My usual facilitation gigs require designing to someone else’s specifications, timelines, goals, org culture, and values. That’s all good, but sometimes it makes me feel boxed in. But in the next few weeks, I’m going to be running an event that’s all my own – my goals, my design, and whatever the heck I want.
The freedom is intoxicating! Here are a few of the ingredients that I want to have in my own facilitation recipe:
1. Get the right people in the room. I want people who represent a variety of viewpoints, life experiences, and familiarity with the subject matter. I want to be able to say in my invitation to each one of those people exactly why I want them in the room, and acknowledge what I know they’ll bring.
2. Prework! Designing my own event, I can give myself as much advance time as I want to figure out if there needs to be prereading, information sent out, materials we’ll need, etc.
3. Space set up! Along with prework, having my own timeline means I can spend the time creating a space that’s conducive to gathering, sharing ideas, and provoking good conversation. A few years ago someone said to me, “I love how when I go to a session facilitated by Laura, it’s already started before I get in the room” – meaning that the walls were already decorated with quotes, questions, ideas; the tables were moved aside; the chairs were in a circle; supplies were laid out.
4. Right brain. I’m so tired of bullet point lists, log frames, prioritizations, schedules, and reality. Yes, there is a place for all of those, but I also want a place for music, art, imagery, and story-telling. I want to play the piano while the introverts take time to reflect, I want to draw pictures of what I’m hearing while an extrovert tells a story, I want to see people exaggerate their body language until it becomes the loudest communication in the room.
All of that, and I haven’t even listed any of the activities yet! Those will have to come in a future post.