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ASK, NOT TELL

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Rethinking Facilitation

Updated: Mar 24


Nov 13 G100

It was a recent talent development workshop co-facilitated by me. In short, in a few occasions I thought that we were about to hit the brick wall. But it did not turn out to be the case. In fact, there were a few participants whom I had anticipated to be upset with our arrangement. Yet, they turned out to be among those who appreciated the workshop the most (according to our 1-on-1 conversations)


It forces me to challenge some of my assumptions on my facilitation work. My current assumptions are:


· Facilitators (to be specific the learning facilitators) should ALWAYS support AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE the participants to the extent that the latter are pleased.

· Facilitators (again for learning) should NEVER trick the participants to failure, even for the good intention of experiential learning


I have thought very hard on point 2. I think I will still hold point 2 though it seems that the learners did not really mind. In the language of ‘Immunity to Change’, point 1 is probably a BIG ASSUMPTION. And I would like to assume differently now:


· Facilitators should ALWAYS support the participants. The purpose however is to achieve the contracted learning objective but NOT to please them. In fact, in order to achieve the objectives, the participants may get upset during the process.


The question for myself – What else can I do to shift my BIG ASSUMPTION?

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