Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Top 20 Ways to Know You're a Group Facilitator - Humorous

For the “serious” list, see The Top 15 Ways to Know You're a Group Facilitator - Serious
For the original list, see You know you're a group facilitator if.

You know you’re a group facilitator if …
  1. no one understands what you do for a living.
  2. you want to write it on the wall.
  3. group members admire your wide selection of different sized, shaped and colored post-its.
  4. your phone's photo gallery of family snaps and selfies is interspersed with flip charts, white boards, lists, and mind maps.
  5. your 3-year old says “no no no daddy/mommy, stop facilitating me!”
  6. you can argue the merits of blu-tack over white-tack.
  7. you choose the boring supportive flats rather than the heels or boots that really match your outfit.
  8. you know how to remove permanent marker mistakenly used on a client’s whiteboard.
  9. you amaze the room by taking session notes on what look like white garbage bags that stick to the wall by static electricity.
  10. you maintain an inventory of different colored sticky dots so you won’t run out of any colors.
  11. you ask people, like at the grocery store, if they want feedback.
  12. you have a flipchart stand in your living room.
  13. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is your favorite book. (Don’t Panic!)
  14. you arrive early so you have sufficient time to move around the tables and chairs.
  15. someone comes up to you and asks, “Have you considered using small groups and an ice-breaker,” and politely you say, “Thank you; I’ll consider that.”
  16. you are in a really awful meeting and have to sit on your hands to avoid taking over.
  17. you walk into a room that has been set up for you and the chairs and tables are classroom style – and you don’t groan because you anticipated this.
  18. you know how to set up just about every type of flip chart known to man.
  19. tears fill your eyes and you feel so understood when a new client says, “I know it is just a one-day session, but this is so important we expect we will need you for at least three days of preparation.”
  20. you're thinking that there should be a better process for collaboratively arriving at a “top ten” list.

The Top 15 Ways to Know You're a Group Facilitator - Serious

My previous post, You know you're a group facilitator if …, drew many additional suggestions. I compiled 38 of them and conducted a poll; 165 people responded. Following are the 15 highest scoring statements that “say something delightful and uniquely characteristic of group facilitation.” They are listed in order, high scores on top. I should note that the Top 4 were all excerpted from IAF's Statement of Values and Code of Ethics for Group Facilitators. (It's a good thing they received the top scores!)

A number of people commented that the list included both serious and humorous statements and it was not clear how they should respond. As you'll see, most respondents chose the more serious ones. In The Top 20 Ways to Know You're a Group Facilitator - Humorous I have selected some of the more humorous indicators.

You know you're a group facilitator if …
  1. you believe in the inherent value of the individual and the collective wisdom of the group.
  2. you believe that collaborative interaction builds consensus and produces meaningful outcomes.
  3. you strive to help the group make the best use of the contributions of each of its members.
  4. you set aside your personal opinions and support the group’s right to make its own choices.
  5. you summarize what others have said and check that you accurately captured their ideas before sharing your own thoughts.
  6. you know that a good answer to a question is “I don't know.”
  7. when you enter a meeting room, the first thing you look at are the walls.
  8. several books on your shelf have “meeting,” “group,” and/or “facilitation,” “facilitator,” “facilitating,” or “facilitative” in their titles.
  9. you can accept that a situation is desperate, but not hopeless.
  10. you know when to make a tactical intervention and when to make a strategic withdrawal and, of course, when to say nothing.
  11. you’re able just “to be present.”
  12. when invited to a meeting you ask about its purpose, what’s on the agenda, what decisions are to be made, if all the people necessary to make a decision will be present, if sufficient time has been scheduled, and if they’re really inviting you so you’ll facilitate.
  13. when the group thinks they could have gotten to the outcome without you, but it was nice having you.
  14. you can explain Brainstorming, Nominal Group Technique, Technology of Participation, Future Search, Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, and World Cafe.
  15. when you answer questions with a question – even when you’re not facilitating.