At the end of a breakfast session recently where I facilitated a session on personal values I was presented with a lovely gift book on facilitation. I joked that I took the hint! I enjoy facilitation, in fact it gives me the kind of happiness that we should all try and get to at work.
Facilitating a team or workgroup is an important part of leadership. Drawing out the blocks that stop us being mindful and in the present, ensuring we’re all heard, using appreciative inquiry to help others deeply understand their issues to grow all those present, are some of the hallmarks of great facilitation leadership.
As you do more you start to notice who’s talking about the topic and who’s talking in the topic. I’ve noticed this a lot in storytelling. Some people tell stories from the heart, others share what the story is about. There’s quite a difference and it can be that those talking about the story aren’t ready for that deep sharing that comes with authentic leadership.
But there can be another reason. So many people are in a rush – give me the bottom line, what’s the key point, we’re all busy so need to move on – you know the signals that espouse efficiency and signal impatience with real meaning.
So if someone in your team is not opening up, try time. Set aside some facilitated time, time to properly hear, be patient, ensure everyone knows not to speak until it’s their turn and you’ll be amazed what comes up. The leadership gems are available for the sake of an hour or so of time. You’ll need to role-model the listening discipline, watch you don’t watch the watch and actively listen.
Not really that complicated, but a rare gift in our busy lives.