Leading a group to achieve a common goal in no easy task. Individuals aren’t always in agreement with one another and aren’t always clear on where they want to go. It takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude, courage, and authenticity to meet the demands of this role.
Many competency models tend to ignore the Facilitator’s Self-Awareness, yet the practice and modeling of this trait is key to building more highly functioning teams.
Self-Facilitation is a necessary skill requiring you to practice conscious and mindful action in each and every moment, which can be challenging in the presence of dynamic, sometimes dysfunctional groups. It requires you to be conscious of content, context, process, and human psychology in any given moment. Facilitating happens in real time and in front of other people. Therefore, facing the challenges brought on by this role is transformative for the practitioner as well as for the group itself.
Playing the Inner Game of Facilitation prepares you to serve your groups in the best way possible because the very process of leading groups can be a catalyst for expanding self-awareness. Facilitating groups can cause you to see your inner terrain more obviously than nearly any other event in life.
Why is this?
You Must Facilitate your “Inner Group”. Our personalities contain multiple aspects that often rise up and struggle to take charge. Recall how you show up in the world when you’re in public vs. in private; with a lover vs. a casual co-worker; with a child vs. an adult; or writing a letter vs. playing a round of Ping-Pong. Our personalities are multifaceted and our various aspects show up as needed. Facilitators must be adept at managing their “inner groups,” their sub personalities, so that they can best focus on the group’s needs.
We facilitate our inner group the same way we facilitate any group. We listen and be curious about various points of view, keep the goal (your intention) in mind, choose behaviors that support your goals for the group, then own and adjust (and sometimes apologize) for behaviors that don’t.
Read more about Facilitating Yourself here.