IIFAC Blog

How Facilitators Can Help After Disasters

How Facilitators Can Help After Disasters

In a recent training offered by Global Facilitators Serving Communities, I learned a lot about the range of facilitation skills needed to help communities recover from disasters and other crises.

Key to this work is recognizing that each phase of post-disaster recovery requires different kinds of interventions.

The GFSC identifies four stages in the psychosocial reconstruction process:

  • Survival
  • Security
  • Autonomy
  • Transcendence

Applicable to individuals, groups and entire communities, this model serves as a guide for facilitators who want to help and are not sure what to do when.

Strategies for self-care

To be truly effective in these demanding situations, as facilitators we need to bring more than our toolkit of participatory techniques to the disaster site. We need strategies for renewing our own energy so that we can work with joy as we connect with others who are struggling to rebuild their lives.

So along with your easel, paper and markers, pack your running shoes, yoga mat, and /or meditation cushion. Eat a balanced diet, think positive thoughts, laugh and smile as much as possible. Stay in touch with your own loved ones, sing and dance, be grateful for all you have been given – and then give generously.

Responding to a global need

Here is a quote from the GFSC website:

All over the world there are tremendous challenges: economic upheaval, social changes, natural disasters. Facilitation techniques are some of the most effective intervention tools for managing change, grief and building individuals’ as well as community resilience and self-reliance everywhere.

Since 2002, the GFSC has trained and mentored thousands of professionals in techniques for psychosocial reconstruction after natural and social disasters. They have worked in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela), Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and the USA.

Learn more about this inspiring, volunteer initiative

Want help in sorting out your meeting reality? Contact me for a free consultation.

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Not All Business Meetings are Alike

Generalizing about meetings – whether to complain or to recommend “best practices” – is easy. What is challenging is to recognize and respond to the ways in which meetings differ.

My friends at Lucid Meetings have identified 16 types of business meetings (plus one that is important, but falls outside the scope of their investigation). They dove into the inherent complexity of meetings and wrestled with the variables that make one meeting different from another. In the process, they also found themselves in the tangle of ways that one kind of meeting is linked to another.

As a self-confessed “meeting junkie” with a passion for helping organizations have meaningful, productive meetings, I found the resulting “taxonomy” to be both fascinating and helpful.

First of all, the report identifies three factors used to differentiate meeting types:

  • Intention (purpose and desired outcomes)
  • Format (the strength of governing rules and rituals and the role of serendipity and tolerance for surprise)
  • Participation profile (who is expected to attend, the expected leadership and participation styles, and the role relationships play among the group members)

Then we learn of the three-main groups into which the 16 kinds of meetings fall:

  • We Review, Renew, Refine: Meetings with known participants and predictable patterns (meeting types 1-5)
  • The Right Group to Create Change: Meetings with participants and patterns assembled to fit the need (meeting types 6-10)
  • Efforts to Evaluate and Influence: Meetings Between Us and Them (meeting types 11-16)

In addition to the detailed descriptions of each meeting type, the Lucid folks provide a downloadable spreadsheet so that you can take an inventory of your organization´s meetings and also provide feedback about the taxonomy.

And the 17th type of meeting? Big meetings and conferences – related to, but a world apart from, everyday business meetings as the focus of their report.

Download the complete report for free.

Want help in sorting out your meeting reality? Contact me for a free consultation.

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Team Leader’s Secret to Good Meetings: Think Like a Host

A good meeting is like a meal that leaves participants feeling nourished and energized.

A not-so-good meeting leaves people hungry, tired and irritable.

A really-bad meeting can feel like food poisoning, an allergy attack or a fatal dose of boredom, in other words, an experience to be avoided at all costs.

To get great meeting results, team leaders need to think like both a boss AND like a host. This means focusing on the work to be done in the meeting AND on the well-being of the meeting participants.

To create productive meetings and nurture effective teams, leaders need ask and answer both sets of questions. If you notice that the questions in one of the columns above are difficult for you, get help from a colleague – or a skilled facilitator – to balance your approach to meetings. Participants will thank you for being a considerate boss and a demanding host.

Need help making your meetings more participatory? Let’s schedule a short phone conversation to discuss your situation.

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Beyond Ice-Breakers: What Do We Mean By “Participatory Processes”?

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For years I have described myself as a specialist in participatory processes, naively assuming that people will understand what the work entails and why it is important.

