Facilitation myths

I was lucky and honoured to be part of a panel of facilitators at the IAF conference. We were charged with the task of cracking open the lid on what we’ve often held dear as facilitation commandments.

This was no ordinary panel either! Moderated by Andrew Rixon and including Noel Tan from Singapore, Rhonda Tranks from Melbourne and Bob Dick, a facilitation guru from Brisbane. So it was a great learning experience for me to be in this company.

To raise the controversy bar right from the start, I’ll list the facilitation myths that were up for busting:

  • Facilitation has to be fun
  • The wisdom or answer is always in the group
  • Facilitation should always be inclusive and not make people feel uncomfortable
  • We have to facilitate outcomes
  • You can trust the process

I’ll be sharing some of the myths that were busted in my newsletter. But for starters, we’ll get going on the myth of trusting the process

This was a myth put forward by Bob Dick. He suggested that there was a real danger in sticking with the process you’ve planned for a workshop…no matter what. Things change quickly in a workshop situation. Just think of the variety of people, their experiences, expertise and opinions that you encounter each day in your work. Now put this into a workshop situation, where there’s often pressure to develop a ‘solution’….there’s going to be adjustments to the process on a constant basis.

Agreement from the panel and the group came on knowing your process thoroughly, so you can quickly recognise when to make a change, and what that might be.

So what are your thoughts on this and some of the other myths?

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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