9 September 2008 0 By Viv McWaters

I like aerial views (maybe it was all that flying I did in small planes many years ago); and I like maps. I like to know where I am in the world, or in a city or new location. It’s the first thing I ask for at a hotel in a new city. Needless to say I’m a huge fan of Google Earth. I also like close ups – the detail of a bird’s feather or a single leaf. A bit like the pics on the side of my blog – all taken in my garden. And I’m in awe of the universe. Living in the southern hemisphere, away from light pollution I have an excellent view of the stars, the Milky Way and all the space between.

This week I’ve been planning a few facilitated workshops. It occurred to me that I keep changing perspective – far away, trying to look at the whole system, and then zooming in to focus on details. Then I try and stand in the space between and work out what I might do that could be useful. Usually there’s some common elements in what I do as a facilitator:

1. Provide a framework within which to work (a bit like a map but not as detailed, more of a ‘mud map’)

2. Make the abstract concrete – activities or processes that enable people to work with their ideas by touching and feeling them, not just talking about them. Patti Digh explains this well in her recent podcast at Winkipod.

3. Clarify where this work fits in the bigger picture – why it matters and what it’s contributing.

And that’s it! Anything more is just getting in the way.