Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Zen of Facilitation

While getting ready to go back to work after being off for the Thanksgiving holidays, I came across the article, "The Zen of Facilitation." I read the article at a session at the NWP Annual Meeting in Philadelphia the week prior to our holiday break.

The article is by Joellen P. Killion and Lynn A. Simmons. It differentiated between the behavior/beliefs of a “facilitator” and the behavior/beliefs of a “trainer”. The article really helped me come to a better understanding of what it means to “facilitate” rather than “train”. I wish I would have read the article years ago. It’s a great article and I enjoyed reading it because I can reflect on the past years as a facilitator and identify with some of the points made by the authors.

One quote in the article that I really liked was:

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need... My best work is done when I forget my own point of view; the less I make of myself, the more I am... This is the wisdom...: to let go in order to achieve.
This reminds me about how I need to make the effort to read and talk with others who don't necessarily share my point of view. I need to become exposed to new perspectives in order to generate my new often I forget this. Through this Zen-like process we can all expand our view, increase our knowledge, and deepen our learning.

Another thing the article mentions, which caused great debate at the table in which I sat was:

... facilitation decisions are made spontaneously rather than by a set of specified outcomes.
As opposed to trainers, who operate from a pre-established plan that directs the participants toward specified outcomes, Killion and Simmons argue that facilitators do not begin with a set outcome or resolution - that the plan emerges as the participants work.

What are your thoughts? Does facilitation have pre-conceived outcomes?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad you work with a couple of trainers... There used to be three.