This week I’m practicing the sentence, “So tell me more about that.” I’ve been reading an interesting book – The Skilled Facilitator by Robert Schwarz. He’s teaching me to set a meeting goal of mutual learning and a personal goal of demonstrating compassion as the facilitation guide.
I’ve generally thought that being a good facilitator means creating an efficient process that produces results. But Schwarz reminds me that it is important to build trust, relax, and ensure we all share what we know and what we worry about. We need to be okay with not agreeing, with not “winning”. To make it less (far less) about us and more about good decisions and joint commitment.
To be compassionate is to suspend judgement. It means asking questions and being honestly curious about the answers. It’s not easy, of course. We all want to be right and, these days,
We seem to all be in a hurry and being in a hurry seems to make everything more complex. Of course, a good facilitator must manage the room.
Listening that doesn’t lead us back to the goals of the meeting can frustrate everyone. But we’ll all be better served in those days when we can take a few deep breaths, set an intention of curiosity, clarity, and respect, and speak with genuine caring.