Facilitation is about noticing things… and loving them

I’m not trying to be corny, but this post has been sparked off by our neighbourly red squirrel who’s just tottered passed the kitchen window. I think I’ve inherited my mother’s exasperating way of noticing little things. And loving them. Exasperating, because a drive through the countryside will be full of “Oo, look…”. All the time. Regardless of the conversation or music one is trying to listen to.

Facilitation is about noticing things in the group: repeated words and fears, stifled criticism, exciting ideas, puzzled expressions. It’s about doing everything one can to notice and understand what it is a group is trying to articulate and what it is capable of achieving. Which talents, potential and needs it encapsulates. And it’s about loving the things you notice.

Love in facilitation is trust. It is curiosity. It is respect. At least that’s the way I want to think of it. It doesn’t mean we have to become friends with the group. I’m not friends with the red squirrel. I’m not a part of his (or her) world most of the time; just when he/she decides to go on a mission passed my window.

If we, as facilitators, don’t catch ourselves saying “Oo, look” we’re probably in the wrong job. We have to transfer our findings, our trust, curiosity and respect onto the group. Imagine a whole group inately watching each other with the trust, curiosity and respect I’m talking about (yes, I know it’s hard, but why not use the term “love”). There’s no limit to what that group’s capable of!

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