What I’m really thinking – the facilitator

I wrote this for the column of this name in the Guardian Saturday magazine. They didn’t use it, so Rhizome blog readers have exclusive access!

Phew, they’ve all settled down at their tables. Was I clear enough on what they had to do? At table 3 that bloke in the suit is doing all the talking. A couple of others are looking bored. Should I intervene, or should I rely on the discussion leader remembering what we agreed about everyone having their say? I became too much the centre of attention in the first session – did I do enough to make sure they focussed on the task? Whoops – there’s another coffee cup kicked over. If I collect up the cups, am I looking after the carpets or just distracting myself from my anxieties? They’ll never manage to serve lunch in 45 minutes with the buffet laid out like that. I must make sure people can get to it from both ends. I think we might run out of bluetack: perhaps I should make the blobs smaller. On the subject of bluetack, will the people who run this venue mind that we have stuck flipchart paper over their newly painted walls? Shall I check how easily the paint comes off? I think we are going to overrun this session. If we take another twenty minutes, will we be able to make it up after lunch? Can I cut back that session on action planning and if so which bits should I cut out? Should I check that with the client at lunchtime? Yes, an extra twenty minutes it is. I need to make sure that the timekeepers at each table take on the responsibility for finishing at the new time. Here goes: “Hello everyone….”

… “Well, thank you, I’m glad you thought it went well. Nothing to it really.”