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....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning


  • David

Intended Messiness (Part 2)

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Following from the argument from the last post, there are 2 questions

1. How to assist the participants to learn from the odd moments instead of just staying in the ‘complaint’ mode in those moments?

2. What are ‘good’ odd moments and what are those ‘bad’ ones to avoid?

Capitalizing Messiness – To the first question, the first and foremost thing is how centered the facilitator is. It is about how well he / she can rise above the emotion – to observe self, pause and then use rather than be consumed by the moments. Practicing EQ helps here. Without such consciousness, the first question is not relevant at all.

Assuming the facilitator is able to find space to consider this question, there are different ways to approach it depending on the situation. In the scenario described above, I would probably hold a fish bowl i.e. facilitator team in the inner circle and participants in the outer circle. The facilitators basically hold a design team meeting in response to the participants’ feedback. The benefits are that:

  • It makes the participants feel heard

  • It transits the energy in the room from ‘I do not like that….’ to ‘what can we do about it?’

  • It allows space for the facilitator team to work on the feedback

  • It demonstrates how to tap into collective wisdom (among the facilitators)

After some 20-30 mins in fish bowl, all go back to one big circle and work on the question ‘What can we ALL do together to make the remaining 2 days a good experience?’ with the input from the design team meeting. Lastly, I would leave some 10 mins to jointly reflect on the question ‘What can we learn from the experience this morning so far?’

My thought on the 2nd question to follow…..

Read the related posts here:

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