What a great year I had working with others! Co-facilitation and collaboration are the highlights I describe in my third blog about lessons learned over the past year in my facilitation business. I previously wrote two blogs; one about Discomfort and one about Polarized Viewpoints. In this, my last reflection blog, what stood out is collaborative work with others. From co-facilitation, co-design to co-writing, I had the pleasure of doing much more work with others than I have in the past. A big shout out to Robin Parsons for embarking on several co-facilitation adventures together. Designing sessions with Robin was inspiring and fun, especially on a four-hour plane ride during which we worked out three sessions to facilitate employees of a company in Developing Great Client Relationships.
I greatly appreciate Chris Pedersen who co-wrote blogs and helped me better understand dialogue as a foundational element of facilitation. Chris introduced me to Dialogue and The Art of Thinking Together by William Isaacs and his great concepts which I apply to facilitation.
What did I learn from co-facilitation and collaborative work? While it can take longer, the new ideas, different and equally good ways of doing things, and the feeling of someone having your back make working together tremendously worthwhile. Seek to co-facilitate with someone who:
- Shares your values about facilitation
- Works with a foundational approach to facilitation, group conversation and dialogue
- Is trained in some of the same methods as you so can start from a common place
- Can stretch you with new methods
- Welcomes your ideas and contributes theirs
- Is similar to you in some ways and different in others
- Loves the rapid exchange of ideas – the spark that happens
I look forward to more co-facilitation and collaboration as I enter my 25th year of operating a facilitation service. What will I learn?