Most of my workshops are generally with people who are not used to doing lots of participatory group work, and don’t spend their entire day thinking mostly about the best way to engage and motivate each other. That is in part why I’m there in the first place, to help them work better together! So there’s always that slight fear when you are facilitating or training a group of people who do spend their days thinking about it. The other people that do what I do. Or at the very least something similar.
There is that fear that you will say something wrong when you are standing up in front of those “in the know” and there’s that feeling that they may be internally rolling their eyes in horror in some way. What if I talk about my experience of using a certain tool and find out that they wrote the book about it? What if I do something that I consider quite innovative and they’ve seen it all before?
Actually, to be fair my biggest fear by far was boring them all.
I had no idea who knew what when I designed and delivered my chosen topic “Harnessing the Power of the Group” a few weeks ago. I did this at the Saltbox Trainers Exchange which despite not really knowing who was going to be in the audience, turned out to be a most fun filled Friday indeed.
I was up first which meant I could relax and enjoy the other training sessions later in the day. Apart from introductions at the start I had no real clue who any of the participants were and was faced with the potential of hundreds of years of collective training and facilitation experience right there in front of me. Minor exaggerations aside there were indeed some very experienced people in the room. But there were also some quite new to their roles. And some who knew lots about training, but less about facilitation. So I needn’t have worried.
My session seemed to get everyone asking questions and generally talking about various experiences of facilitation. And everyone shared what they thought facilitation meant to them: