Facilitator Journal | Issue #0451, July 6, 2010
Have you ever facilitated a group of facilitators? In my experience,
this can be a challenging thing to do. Some of my most frustrating
experiences with groups have occurred when working within groups
of my peers. In this week's article, Facilitating Facilitators, I reflect on these experiences and made some observations that may help
us see facilitation a bit more clearly. I look forward to hearing
about your experiences and specific comments on this matter.
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the challenges of leading leaders.
Group Management Skill
I've attended several workshops in the past aimed at facilitators, trainers,
coaches, and group leaders. In these workshops, we of course get the opportunity
to work in small groups to complete assigned tasks. One thing that continues
to strike me is how difficult it can be working within a group of fellow
facilitators. Some of my most frustrating experiences with groups have occurred
when working within groups of my peers.
Why is this? I've pondered this a bit and have come up with some of my own
ideas as to why facilitating a group of facilitators is a lot like the proverbial
herding of cats.
I believe that working amongst a group of facilitators can teach use some
valuable lessons about facilitation. Here are some of my observations.
a group of leaders isn't easy. First, facilitators like to, well,
facilitate when they're in groups. So sometimes it's difficult to lead
a group when everyone else is leading it in their own direction.
we need an "assigned" facilitator? Facilitators often
forget about the importance of assigning a facilitator when working
with groups of facilitators, because again, we're all facilitators so
why bother? Wrong! Few groups work well without someone in charge.
love processing. I find facilitators can really get hung up on process.
But no wonder! That's our strength. We feel comfortable talking about
process and most of all, "being in process." This can be a
great weakness however if process and content tip too far out of balance.
love to participate, or not. In groups of facilitators, I've seen
the level of participation go either over the top toward everyone wanting
to speak at once, to total content neutrality. Either situation can
make it tough to move forward. Some of my experiences have made me wonder
why we often work so hard to get full participation. I suppose the distinction
here is full participation versus full "simultaneous" participation!
love to be transparent. Again, another great facilitator strength
that can turn sour is our willingness to share "everything"
we sense. The important distinction here is to share only those things
that move the group toward its goal.
will listen to reason. Fortunately, most facilitators have great hearts and want the best
for their groups. Therefore, I find that if I can keep my wits about
me, and drop some well placed questions and reflections, that often is
all that's needed to get the group back on track.
how do you show up as a participant in groups of other facilitators? Do
any of these observations hit home with you? If so, what are your insights?
I'd love to hear them.
Add Your Comments
facilitators been like for you? What have you found to be the best remedy?
lease click on the Add Your Comments link above and share your thoughts, stories, and experiences around this topic. I'd love to hear from you!
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