Some Notes on Preparation

Being in nature... (all rights reserved)
I wrote earlier about the way Carla Rogers of EVOLVE has written about working in facilitation with Indigenous people in a post called 'Facilitating Difference From Oneness'.  I wrote in the earlier post about her theme of exploring difference through a rich appreciation of what we have in common.  (Click here to read the earlier post.)

In the post, Carla also wrote about preparation and flexibility while facilitating.  She sees it as important to have a gap between preparation and facilitation in order to be truly present as a facilitator.  I would go a step further and suggest leaving a gap between everything and facilitation, although that might be a bit impractical.  In the past I have done this by walking away while people were gathering.  Now I feel the need to relate to participants before commencing, so I need to get into my personal space earlier.  Being in nature is a good way to do this, as is being with children you love.

Carla also wrote that she could be criticised for undertaking very thorough preparation, as it stifles flexibility when you facilitate.  However, although she undertakes thorough preparation, she is happily flexibly, even subscribing to the guiding principles of Open Space Technology.  (Whoever comes is the right people; whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened; whenever it starts is the right time; and when it’s over it’s over.  More on these here.)

Juxtaposing thorough preparation with flexibility is an interesting challenge.  Carla writes 'usually what happens dramatically departs from the plan in terms of approach, while remaining true to the intent and values that we have jointly articulated'.

I believe that when you are working for a client or a cause, it is important that the intent and values be articulated early, and that they are considered while being flexible about other aspects of the session.  Being in the moment and being flexible should then be achieved within the context of the larger purpose that brought the group together.

If you haven't been there already, you can read Carla's post 'Facilitating Difference From Oneness' by clicking here.