The real challenge of facilitation

6 September 2012 3 By Viv McWaters

Everybody’s afraid. Of something. The future. The past. Our capability, or inability; the voice in our head that says yes and the other one that says, no. Can I? Will I? Should I? Will I look foolish? Make a mistake? Be successful? Be too successful?

This is good to remember when facilitating, or with a group of people at any time. There will be a variety of expectations, and a variety of needs, stated and unstated.

The trap to avoid, I think, is to try and please everyone. This might lead to nobody being unhappy, and also nobody being particularly excited or challenged either. Lowest common denominator, safe-as-houses facilitation. And events.

While it’s easy to focus on techniques as a facilitator, what’s more challenging for me is working on compassion and bravery. Compassion to know that people are scared. And bravery to take them to their learning edge anyway.