Now that “participatory” has become a global buzz word, however, I feel the need to be more specific about what this multi-faceted concept means to me and the groups I serve.

Participatory processes are:

  • The opposite of passive observation or merely being asked to listen while others speak.
  • Enjoyable, but not frivolous.
  • Intrinsic to the overall design of a meeting, event or project.

Participatory processes:

  • Contribute directly to the outcome of the meeting, event or project.
  • Foster a sense of inclusion, of being part of a larger whole.

Participatory processes are essential when:

  • The complexity of the situation means that there is no single, correct solution.
  • There are different points of view about the issue under consideration.
  • Conflicts have already surfaced among the interested and/or affected parties.
  • Collaboration is needed to design solutions that get implemented.

To be successful, participatory processes need:

  • To take into consideration cultural differences and learning styles.
  • To provide a variety of ways that people can participate.
  • To be clear about the level impact of that the participants’ voice will have on the final decision.
  • A firm commitment from the decision-makers to honor their promises to the participants.
  • Careful planning and skilled facilitation.

Participatory processes can be used to:

  • Collect and analyze information.
  • Establish criteria for making a decision.
  • Generate and evaluate options.
  • Implement decisions.
  • Monitor and evaluate the results of the actions taken.

I agree with the leadership expert and author, Ken Blanchard, when he says that “None of us is as smart as all of us.” For me, carefully designed participatory processes are a way to stimulate and harvest our collective intelligence. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Need help making your meetings more participatory? Let’s schedule a short phone conversation to discuss your situation.

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The Leadership Team’s Guide to Making the Meta Decision

This post is excerpted from the article Making Decisions in Meetings, originally published on the Lucid Meeting blog.

Making good decisions is one of the leadership team’s primary job responsibilities. But decision making is tricky stuff. Recent research by cognitive and behavioral scientists shows that the way individuals make decisions is far from logical, and it doesn’t get any easier when you get the group involved.

Even then, making a decision is just the start. Decisions should lead to action. The process used to arrive at a decision has a big impact on both the quality of the decision and the team’s commitment to the follow-up action required.

When a leader identifies a decision that requires group involvement, either to make the decision or to carry out the actions that follow, what process can they use to get the best result?

Making the Meta Decision

The Meta Decision is deciding how to decide. To figure this out for the decision at hand, ask:

What kind of decision is this?

Determine whether the decision is risky or especially rewarding, and if the situation is simple, complicated, or complex.

Who has the authority to make this decision?

Some decisions can be made by a single person, and if they’re minor, should be. Others are complicated enough that they should involve a group. Some decisions can only be made by the Board or another governing body.

Who needs to commit to this decision for it to succeed?

Decisions lead to action. Some actions can be completed by the person making the decision; most require cooperation from the group.

Do you have or can you quickly determine viable options?

Before you can discuss the pros and cons of different options, you have to understand the real problem you’re solving and have some options to discuss. Some issues are too complex or too sensitive to work through all this during the meeting in real time.

Here’s an illustration of making the Meta Decision.

iifac-blog-june2017

The answer to the Meta Decision is:

JUST DECIDE AND ACT

  • When the decision is minor and you can execute it yourself.
  • When you can delegate the decision to someone who can decide and execute.
  • In a crisis, act quickly to stabilize the situation. You can worry about your decision-making process after the fire’s out.

MAKE A COMMAND DECISION

  • When the decision is minor and you have the authority.
  • When you need to act quickly and can minimize the risk of failure.

CONSULT THE DECISION MAKER

  • When the decision is minor, and additional expertise or buy-in is desired.
  • When the decision is major or complicated, but the responsibility for execution clear.
  • When the decision is nearly final, but needs additional vetting and buy-in.

COUNT VOTES

  • When meeting with the Board or another group legally required to do so.
  • When you need a tie breaker, deciding between two options with equal and passionate support. Why isn’t Count Votes on the map above? Because you don’t need a map to know when you’re in a board meeting, and for other situations, Counting Votes shouldn’t be one of your go-to processes.

USE CONSENSUS

  • When the decision is major and requires buy-in from the team to succeed.

You see that Consult appears twice on the illustration? That’s because the Consult decision-making process works best for most leadership teams most often.

“Who’s got the decision here?” starts a Consult decision meeting. Naming a specific decision maker in this way:

  • Creates clear accountability for the decision’s success; teams that can’t take personal responsibility for their decisions have no way to correct poor decision performance.
  • Provides a mechanism for group input; having the final decision doesn’t mean that this person has to think it through alone, or that they’re the only ones with a valid opinion.
  • Saves time, as there’s no need to go through a big process to build formal consensus.

