backseat facilitators are sometimes my favorite people19 Oct 2016
the more i move through the world, the more i value my facilitation training. in the last three years i’ve been trained by the interaction institute as a facilitator in many different ways. i’ve attended two facilitation trainings (facilitative leadership for social change & the masterful trainer) in addition to being context trained. most of the context training was through working with my amazing director, danielle coates-connor, but there have been moments where watching a situation and then debriefing it with a group of skilled facilitators has added to my facilitation capacity as well.
i’ve taken on a facilitative role in several contexts since leaving the institute. it continues to astound me how critical those skills have been to moving through the world effectively. the skills are even more important when trying to help groups of people make progress.
one thing that i’ve started to notice that i took for granted was the value of backseat facilitation.
now, in some, maybe most, contexts (like driving, lol), having a backseat contributor can be annoying or even undermining. in facilitation, having a backseat facilitator is amazing. sometimes, they’re even my favorite people in a meeting.
because the role of a facilitator is to help the group move forward, the more eyes analyzing the situation the better. as the facilitator at the front of the room, you can only see so much. a participant who is watching the situation from another vantage point is great. and then if that person is also trained with methods and tools to help the group move forward, sometimes they can make a skilled intervention that the lead facilitator wouldn’t have ever made. and sometimes, an effective intervention made by a skilled facilitator is the best way to keep a meeting on track.
anyway, three cheers for the backseat facilitators!