Who Are You Facilitating?

Lots of people attend sessions that are being facilitated.  At any session, some of the following people will be in the room with you:
  • Middle managers caught between worker and management preferences and expectations.
  • Reluctant changers who are trying to join in, but may not yet be fully committed.
  • Flexible thinkers who can see their situations from a range of perspectives.
  • Fast adopters who embrace new technologies and new ways of doing things.
  • Shy, taciturn people reluctant to speak their mind. 
  • Dug in firm resistors who are willing to circumvent any attempts at change.
  • Overt wear my life on my sleeve types who are difficult to shut up.
  • A grieving person who just lost a significant person in their life.  They are bereft and there is probably nothing you can do.
  • Genuinely psychologically disturbed people who do not see reality in the way others do.
  • "The Boss" who may or may not be able to hold back until others have had their say. 
  • Frustrated facilitators who would rather have your role and be in control.
  • Analytical, scientists or engineers who crave factual information and tangible reality.
  • Distracted mobile device users who are only here in body while texting and tweeting.
  • A person who was told by their boss/colleague to attend, but has no idea about the topic.
  • Know-it-alls who (maybe correctly) believe that they have all of the knowledge they need on a topic.
  • Fatigue affected exhausted people for whom this seems a distraction from their real work (or sleep).
  • Caffeine and nicotine junkies who are twitching externally or internally awaiting their fix.
  • People with legitimate reasons to leave before you are finished, whether or not you finish when you said you would.
  • Reflective people who need to think things through before they respond.  They are slow to participate, but are not necessarily reluctant.
  • Evangelists who have a message to share, which is not necessarily useful,
  • Someone who rushed in late, and missed the introduction, but really needed to be there for it.
  • Technical, concrete thinkers unwilling to engage in 'what if' and other conceptual discussion.
How you treat these people is your call.  I am just letting you know that they are there.  And remember, the person who was a 'distracted mobile device user' at the last session might be the most eager participant at this session.  Leave behind any history you have, and try to treat everyone as a fresh participant every time.