Do you Find it Challenging to Facilitate Other People?
Facilitating someone is nothing more than offering them the road to drive on.
Facilitation Is Just Peripheral Support
The person you are facilitating to do The Work is in the driver’s seat. That’s the first thing to get clear about.
If there is any tendency to want to fix or help the other person, it will get in the way of allowing them to drive this road of self-inquiry. It would be analogous to being a “back seat driver,” which is usually more annoying than helpful.
So you might think, “I’ll just say nothing.” That’s one way to not be a back seat driver. And that could be a good first step. But facilitation is more than that.
Facilitation Is Not Completely Passive Either
If the person doing The Work with you is getting lost in their stressful story and is digging themselves in deeper, a facilitator points out where they stopped answering the question and went off.
It’s like a driver who is drifting out of the lane. Sitting quietly as a passenger and not saying anything as the car prepares to go off the road is not right either. There is a fine line between not being a back seat driver and not letting the driver take the car off the road.
The Work Is a Clear Straight Road
Most drivers want to stay on the road because it allows for speedy progress. But sometimes the mind will cause a driver to think the ditch is safer. A facilitator is there to keep encouraging them to try the road.
This is not about control. The person doing The Work is in full control. But the facilitator is there as a reminder that the power of The Work lies in answering the questions, not in discussion, defense, elaboration, etc.
Facilitation Will Be Different for Each Client
If someone is very experienced in doing The Work, they may need nothing from me at all. I just ask the four questions and turnarounds and listen as they do their work. They already know how to drive the road.
But if someone is going into justification, or gets snagged on something while doing The Work, then I may need to say something more to bring them back to the questions and turnarounds.
The key for me is to adjust according to what is needed. This is different each time. And I’m willing to “do it wrong” by testing both extremes: stepping in too much or too little.
This Skill Grows with Practice
I find my balance between over facilitating and under facilitating through trial and error working with different people.
And as always, I let my stress be my guide. If I notice any stress while facilitating, I write down my stressful thoughts and question them. This has helped me to become both more comfortable while facilitating and better able to serve as a facilitator.
Have a great weekend,
“Wherever you come from, I’ll come from that same position in order to meet you.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World