorU.com, Madison, WI.. All Rights Reserved.