When you have an opinion but manage not to give it, that’s when you know you can facilitate. Just ask the queen!
To do nothing is the hardest job of all
I train skilled technicians and presenters to become facilitators and that really is the hardest job of all. How do you move from being the expert to becoming the one who stays silent, just asking the questions and listening to everyone “get it wrong”!?
If you believe in the value of consensus and that group decisions, built with engagement and the creativity of all can have more lasting value than simple diktats, then facilitation is for you but goodness it is hard.
In episode 4 of this marvellous Netflix series, fog descends on 1952 London. Queen Mary explains to the young sovereign that above all, the one thing she is not entitled to do is to “have an opinion”.
To be impartial is not natural, not human
The same goes for my trainee facilitators. The moment you declare a position you are no longer able to claim that independence and neutrality so vital in moving a team towards a successful outcome and the magic of consensus.
Remember – just silence and questions.