Happy New Year! As many of us start 2010 with the long-standing tradition of making (and hopefully keeping) New Year resolutions, I reflected on the meaning of the word and how I could apply to facilitation. The Webster’s New World Dictionary and Encarta Dictionary include the following definitions of resolution which I think are very apropos to the art and science of facilitation:
· The process of resolving something such as a problem or dispute
· A firm decision to do something
· Determination: firmness of mind or purpose
· The part of a literary work such as a narrative, play, novel, etc. in which the plot is explained or made clear
· The musical progression from a dissonant to a consonant chord or note
Facilitation is very much about people working as a group to resolve a problem and to make strong decisions. Each individual in the group hopefully reaches firmness of mind to support the group’s decision. In this New Year, I resolve to continue to use effective and appropriate facilitation skills to enable groups to talk about their topic of interest, to reach firm and purposeful decisions, and to enhance their ways of working effectively together.
I really like the definitions of resolution as the part of a literacy work in which the plot is explained or made clear and as a musical progression from a dissonant to consonant chord or note. I love the moment in a book in which the story becomes clear. I also love the change in sound when musicians in a band move from warming up to their first song. When applying these definitions to facilitation, I often find that there is a time in a facilitated discussion when the group members suddenly have a breakthrough, a common understanding of an issue such as a book plot becoming clear or a different way of combining information and opinions into a new “musical” sound. These moments of resolution in a group discussion lead to greater collaboration and meaningful decisions.
In 2010, I resolve to use my skills as a facilitator to help groups to achieve and create coordinated, clear, and beautiful-sounding discussions.
My blog conversation questions are: Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year? Why or why not? What experiences have you had with a group achieving a strong resolution? How might you resolve to better contribute to group discussions and decisions?