Rapid Reflections on Facilitation

Posted by  GeoffBrown —April 30, 2010
Filed in Uncategorized

Somehow, April went from being a quiet month to a very busy month and full of juicy conversations and workshops.

4 of the past 5 workshops I have facilitated have been with groups of less than 10 people, which is quite a small number. In some ways, these small groups are different to larger groups … and in some ways they are exactly the same.

Smaller groups used to make me really nervous – not sure why, maybe it’s the intensity and fact that the group-energy is more challenging to work with? Maybe participants find it harder too because there is nowhere to hide?

Get out of their way and using silence

In my recent small groups, I found myself doing very little for long periods of time. I was present, watching and listening during periods of conversation and for the first time ever I was really comfortable with ‘silence’.

My natural¬†tendency¬†is to step in a fill spaces with advice and talk and provide direction – after all that’s what I’m being paid for. But, the groups I work with are perfectly capable of working out stuff for themselves too. My intervention and direction can get in their way and stop the flow of natural conversation. It’s sometimes messy and feels like we are getting nowhere, but that’s life and the nature of things.

Looking for Offers

With these smaller groups, I have training myself to notice ‘offers’ that are being made and seeing when offers are blocked or accepted – by the group and by myself. It’s a fascinating game to play and makes you really tune into what is ‘not’ being said. I noticed that body language was the biggest factor and often was in contrast to what was being said.

I will be sharpening this skills in ‘noticing’ much more – starting when I head back into the family home after my time is done here in the office.

Cheers, Geoff

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