The method for facilitating interactive, participatory, engaging meetings that we developed has an additional purpose beyond meeting facilitation. It can be difficult to grasp that using the exact same skills and knowledge, Whole Person Process Facilitation can be used as an Operating Matrix for a multi-day meeting.
Imagine having a corporate retreat of two or three days. The purpose is to get the best ideas, to be innovative and creative, and to distill those ideas down into what feels realistic for the coming year. To accomplish this, you need to really engage everyone and to make the most of your investment in bringing people together. You’ll need the meeting to be facilitated well.
Now imagine having a series of activities that make up the agenda, but they don’t seem to hang together well. You might even get a little confused as your facilitator uses a number of different methods and techniques in the course of a day. An individual and group cognitive dissonance is experienced. And then instead of the energy you need for innovation, you’ll notice people getting upset about the process. Traditional facilitators will tell you this is normal and is the stage of ‘storming’ before getting on with it.
I disagree. I think it is an unnecessary stage and it is not helpful to take for granted that it is necessary and part of the process. Instead, if care is taken to create a cohesive operating matrix for the whole meeting, in which various tools, techniques and methods can be used, the meeting feels coherent. The energy throughout the retreat gets put to the productive use that is needed by the company.
Whole Person Process Facilitation shines as an operating matrix, providing the container for a coherent experience. Complexity is reduced to simplicity….so important as people deal with the complexity of their situation, their challenges, and moving to take advantage of the opportunities before them. It is part of our Genuine Contact Way of working and can be learned by taking this module of the Genuine Contact™ program.
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