There is both a science and an art to making decisions, and we’ve only scratched the surface here. To begin with, share this article with your team and bring some clarity to your decision-making meetings. When your team recognizes and can talk about how a decision will be made, they are much more likely to arrive at a quality decision.

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Elise Keith is the founder of Lucid Meetings, a company working to transform what it means to run successful meetings in the digital workplace. She lives in Portland, OR USA with her three children and husband co-founder.

Related Post

Similar but Not Identical: Speakers, Trainers and Facilitators

At first glance, the roles of speaker, trainer and facilitator look very similar.

  • All involve standing in front of a group and talking.
  • All require excellent communication skills.
  • All call for self-confidence without arrogance, combined with respect for those we serve.
  • All need to stay centered when faced with challenges.
  • All do best when their professional skills are matched by human warmth and a sense of humor.

Given the similarities of these competencies, it is easy to see why many professionals (myself included) offer all three of these services – and sometimes struggle to keep them separate.

Becoming crystal clear about the difference between the roles of speaker, trainer and facilitator is important if you:

  • Contract these services – so you know what skills and deliverables to ask for.
  • Provide these services – so you can help your prospective clients determine what they need (even when they mix up the terms).
  • Consume these services as a member of a group – so you can anticipate what the trainer/speaker/facilitator will ask of you.

Let´s start by looking at this (very simplified) chart.

cb-apr2017-chart-eng

Even at a quick glance, it is obvious that some of the categories overlap. For example, speakers are often on the agenda in a meeting. Good trainers share the speaker´s desire to inform and inspire as they develop their students’ capacities. Similarly, the best trainers use facilitation techniques to encourage participation in class and support the learning process.

Who talks the most?

Perhaps the characteristic that marks the principal difference between the speaker, trainer and facilitator is the amount of time each one spends talking while doing their job. That speakers mostly talk comes as no surprise; after all, that is what they are invited to do. Their listening is mostly confined to question and answer sessions – assuming they do not run out of time and skip that part of the program.

Trainers need to talk to transmit concepts and skills, but they also need to listen to discover what, if anything, those in the class are learning. Their talk-to-listen ratio, therefore, is close to 50:50.

Facilitators, however, speak very little during a meeting. Their primary interventions occur at specific moments:

  • At the beginning, to present the purpose, agenda, ground rules and expected results of the session.
  • To explain how a certain part of the meeting will be conducted (in plenary, small groups, brainstorm, open discussion, etc.).
  • To summarize the key points mentioned by the group members.
  • To conduct the decision-making process.
  • To signal where the group is in the meeting process and what comes next. (“After the break, we will address [topic X]”).

The meeting participants do most of the talking. And because many of them are poor listeners, habitually “tuning out” certain colleagues or being distracted by their cell phones, the facilitator must listen for everyone.

Meeting facilitators must not, however, take sides in the discussion or express their own opinion about the issues under discussion – much less start teaching or giving a speech.

As professionals, we need to be clear which role we are assuming, make sure our clients and audience/students/group members understand what the role entails, and then once we are in front of the group, resist the temptation to slide into another role.

As the psychologist, Daniel Goldstein, said about this kind of self-discipline, “It’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” So let´s practice staying in one of these roles at a time.

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Meetings as Ritual

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Consider for a moment the possibility that meetings are rituals.

By rituals I do not mean religious rites, although they too are rituals. Nor am I referring to personal routines, such as brushing one’s teeth, especially those that are performed unconsciously, out of habit. For the purposes of this reflection, ritual is defined as a repeatable cultural performance, a specific act performed on a specific occasion. Rituals are culturally coded behaviors that give us a heightened sense of identity and meaning. Rituals help define us as a community; they remind us of who we are, how to behave and what is of ultimate value.

The human species has invented itself through ritual. Human cultures are a product of ritual — and ritual is our primary cultural product. Because rituals both shape and mirror cultural evolution, they are a rich source of information about the social order and a powerful tool for its transformation. I am suggesting that meetings are one of the dominant rituals of our times and therefore, properly used, could serve as an effective instrument for social and cultural change.

