Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0517, December 6, 2011

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Dear Friends,







As facilitators, at one time or another, we will run into a situation where our groups get stuck dead in their tracks. By getting stuck, I mean that the group's progress seems to have slowed down or stopped, energy is low, participation is spotty, and you get a hunch that the current course you are on is not going to get the group moving again.

In this week's article, Break Through Barriers, we share several clearing strategies adapted from a neat little book called The Art of Facilitatio
n. We hope these are helpful and look forward to hearing any additional strategies you find useful in your groups.

This week's deal. Order any of our self-guided teleclasses this week and receive your choice of 2 Consulting Today article collections ($30 value). Indicate your desired article choices in the comments section of the order form or email us your selections after placing your order.

I hope your and your loved ones enjoy a wonderful holiday week!

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you. We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community and please continue to send your wonderful feedback on this ezine and FacilitatorU.com can better serve you.

Blessings,

Steve Davis

Founder, FacilitatorU.com



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The Point


Break Through Barriers
Help groups get moving when they get stuck.



Group Process Skill

As facilitators, at one time or another, we will run into a situation where our groups get stuck dead in their tracks. By getting stuck, I mean that the group's progress seems to have slowed down or stopped, energy is low, participation is spotty, and you get a hunch that the current course you are on is not going to get the group moving again.

Groups get stuck for a variety of reasons. Being stuck may be a symptom of conscious or unconscious resistance to moving forward by one or more group members, fear of potential consequences resulting from what might be uncovered by moving in the current direction, unspoken judgments or irritation among participants, or simple mental or emotional exhaustion of group members.

When you feel your group is stuck, it may be appropriate to shake things up by changing the process. Changes to the process can range from the simple act of taking a physical break to initiating a "clearing session" to move whatever energy is impeding forward progress. I drew on an excellent little book called The Art of Facilitation for some of the clearing processes I summarized below.



Application

Content Clearing. Sometimes in the midst of complex problem solving, we simply need to stop, take a breath, and retrace our steps. Take a minute to review the original objective, then review the progress you've made so far. This can be enough to ignite new energy and the perspective needed to trigger ideas and get things moving again.

Group Clearing
. If it appears the whole group could benefit from a clearing, offer to do a group clearing session. First have someone express the purpose or vision of the group, then invite each participant to express what is getting in their way to full engagement in the group process. You could have them complete a stem sentence like, "What is getting in the way for me is..."

One-on-One Clearing
. Use this process if it appears that only a few participants require completion. With this process, ask members to take a 15 minute break and invite anyone that has an unspoken issue with any other member, to express it in the following manner. Approach the person and express your positive commitment to the relationship, then describe the feeling or behavior you experience with them together with a specific incident if possible. Take turns speaking until all upset is cleared. Make any requests or promises along the way as desired. Ask for help from facilitators if needed.

Personal Clearing . Invite participants to share anything that will help them get more fully present and engaged with the group. This might be personal stuff they're hanging on to that if expressed will let them more fully engage. Give each member a time limit of 2-5 minutes.

Clearing Yourself. If you feel a need to clear yourself as the facilitator, do the following. During a break, find an uninvolved participant and have them ask you the following question, "What do you need to say or do to get clear?" Ask this question of yourself if it's inappropriate to use a group member.

Add Your Comments



Action

This week, practice one of the above clearing exercises with your group, or practice "Clearing Yourself" as needed throughout the week when you're feeling stuck or stressed. Do you have any additional processes you use? We'd love to hear
from you! Just click on Add Your Comments to share your questions, feedback, or experience on this topic.

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