Artful Facilitation to help everyone see differentlyEffective facilitation is the art of improvisation - beauty emerging from dissonance
Effective facilitation is like great jazz, an improvisational give and take that requires exquisite listening, sensitive choices, and the ability to jointly arrive someplace new and unexpected. It is a nuanced and subtle dance of oft-competing needs and desires, agendas and biases, history and vision. The facilitator must invisibly “hold the room” so that participants can safely explore new ideas, challenge old beliefs and risk change.
Chris is a master of this kind of improvisation. The unsurpassed skill and insight he brings helps everyone lay down their assumptions and join in the improvisation. His perfectly timed observations and insights help the group move to the next level of discussion and sharing. And his authentic delight in the process inspires everyone to join in the improvisation, excited to see what is possible. Whether you need to find creative solutions, resolve conflict, elicit feedback and ideas, or engage in affirmative inquiry, Chris will help you navigate this new territory and arrive somewhere you’ve never been before.
Chris is happy to chat with you about your unique needs and, if needed, help you clarify the core purpose and desired outcomes for your process. From that foundation of clarity, you can decide together the most appropriate structure and Chris’ most useful role.
A statewide organization invites 50 legislators and community leaders to participate in a powerful, experiential Poverty Simulation exercise. A skilled facilitator is needed to help this large group process their experience, make sense of it in the context of their own roles and personal experiences, share their observations, and bring the experience to a meaningful conclusion.
A small company, with a staff of mostly 20-something professionals and para-professionals, is seeing a decline in staff morale, and wants to engage in a process to better understand the underlying issues and how to better support their employees. At this stage, they need a skilled facilitator who can elicit honest feedback without descending into a complaint-fest.
The focus of Process Facilitation is not on helping the group reach specific outcomes, but rather to promote meaningful discussion, gather information, or process an experience.
A mid-sized company has decided to engage in a facilitated process called Affirmative Inquiry, a specific process designed to help a group identify what is working, as a starting place for imagining the future. They need a skilled facilitator to lead the staff through several stages of sharing, discovery, dreaming and design – all toward the specific outcome of a clear vision for the future and how to get there.
The six-member leadership team for a large nonprofit organization has been experiencing significant internal conflict that is negatively impacting morale, productivity and decision-making. They need a facilitator who will be seen as unbiased, and who has the skill to navigate the complex relationships, old wounds, and resistance in the group. The desired outcome is to resolve conflicts, improve relationships and to come to agreement regarding how the team will function together.
The focus of Outcome Facilitation is not on the process itself, as critical as that process is, but rather on the achievement of a specific (not preordained) outcome.