What if we saw meetings —understood as gatherings to discuss issues of shared importance and to make collective decisions— as a basic human need, like food, sleep or sex? What if meetings were treated not as a boring obligation, but as essential for survival? What if meetings connected us to our psychic depths, to our local community, and to the great mystery? What if meetings reminded us of what is sacred, of what must be treasured and protected? How would meetings be different if we saw them as an opportunity to educate, guide, nourish and heal ourselves? What if we entered into meetings with passion, reverence, and a sense that our participation was of vital importance?

The Link Between Myth and Ritual

Myths are the “big stories” we tell about our role in the evolutionary journey of the universe. They are the narratives that, when joined to ritual, create a web of meaning out of which our individual and collective identity emerges. We are the stories we tell and the rituals we perform. So how can we harness the dual power of myth and ritual to make our meetings more bearable?

Fear and Loathing of Ritual — and Meetings

As local cultures all over the planet have become marginalized and even eradicated by the interests of multinational corporations and the governments who serve them, many rituals have lost their connection to the sacred. Most of us no longer celebrate the new moon, the solstice, the harvest or the return of migrating birds. Instead we flock to the shopping mall, pack the sports stadium and go to ugly, boring, embarrassing, oppressive, alienating, and infuriating meetings.

The rituals practiced in most meetings produce a specific kind of suffering. Decision-makers who already know what they plan to do are required to pretend to listen to the opinions of others. Participants are obliged to sit through meetings in which it is obvious that their ideas, if expressed at all, will have no real impact on the final decision. People talk too much or not at all. Agendas are too full, poorly organized or non-existent. Discussions meander, priorities are unclear, and the decision-making process swings between despotism and anarchy. And so forth!

Applying the Criteria for Good Ritual to Meetings

Here are some of the lessons we can learn from ‘good’ rituals, meaning those that inspire and energize us, that might make our meetings more meaningful and effective.

  1. Be clear about the purpose. In general, those who attend a wedding are clear about the purpose of the ritual. They do not confuse it, for example, with a football game. Do we know the true purpose of the Monday morning sales meeting? If we did (and had a choice), would we bother to attend?
  2. Know your role. The godparents at a baptism understand that they are committing themselves to the on-going spiritual education of the child. What is the role of those who attend a condominium meeting? To complain about the neighbors? To listen to committee reports? To advise the board of directors? If their role were clearer, would they behave differently?
  3. Plan ahead. Good rituals require careful preparation. A meeting in which the room is clean and the chairs in place, an agenda has been drafted, the right people are present and the needed materials are at hand sets the stage for an effective session.
  4. Make it special. Rituals transform the ordinary into something special. When we take the trouble to put flowers on the table, bake cookies for the coffee break, or simply greet people with a smile as they arrive, we send a message that beauty, caring and human connection are some of the values that guide our work.
  5. Take time to get centered. The world is full of difficulties and distractions that need to be set aside in order to enter into ritual space. A moment of silence can help get everyone mentally ‘in the room’ and focused on their intention for being there.
  6. Vary the timing and texture. Rituals can be short or long, formal or impromptu, complex or simple. Meeting formats should vary according to their purpose.

The Meeting Facilitator as Ritual Leader

If meetings are a contemporary ritual, then the facilitator can be viewed as a kind of “process priest(ess)” who helps set the tone, maintains the focus and guides group through the various stages of its work. A novice facilitator, like a recently ordained priest, may be a little insecure at first. A more experienced facilitator can handle larger, more complex groups. A seasoned facilitator who has done his/her own inner work, can serve a more shamanic role, accompanying the group through confusion and confrontation until some resolution is reached. A long or complex meeting, like a ‘big’ ceremony, calls for an experienced team of facilitators, as well as other process roles, to hold the energy. If, as suggested at the beginning of this article, meetings are culturally coded performances, then they can be modified to meet the urgencies of the times. We need meetings that invite dialogue, promote understanding, encourage collaboration, stir creativity, and meet our fundamental need for meaning and belonging. We need meetings that engage our hearts and minds and give us an opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. If we settle for less, we are wasting our time.

Do these ideas resonate for you? Please share your thoughts on the concept of meetings as ritual.

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The Deceptively Simple Question That should be in Every Facilitator’s Toolkit

The Deceptively Simple Question That should be in Every Facilitator´s Toolkit

The setting: A meeting to resolve an important issue, about which there are conflicting points of view.

Scene 1: The facilitator has just explained the purpose of the meeting. WHAT IS THE QUESTION THAT THE FACILITATOR ASKS THE GROUP NOW?

