Report from Facilitation Teleclass
As one of the winners of last month's prize, I agreed to post my thoughts from the Teleclass on Facilitation offered by Roger Schwarz. He sent out a case and some slides of the model he used beforehand. He reviewed these on the call and then took questions and cases of difficult situations from participants.
He advocated a Mutual Learning Model, and most of his advice was the fundemental and yet still radical idea of saying out loud what you observe going on and letting the group see why you are doing what you are doing.
Below are the notes:
Facilitator Training Notes from Schwarz Teleclass
How We Contribute to Our Clients' Challenges - and How to Change That
Applying models from Chris Argyris
Espoused theory - the way we say we interact
Theory-in-use – what you actually do - often theory that we’re unaware of
90% of us design our behavior based on values that get us what we don’t want
Unilateral Control Model (UCM) (Model One in Argyris work)
2nd slide – UCM
example of facilitating to get someone talking too much to talk less, by cutting him off, saying we want to hear from others, and we’ll come back to you (but not really)
3rd slide – Mutual Learning model
How do I get all of the info out so that group can make informed free choice with their commitment, and compassion?
So speak up and say to person who is talking more frequently that others “Jeff, I notice that you’ve been speaking each time any other person speaks and that you’ve been talking for a longer period of time – is that right?” “I also notice that Sara and Ron have been rolling their eyes when Jeff has spoken the last 2 times, am I right?” “So I’m wondering if you all have some concerns about Jeff’s participation – am I right?”
You’ve got some sort of contract with the group to make these kind of interventions – let them make an informed free choice to engage in this kind of interaction
3 principles with Mutual Learning Model:
Curiosity – remain curious, not wedded to my interpretation
Transparent – about what I’m thinking and why I’m doing what I’m doing
Accountability – expecting each person to be accountable for this behavior and I’m accountable for mine
We often collude with our clients ahead of time about the “difficult person” and we agree to “manage” them for the client instead of inviting them to take accountability and do it in a mutual learning model.
Talk to the client ahead of time and respect their informed free choice
Transparency – let your clients know why you’re doing what you’re doing
Think about how you could say it out loud and how that would sound – unilateral control stuff will sound crazy, but mutual learning will sound okay
Question from participant: How to build the trust needed for this?
Roger answers: The general assumption is that you need to have trust with the client first to use this, but Roger says that using this approach is what builds the trust with the client
Trusting yourself enough – stems from ability to trust the process and be willing to try it to see how it works
Examples from participants:
She finds herself in situations where she feels like she made a mistake and how to get back on track
Meeting of leadership support of a specific team – one person was talking about her individual feelings vs. the team
She felt like she should have intervened to check in with the team
She did not intervene – why? – b/c she wanted the individual to talk and was concerned about her, felt blinded to the rest of the group
Roger suggested that she could have said all of this out loud in the group
How to be curious and compassionate when questioning someone rather than thinking about it as challenging them.
Remember that they have the ability to make an informed free choice to not participate.
If there’s an underlying assumption that the people are there not under their own choice, but b/c the boss made them come – how to surface that assumption and discuss it
Avoid as facilitator becoming the central repository of information by meeting separately with individuals. Let the group be the repository of information.
Have others there to give you feedback in the moment to catch you when you go toward unilateral control model
Or talk to people beforehand to strategize options beforehand
Or listen to recordings of yourself afterwards to notice patterns, then work on those patterns
Offer 2 teleclasses a month – 1 is free
Radical and powerful approach to nonverbal behavior in groups is the next theme.