|The Book (image c/o wired.com)|
I propose two complementary and critical states: Leaning in to get the work done. And leaning out to think, really think.
I am leaning in now - as I type I am leaning forwards. I also do this when I am totally engaged in a meeting - I lean forwards and pay close attention to what people say, and I project my voice into the mix.
I also want to promote leaning out. I just leant out to think about how I could phrase this idea. I lean out to get some space between me and what I've just written, so I can better see whether it makes sense. I think that in meetings by leaning out every now and then we can get a helicopter view of what is going on. This might help to think more strategically, and should assist in avoiding groupthink.
So what has this got to do with facilitation?
I suggest that I need to 'lean out' some more when I am writing new stuff - to consider how to phrase things; to visualise how people are going to respond; and to give an opportunity for new ideas to appear.
And I need to keep 'leaning in' when I need to get things done - whether it is planning a session; cold calling a potential client; digging through my files for an activity I've used once before; or writing up outcomes from a previous session.
While facilitating, leaning in can show you are engaged; and leaning out can help you to figure out what you are going to do next. Consider leaning in, and out, a little more decisively - you might find it makes a world of difference.