Scene 2: The facilitator has just reviewed the agenda developed to accomplish the purpose of the meeting. WHAT IS THE QUESTION THAT THE FACILITATOR ASKS THE GROUP NOW?

Scene 3: A member of the group has just presented background information related to the issue to be resolved in the meeting. WHAT IS THE QUESTION THAT THE FACILITATOR ASKS THE GROUP NOW?

Scene 4: A member of the group has just presented a proposal to resolve the issue. WHAT IS THE QUESTION THAT THE FACILITATOR ASKS THE GROUP NOW?

HINT: The question is the same for each of these moments.

Here is the question: ARE THERE ANY CLARIFYING QUESTIONS?

The key word is “clarifying.” You can amplify the question by adding, “Is there anything about the meeting purpose/proposed agenda/background information/proposal (or other part of the process) that is not clear to you?” or “Are there any words or phrases that you do not fully understand?”

Asking for clarifying questions gives participants the opportunity to pause and reflect about what they just heard and to bring into the open any confusion about what was said.

BE CAREFUL: You are not asking “Do you agree?” Opinions will be welcome later. At this point the facilitator is simply making sure that everyone in the room is focused on the same issue at the same time and that the words used are understood by all.

Speed Bumps. Like speed bumps on a busy road, asking, “Are there any clarifying questions?” BEFORE diving into the pros and cons of an issue intentionally slows down the discussion. The question sends a clear signal that mutual understanding is essential to reaching a wise decision, and encourages participants to share any doubts about the meaning of what others have said.

Here are some examples of clarifying questions.

Scene 1 (meeting purpose). If the stated purpose of the meeting is to decide on the location of a new office, a clarifying question might be, “Does this mean that today we will not be discussing what new equipment will be purchased for the office?”

Scene 2 (agenda). A clarifying question about the agenda might be, “At what point in the meeting will we discuss the timetable for moving to the new office?”

Scene 3 (background information). After a presentation of the background information by the search committee, a clarifying question might be, “Was access by public transportation taken into consideration in your search?”

Scene 4 (proposal). Once the proposal has been presented, a clarifying question might be, “How does the rent for this space compare with the other sites you considered?”

The five-second rule. After asking for clarifying questions, the facilitator should wait for five seconds, scanning the room for signs that someone wants to speak. If necessary, repeat the request for clarifying questions. If there are no questions or after all the clarifying questions have been answered, the facilitator then moves onto the next step in the process.

The challenge. If the issue is highly-charged and participants are eager to express their opinions, some may interpret the request for clarifying questions as an invitation to jump into discussion. When this happens (and it will!) the facilitator must intervene immediately, remind the group that, at this moment, you are only asking for clarifying questions and that the space for open discussion will follow.

Who benefits? The practice of asking for clarifying questions helps the group in the following ways.

  • Confusion caused by technical terms, jargon, acronyms and other language barriers can be eliminated.
  • Misconceptions can be corrected early.
  • Newcomers and others who might be reluctant to speak are invited into the conversation.
  • Leaders show that they are willing to explain unclear ideas or concepts.
  • Participants are better informed and more aligned in relation to the task at hand.
Do you ask for clarifying questions? If not, are you willing to try it? Let me know your experience with this versatile facilitation technique.

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A Cure for “Failure to Follow up” Syndrome

A Cure for Failure to Follow Up Syndrome

One of the most frequent complaints I hear about meetings is that there is no follow up to the discussion. The meeting is held, issues are debated, decisions might be made, but once the meeting ends, nothing happens. No constructive action occurs. It almost seems as if the meeting never took place.

So at the next meeting, there is no progress to report, only missed deadlines and lost opportunities. Group members are blamed for being apathetic and irresponsible. The leadership team, if there is one, looks incompetent. Frustration and disenchantment set in. And the unresolved issues need to be reopened…

To reverse this downward spiral, add NEXT STEPS as the last item on the agenda. Do not let anyone leave the meeting until a list is generated with specific commitments about WHO will do WHAT by WHEN.

Time saving time Tip 1: Specify the next steps as they arise during the discussion. Write them on an easel sheet or white board titled Next Steps or ask the person taking the meeting minutes to keep a running list of the “to-dos.” This will make it easier to consolidate and review the list at the end of the session.

Time saving time Tip 2: While you still have everyone´s attention, remember to set the date and time for the next meeting.

