Perspectives for Facilitation

We have all been in meetings that were poorly facilitated, right? In these meetings we see too many distractions, too little coherence in the conversation, too much information, not enough information. They drag down our energy and waste our time. At the same time, some of us are lucky enough to have been in meetings that were led by powerfully skilled and intuitive facilitators. What makes the difference? 

In this article, Royce Holladay explores that difference. What she offers is an explanation of two sets of perspectives that make that difference. On the one hand, good facilitators use a set of behavioral perspectives that guide their planning and action in the moment. In their work they constantly work to build relationships, shift points of view, discern patterns, generate options, and evaluate outcomes. On the other hand, powerful facilitators use an additional set of perspectives that inform their work. They see the dimensionality of the interactions they are in, they comprehend the system and its dynamics, and they balance the reductionist thinking in the room. 

While many facilitators intuitively use both the behavioral and the cognitive perspectives in their work. HSD offers a theory base, along with a number of models and methods that support both perspectives.

This article offers a description and explanation of this approach to understanding the science and the art of powerful facilitation.

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