Seven Secrets to Facilitating Power

FacilitationSo many people I meet want to improve their skills as facilitators.  In talking to people though and seeing them in action, I don't get the sense they need to focus on hard skills like timekeeping and taking stack.  I think what people really want is to be able to unlock the transformative power of groups.  This is why I am writing a book!  Over 20 years of facilitation practice, I've learned a lot, reflected a lot, and distilled what I've learned into seven secrets that can help people not only navigate any facilitation challenge, but inspire others to turn towards each other and see themselves in new ways. The thing is, in the spirit of facilitating power, I want to turn this whole book-writing thing on its head, and I need your help! If any of this sounds exciting to you, please read on...

If you're reading this, you've probably done some facilitation.  You've had mixed experiences in meetings and workshops.  The good experiences have allowed you to glimpse the transformative power of groups.  The no-so-good experiences have motivated you to learn more about the power of facilitation.  You might be asking yourself questions like, 

"How can we make the most of our time together?" 

"How can we build the kind of trust that allows us to 'go deep'?" 

"What do I do if my agenda falls apart in the middle of the session or isn't what the group really needs?" 

"How do I deal with issues of oppression if they come up and we really don't have the time to go there?" 

"How do I make a session interactive when I have a lot of material to cover?"

"How do I make sure all voices are heard without dredging up too many issues that can't be dealt with in the time we have?"

If you're asking yourself questions like these, you are ready to take your facilitation to the next level.  You are recognizing that facilitation is about more than taking stack, keeping time, or being charming.  Maybe you've been facilitating for a while now, growing your personal toolbox, and have taken your craft far enough to see that it could benefit from you stepping back to really listen.

No matter where you are along the way, you see that you have a role to play as a facilitator and that this whole facilitation thing is a life-long journey.  

Most of the literature written to support facilitators is focused on very specific skills.  While you know concrete skills are important to your craft, you want to avoid essentializing yourself as the facilitator.

In my 20 years facilitating almost every type of session with a wide range of groups and contexts, I've found the best facilitation happens when two key conditions are in place:

1) The facilitator has designed a session to allow for maximum structured participation from the group.

2)  The facilitator is at ease enough to truly listen and be responsive to needs and opportunities as they arise.

So instead of focusing heavily on discreet skills, I've excavated seven powerful secrets that will be your allies on this journey to awaken groups to their own power.


The Seven Secrets to Facilitating Power:

1. We are evolving.

2. We want to be in community, but we need practice.

3. Everyone is here for a reason.

4. Everyone wants to play.

5. Everything is happening for a reason.

6. Stories are our most valuable resource.

7. Power only really exists in the now.


Over the next year, I am writing a book titled, Why Am I Talking?  Seven Secrets to Facilitating Power.  Each of the seven secrets is powerful in and of itself, and yet, in the book I will elaborate on each one with:

  • Stories to illustrate the secret in action and its energetic impact on you and through you to the group
  • Ready-to-use exercises and practices to help you design your next workshop, panel, meeting, community event, or training... and activate the power of each secret
  • Personal prompts and exercises to allow each secret to liberate you along your own path as a facilitative leader

How YOU can get involved: Please join Facilitating Power or "like" the Facilitating Power Facebook page and check it out often to participate in the writing of this book and receive practical tools to enhance your skills as a Facilitative Leader in any field!


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