Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facilitate … by watching, listening, participating.

I watched ... I listened ... I supported ... I participated! Is this facilitation? Yes! Last week, I was part of a gathering of community leaders celebrating accomplishments in their communities. I was a support person for the facilitation team and since they were so fantastic, I was able to enjoy being a participant.

I had so much fun immersing myself in the conversations without the responsibility of focussing objectively on the process, group dynamics, timing, and ebb and flow of the discussion.

I learned so much from watching and listening to the facilitators and other participants. It is so great to see different ways of doing things. I observed unique ways of opening the discussions, making eye contact with others, and explaining discussion methods. I laughed my head off at how a squealing monkey stuffed toy was thrown around the group.

As an added bonus, some of the participants volunteered to facilitate several discussion activities. They invited us to explore our leadership styles through four discussion techniques. Another revelation! I had successfully used the four techniques many times before; however, seeing them combined in one discussion activity was a new and effective approach.

Thanks to the fabulous group of talented individuals at the ACE Communities Celebration Retreat. I learned so much by watching, listening, participating.

My facilitation blog question is: What have you learned about facilitation by NOT facilitating?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Barb - great blog. And its interesting because much of what I have learned about facilitation has come from you. So basically, my answer to your question is.... how to facilitate in a thoughtful and engaging way. When I'm stuck or unsure I often ask myself: what would Barb do? And the squealing monkey? Well, that is a whole OTHER story.