When facilitating, I often have the urge to push participants to go deeper. Share more personal stories. Show the masked emotions. So, I frame my questions to elicit that depth. Sometimes it works gracefully. Other times, it all crashes. And then I hear my mentor, Guthrie Sayen’s voice in my head, saying, “Do not worship at the altar of vulnerability.” Agreed, Guthrie.
Think of the time when you noticed cliques in your workshop group, and didn’t break them up. Or when facilitating a team meeting, witnessed blame games, and didn’t intervene. The impact? Missed opportunity to transform group dynamics, and create a deeper experience.
It’s a common job interview question. Recruiters believe it is a decisive one. But what are they really looking for? Not a museum tour of our achievements. Neither an outline of our life. They seek a window into who we are, through stories. Why are stories important to us?
Reflection converts an experience into tangible takeaways. Learning is sensory. Our body picks up data – what we’ve seen, heard, felt – and sends it to our brain to make meaning. If we don’t pause to throw light on this unconscious process, we may move through life without learning much.
“I won’t do this. It’s painful. And unnecessary.” Saying this, a participant in one of my creative facilitation trainings walked out. I froze. I was confused. I had asked the group to explore a challenging situation in their life, and reflect on how they had grown. It was an exercise on resilience. But, I had hit a nerve with this person.
“When you asked us to share a memory of the neighborhood we grew up in, I found that so weird. I shared, but wondered what the point was,” said a client of ours while reflecting on a LATE NITE ART experience.
But then, she said: “When I look back, that remains my favorite moment of the evening. Our childhood is central to our identity. Yet, we don’t talk about it at work. She had learned a new way of being at work…