The first rule of facilitation is you do NOT facipulate

I broke my “meetings” rule. To be fair to myself, my attendance at this particular meeting (where I was supposed to facilitate the afternoon session) pre-dates my “no more meetings” promise…

I am not going to say much, cos I don’t want to break the rule even more, and because there are certain delicacies.

I will say this much. If you have a strong feeling about how a decision should go, where a discussion should come to some form of consensus, then YOU SHOULD NOT FACILITATE IT.

There, I shouted. Because I can’t believe I am having to type this. It is so obvious that a tolerably intelligent four-year old should be able to grasp the concept.

Do not do this or you will – whether you “intend” to or not – end up facipulating. You will manipulate the facilitation process to your agenda. And people will be too polite, too ignorant or – in my case – too gob-smacked, to stop you. And you will think you somehow ‘got away with it.’

Oh, and feedback forms. Is it that difficult? Really?

That is all.

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7 Responses to The first rule of facilitation is you do NOT facipulate

  1. leavergirl says:

    Heh. Don’t beat yourself up. This is one of the reasons consensus does not work. There, I said it. I am tired of this particular groupthink.

    • dwighttowers says:

      Consensus can “work”, in specific circumstances. It just gets used to, well, groupthink. And in this case the problem was a (not so) secret agenda that someone tried (unsuccessfully in the end) to ram down everyone’s throat

  2. pendantry says:

    Facipulate? I think I understand what you’re saying, but, though more than four years old, I admit I’m having trouble. Though you’ve already voiced your intent not to say more, I find myself wishing you would elucidate.

    • dwighttowers says:

      On Facipulation – it’s just so tremendously disrespectful. It destroys the credibility of the facipulator, and – worse – it tarnishes the name of the host organisation and – worst of all – it makes it more likely that those who have been on the receiving end of the facipulation will a) not come back and b) will warn others not to come back. It ENRAGES me (and, if I am honest, part of that rage is at my younger self when I used to do it.)

  3. leavergirl says:

    Sigh. Look… consensus has been pushed and taught and facilitated and refacilitated for what? 30 + years? And you, DT, who have gone out and got trained and *got it* so much, and mean so well, you go and fail, and blame yourself. Fuck that. It’s time to say, it’s not the facilitator, it’s not the rest of the people, it’s the process.

    We don’t need better facilitation. We need to stop saying that, and getting more training, and doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We need to chuck consensus.

    The time has come, the walrus said…

  4. leavergirl says:

    Oh and that is one ugly word.

  5. Pingback: A lurch to the dwight | rhizome

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