Disciplines of a Facilitator

March 14, 2008

Friends of mine, the Jenkinses, have written an excellent book, 9 Disciplines of a Facilitator.  I will review it at a later point, probably on Amazon, but it got me thinking.

Yesterday I led a workshop on ‘Creativity and Success, the inside story’. It was more or less the ‘soft’ marketing workshop for women I had been fantasizing about several months ago.

Beforehand, I was debating just what my role as leader of the workshop was. Was I there to teach, preach, convert, raise consciousness?  I have led workshops in such a way, and when they were successful, I was left with a curiously empty, cheated feeling.

Somehow, this had to be different. I felt I was asking the 15 participants to take some creative risks, which meant I needed to take some myself.

The risks I set up for myself were to let go of the need to be the teacher. I couldn’t do this entirely, it will take several times before I find a new way to be with the group, but this workshop was a step in the right direction. I let go of some of my agenda to make room for the participants to share their own wisdom and thoughts on the subject. And I saw myself as someone sharing the wisdom of my experience only, so it could be enhanced and given meaning by their own experience.

Part of the workshop was a hands-on art exercise, this too was an opportunity to let go of showing hoew to do everything. Actually there were too many people for me to give individual attention to, so some were left to improvise, and they were the ones who got fantastic results way out of the box of my expectations for the assignment.

There was good feedback on the workshop, and I felt great afterwards. For me it had been an experience of sharing the love I have for creativity and my belief in the power of creativity to transform and heal.

And I am learning that the power of a workshop to touch lives comes less from covering all the points in the lecture than from creating an environment together where magic can happen.

3 Responses to “Disciplines of a Facilitator”

  1. m Says:

    yes ! this is why when I facilitate AW groups it work or doesn’t work – it isn’t about doing ALL the exercises but creating a space where change and possibility all become possible or ‘magic’. Your course sounds fascinating and I’d love to do it.

  2. szoutewelle Says:

    hi m,
    I admire you for being able to offer an Artist’s Way course. It seems like it would require a lot of commitment, organisation, as well as strength to lead people through the hard parts that they are bound to hit.

    Maybe I will figure out a way to do my course online, have just had another person interested too.
    cheers, Sarah

  3. m Says:

    yes there are hard parts so one has to feel in a together place to take it !

    I’m thinking of starting again in the autumn.

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