Facilitating Change

Tomorrow I head to Manchester to meet up with my 3 co-facilitators for the Facilitating Change event.

Facilitating Change is an exploration of the values that underpin and support effective facilitation. It’s an antidote to the view of facilitation that’s all “tools and techniques”. For a while the event had a nickname – a working title of “Super Intuitive Ninja Facilitation” or SNIF for short. It gives you a sense of what the event is working towards – grounding participants in themselves, in trusting their intuition and building on their and the group’s values (and yes, I acknowledge that there are those uncomfortable with aspiring to be compared with ninja… violence, assassination and all that).

The event itself starts on Friday evening and runs for a week. Yep, a whole week. When the idea was first mooted a couple of years ago part of the frustration was that we rarely if ever got the time to get deep enough to really do values-based work. The only way to get that time was to put on an event ourselves. We toyed with 10 days, but pragmatism won out and it ended up as a week. Not that I’ll be there that whole time – other commitments to juggle. The group will have the dubious pleasure of my company for the first half of the event. Rhizome’s Adam is made of sterner stuff and will be there throughout, so we hope to bring you reflections on the whole process.

There should be plenty to reflect on – it’s an event that will stretch all those involved, including (especially?) the facilitation team. I certainly hope to come home a changed facilitator. There are edges I’ve been skirting for a while and I hope to plunge over them during the week. Some of them are common to many facilitators from certain cultural backgrounds – issues to do with facilitating conflict, facilitating strong emotion – how to do so effectively from  base of the values of facilitation, for example.

I’m not sure whether we’ll be blogging from the event – depends on time, energy and the consent of the group. But we’ll certainly share some learning afterwards.