group facilitation

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    GROUP FACILITATION – What if, down deep inside, some parties just drive you crazy? GROUP FACILITATION – What if, down deep inside, some parties just drive you crazy?

    GROUP FACILITATION – What if, down deep inside, some parties just drive you crazy?

GROUP FACILITATION – What if, down deep inside, some parties just drive you crazy?

As Group Facilitators, we are devoted to the process of helping people communicate about the issues important to them, typically related to the dynamics of the group (e.g., a public or non-profit board) or surrounding an issue (e.g., a citizen task force convened to advise elected officials about a current dispute).  However, we are all human, and some people will just get to us.  They may push our individual buttons, they may attack us directly and personally, and/or they may be continually disruptive to the group.  In other words, some folks just drive you crazy while you are trying to present the persona of the calm, unbiased coordinator of the group process.

Non-verbal activities and subvocalizations are a typical cause of irritation to both members of the group and its facilitator.  Sometimes the parties engaging in these behaviors are doing so with intent (to disrupt the group, show distain for others who don’t share their views, or to gain power in the dynamics of the group process).  Others are not at all conscious of their behavioral quirks.  In either case, the behaviors can be disruptive to the group’s deliberations and a direct challenge to the process authority of the Group Facilitator.

So, what can a Group Facilitator do?  As a part of the first meeting, I always assist the group in finalizing a set of ground rules.  A typical example is the set of ground rules for my current work with the Adams County Stormwater Utility Task Force These ground rules always have statements involving respect for others group members and their right to state their opinions and […]

By |July 3rd, 2013|Group Facilitation Denver|Comments Off on GROUP FACILITATION – What if, down deep inside, some parties just drive you crazy?

GROUP FACILITATION – An Action Plan for a Public Board

A couple of years ago, I was asked to facilitate a series of meetings involving the members of a public board appointed by a City Council in Colorado.  The Board was going through a period of transition, with a few new members having been appointed to the Board whose styles and values differed from their predecessors.  Furthermore, a new Board member was soon to become the chair, and the Director of the staff of the organization over which the Board had authority was soon to retire.  Many things were in flux, and Board meetings had become laden with conflict and less productive than in the past.  The goal of the meetings I was hired to facilitate was to develop an Action Plan to allow the Board to have more civil and productive deliberations and operations in the future.

After conducting a personal interview with each of the Board and staff members, I facilitated two planning meetings with the Board members, as a group.  After agreeing to a set of ground rules for their meetings (something I always help the members of any group to do at their first meeting), the group discussed the issues that had brought them to the table.  I was able to suggest an agenda with potential topics because I had already spoken one-on-one with everyone there.  Although the details of each interview were kept private, it was understood by everyone that I would produce proposed issues for discussion based on those interviews.  I made detailed notes at each group meeting, noting areas of agreement when they happened.

Finding the time for these special meetings had been a challenge for […]

By |June 19th, 2013|Group Facilitation Denver|Comments Off on GROUP FACILITATION – An Action Plan for a Public Board