“We mean it” Tip 1: Include all this information in the meeting minutes and in the reminders sent out before the next meeting.

“We mean it” Tip 2: Conduct a status update on all the commitments at the next meeting.

“We mean it” Tip 3: Adopt a ground rule that says “Do not commit to tasks that you know you will not complete.”

Reality check: Ask yourself and your team these questions:

  • Do we have a written agenda for every meeting?
  • Are “Next Steps” an integral part of every agenda?
  • Do we leave enough time (5-15 minutes) to review and refine the proposed next steps?
  • Do we get a formal commitment from each person assigned to a task?
  • Do we make those commitments part of the written record of the meeting?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is “no” or “sometimes,” the team needs to become more disciplined regarding Next Steps.

If your answer to the Reality Check is “yes, but we still have trouble with accountability,” consider providing more support for those who assume specific responsibilities. Assigning an “accountability buddy” (another member of the group) to stay in touch with each person who accepted the primary responsibility can strengthen team solidarity and increase the probability that the task will get done.

Drastic measures: If “failure to follow up” syndrome persists, STOP HOLDING MEETINGS that perpetuate the cycle of “all talk and no action.”

When good faith efforts to implement these suggestions do not produce significant change, the problem goes deeper than lack of clarity about what needs to be done and who will do it. Take a break. Bring in a consultant. If necessary, dissolve the group. If possible, start again – and from now on be sure to put Next Steps on the agenda for every meeting.

Need help getting post-meeting follow up? Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your meeting challenges.

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Power and Consciousness in Groups

A few days ago I was invited to talk about my experience with sharing power when facilitating a group.

This challenging proposal made me look back in time and remember the day in 2000 when I met Beatrice Briggs at a social gathering in Uruguay.

Just to start a conversation I asked her, “Consensus? What is it all about?” She replied: “It is about sharing power in groups.”

Something in me stopped and I asked, “How is that possible?”

All at once I was flooded with the memory of being a survivor of a thousand lost battles in countless groups where the lack of consciousness about power-sharing had led to disaster.

My husband had been insistent about my meeting Bea and I always replied, “I have taken many courses, met many teachers. . .”

Nevertheless, after this conversation I took the course she offered at the Chemistry department of the University of the Republic in Montevideo.

And there I found a totally different universe. An incredibly powerful door was opened for me. I had a feeling of expansion and clarity that I could not yet find the words to express.

I have always been passionate about working with groups and had been involved in many, but this was different. I felt completely open, expanded, focused, living and manifesting my personal power. What made it different? The answer was—and is—the PROCESS, the HOW.

I learned that designing processes consciously is about knowing where every move comes from.

Little by little I discovered how to design a structure that permits the “expression of the self,” the sharing of each participant’s soul and personal power in a way that is functional, clear, orderly, and accessible to all.

Once I began to understand that consensus seeks solidarity, not unanimity, I realized that as facilitators we need to find ways to allow the inherent diversity in the group to flourish. We need to create a safe container in which all participants can express their truth. We must encourage each human being to show the best possible version of themselves.

So now I understand that my job as a facilitator is to shift power from the front of the room—the traditional focus of authority—and let go of my own impulse to control the outcome. I am there to serve the group in its quest for a decision that they can support.
I have learned the importance of asking two key questions: Who decides? and, How are decisions made? And now I observe what happens when a group begins to answer these questions, noticing if the participants open up or shut down, claim their power or hide from it.

When the approach to conversation changes in a group, the field of knowledge changes. The people in the group begin to relate differently to each other and co-create very different results.

Now, I invite you as leaders to consider these questions: How do we design our meetings? How do we make decisions? Are we conscious of the importance of allowing for the expression of each individual’s personal power?

Others have said it: Power is not outside. It is not scarce. It is in each person. Our responsibility as leaders is to create a group field that changes how we conduct conversations.

Remember, the indicators are in the group field and each person’s body connects us to that field. Expansion, joy, light, are good hints that each individual’s personal power is present.

Do not forget: this is possible. It only requires consciously designing and sustaining the field in order to achieve change.

Thank you!!

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About the author:

Ana has been a professional facilitator since 2002. Her expertise includes training facilitators in Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa. She has assisted Beatrice Briggs in the design and continual improvement of the professional development programs offered by IIFAC.


Editor´s note: This text is based on a talk given by Ana at Human Camp Leaders, Montevideo 2016. You can see the video here.

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