Effective, affective facilitation
When I think about the word facilitation, I think in the word “facil” in Spanish; it means easy. The definition of facilitate is to make it easier or ease a process. When we talk about facilitation of gatherings, facilitation is to host the space in a way so that people can collaborate and co-create together, sharing the best version of themselves in that moment.
I am a professional facilitator and I host gatherings that are effective and affective.
Whenever I approach a facilitation job, my first challenge is to identify the purpose and then to be sure that the meeting is fit for purpose. I ask my client: What is the need of this gathering? What is the purpose? What do you want to harvest from this gathering? What will happen if you do this gathering? What will happen if you don’t?
Clarity of need and purpose is the invisible leader of all my projects.
The next step is to shape the gathering. Designing a good process flow is an art. I tailor the movement of every gathering to the specific needs and purpose so that when the space comes alive, everyone feels at ease to solve, create, develop, decide, plan and act; to use each other to craft something bigger than they could each do alone.
I explore various methodologies and tools that could cradle this journey, that can help move the journey to the desired purpose. I pay attention to the use of time, the scarcest resource of all gatherings.
On the day, my role is to ensure that the meeting objectives are met effectively in the space we have provided, with good participation and full buy-in from everyone involved. But is not only about being effective – all the academia in the world can’t solve the crucial questions. The other important ingredient is to be affective.
In my work, affectivity is the give of give and take. It can be described as emotion, energy, flow, spirit or the atmosphere of the gathering. Creating a comfortable space in the face of discussion and debate may sound simple, but emotions come to every gathering whether you invite them or not. I facilitate a space where listening and reflection are the currents that carry us forward together, allowing for emotional and academic intelligence. Only then is there a fertile space to facilitate problem solving and to grow fruitful ideas.
When I facilitate, I take a group of strangers and show them how to walk together, I show them the journey on a map, but remember to look beyond it so that we are adaptive enough to deal with what emerges on the road. We arrive at our destination with the words to inspire change and the tools to make our ideas real.
More information on Professional Facilitation
The International Institute for Facilitation and Change explains that facilitators have three roles: Architects as we design the process, Pilots as we move through the journey and Guides as we lead the group through unexplored territories.
So facilitation is a process in which a group flows effortlessly, a flow of energy, ideas, commitments, excitement, decisions…
Ready to find out more?
Drop me a line today to know how can I help you with effective and affective gatherings!