Sources of Wisdom

My parents taught me a lot about facilitation.  They are ministers of religion in the Uniting Church, and have had a huge impact on my life, and the lives of many other people.  Here I thought I would share some of what I have learnt from them about facilitation.

I learnt from my Mum:
  • The importance of people.  Stories are about people.  Relationships are about people.  Our experiences are generally about being with people.  Even the financial stuff is ultimately about people.  At core, it is all about people.
  • The value of 'targeted preparation'.  This means sitting at your desk and focussing your attention on preparing a script.  For my Mum this was close to word-for-word.  For me this is not word-for-word, but it captures the key content areas I need to cover, and key points to be made in these areas.  And it makes me more professional.
  • The potential for engagement that comes from asking questions when they are least expected - and listening closely to the answers.
  • The benefits of practice.
  • The need to take a moral stance and do the right thing.

I learnt from my Dad:
  • The importance of fun.  Laughter must be the greatest ice-breaker.
  • The value of 'eclectic preparation'.  This means reading widely around your topic, so you understand the context of your topic, and you can talk knowledgeably about related topics.
  • The potential for props to make your message memorable.  (From giant cardboard Mr Men to a cuddly near-life-sized wombat.)
  • The delightful unexpected that can come from not practising.
  • The need to know your own mind and do the right thing.
Thank-you Mum and Dad!