“Aha” Moments

Mark Sorensen Facilitator TrainingThe biggest challenge from our three-day facilitation and evaluation training?  Thinking about what I do – and to be a little abstract, our role in our community – in a new way.  As we practiced skills for organizing meetings, connecting conversations, and assessing processes and outcomes, I found myself thinking, “This is so unfamiliar!  It feels unlike what I do, the work that I’ve learned intimately, and poured myself into for the last eight years.”

Fortunately, the week was awash in ‘Aha!’ moments.  One of the most intense, and most comforting, was the realization that the core competencies of this huge task are already what I do.  Listening.  Sharing.  Creating a safe, value-neutral space where information seekers of every stripe can bring their needs.

It’s hard to top the moment of clarity regarding facilitation and librarianship that Anna kicked off in our conversation: the idea that librarians, like facilitators, specialize in process, not content.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve said, “I don’t know everything but I know where to start looking!”  Now, over the next few months and years, we’ll take that same confidence to our community.  “We don’t have solutions to all of these problems but we can help you look for them – and the perfect place to start looking is to each other.”

Posted by Mark Sorensen, Facilitator-in-Training

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 11:06:40

    Thanks, Mark! I thnk what you said at the end is what Susan expressed so well, too, and I wrote in my notes: “Librarians don’t know the answers but we can help find them, and as facilitators we don’t know the answers but we can help find the answers.”

    Reply

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