December 15, 2011 11 Comments
We have always argued that effective facilitation begins with clear thinking, that unclear speaking or imprecise writing are indicative of unclear thinking. Dr Dyer’s transliteration of “The Tao“, also called “Living the Wisdom of the Tao.”
The 17th verse begins and completes as follows:
people barely know one exists . . .
. . . The great leader speaks little,
He never speaks carelessly.
He works without self-interest
and leaves no trace.
When all is finished, the people say,
“We did it ourselves.”
One can easily substitute the term facilitator for leader or include the adjective “facilitative” in front of the term, as in “facilitative leader.” Modern, facilitative leaders create an environment that is conducive to productivity, where all of the meeting participants feel that they have a personal responsibility to contribute and own the outputs, the deliverables. Clear learnings that we can import from Dr Dyer’s treatment of the 17th verse also include:
- Facilitators create an environment that helps everyone act responsibly.
- Effective facilitators are able to make themselves visible when the group reaches high performance mode. Although most groups do not reach this level, when they do, the facilitator becomes a scribe.
- When it is time for accolades, facilitators dissolve in the background, wanting the participants to feel that the accomplishments derive from their own talents.
- Instead of believing that they know what is best for a group, they trust the group participants and the method to generate what is best for them.
- The surest way to gain the trust and confidence of participants is to allow them to make as many deacons as possible. Avoid grabbing the low-hanging fruit by answering simple content. Put even the simplest items in the form of a question.
Try being more neutral as a business agent, friend, spouse, family member, parent, etc. and be surprised by the results of people who will live up to their own answers. Remember, there is usually more than one correct answer, the real question is the taste for risk and reward, but that is another topic to be covered on a future Thursday.
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs)
- On Being Neutral – Take Only Photographs, Leave Only Bubbles (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Inspirational Tuesday: Dr. Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life (roxiciopei.wordpress.com)
- How to Facilitate Business Process Improvement: A Proven Approach Using Teams (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Crashing Through Toward Improved Facilitation (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Five Reasons to Hold a Facilitated Session (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- How To Create and Sustain a Participatory Environment (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- How To Plan Appropriate Group Processes (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Let’s Be Thankful – Where We Are Winning (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)