Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0520, December 27, 2011

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Dear Friends,

Many of you may be taking this week off from work to enjoy some end-of-the-year reflection and relaxation.
On that note , I thought that this might be a good time to reflect on our natural gifts as facilitators. In this week's article, Revisit Your Roots, we explore those core attitudes and perspectives that form the foundation of all the strategies and interventions we bring to our groups. Further, I want to thank each of you for your continued support and encouragement throughout this past year. I wish you and your family a very prosperous, happy, and fulfilled new year!

Holiday Discount on FacilitatorU Memberships
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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 can better serve you.


Steve Davis


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The Point

Revisit Your Roots
Reinforce and operate from your core attitudes and perspectives.

Self-Facilitation Skill

As we move into the end of yet another year together, I've been thinking about what I could share that would help to clarify and simplify our work in the world of group leadership and facilitation. It occurred to me that as life long learners, our field can get pretty complicated with all the models, strategies, philosophies, and approaches within which we tend to immerse ourselves. Considering this, it's probably a good idea once in awhile to reflect on those core attitudes and perspectives that form the foundation of all the strategies and interventions we might consider employing with any given group.

To be quite honest, the more I learn about group process the easier and the harder it gets. Harder because every group that comes along surprises me in some way. Perhaps with increasing humility inspired by my increasing years, I tend to look and listen just a little closer to the nuances present in each new group. And though human dynamics in each group have many similarities, they are also unique in their makeup and their challenges. As I come to recognize that being surprised is part of the game, I come to welcome the mystery more as an adventure to enjoy than an unknown to fear. And trust that going on the voyage equipped with my essentials, I cannot fail and commit myself to the prospect that we will all gain through the experience in some way.


Identify Your Core Gifts

What is your gift as a human being? How do you significantly advance the work of any group you lead or participate in, simply by showing up authentically and doing what comes naturally to you? I believe that it might be a great exercise to answer this question in the form of a handful of facilitative perspectives, attitudes, or actions, to strengthen everything else you do as a group servant, and provide great value even if you show up with nothing else. Here are some of my own as I see them:

I show up as the clearest mirror I can be. One of the greatest insights people can gain from each other is a view of themselves from the outside. We sometimes go through our lives so much on automatic pilot we lose the connection between cause and effect. That is, those things we do that we might not notice (causes) that are bringing results that we might not like (effects). It's a rare privilege granted to you as facilitators and group leaders to point out and reflect the actions of others and how we experience them. Remember that polished mirrors reflect best. So practice releasing inner chatter as best you can, and marshall the courage to express what you see and sense, if it will explicitly advance your group's purpose, as clearly and as compassionately as you can.

I come with beginner's mind. I believe that there's great power in approaching every new group as if it's the first one I've ever worked with. To approach each life experience with "beginner's mind" is a tall order, particularly so as our experience base grows. Yet the fresh openness to mystery and possibility offers those we serve a potent invitation to see the world in this same way themselves. Unencumbered with past failures and worn out solutions, chances are better that a fresh new idea or solution will emerge.

It's never about me, even when it is. It's essential to take nothing personally as a group leader, even when under personal attack. People only attack when they're hurting or scared. Remembering this will afford you perspective you can use when walking through the hot spots of group process. Quiet presence, again like a mirror, in the face of attack is disarming, even alarming, in a world out of control. Cultivating the ability to reflect peace in the face of fear has a transforming effect on others.

I surrender the task to them. It's imperative to trust in the resources of the group and in the process in which you have them engaged to accomplish the tasks before them. If you are afraid that they cannot accomplish their goal and apply your genius to save them, they will smell your fear and be weakened by your efforts to help. Your trust, if well placed, and backed with conviction will inspire.

I'm a compass who facilitates the course. If you do nothing but help a group come to a clear understanding of their goal, the average group will have gained a great deal. If you then serve as their beacon, amidst confusion and haste, helping them compare each action to the results they seek, forward progress is inevitable.

Add Your Comments


Drawing on the above examples, make a list of the key gifts you bring to your groups that are effortless for you to give, Please share them with us. 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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