Full Circle

Full CircleMy FIT Team colleagues and I recently facilitated a quarterly meeting of the Community Services Section for Lutheran Family Services.  I remember looking around the room and observing the participants’ reactions as we ran the icebreaker and other group activities.  There was rolling of the eyes, confusion, disinterest, etc.  I was worried.  Would they get anything out of this process?  As I let go of this worry, I reflected back on my first meeting to learn about facilitation.  I too rolled my eyes, was somewhat disinterested, AND inserted my opinion often!  I changed.

It took me awhile to warm up to learning about facilitation.  We started using our novice skills to facilitate internal library meetings.  Let me just say that most meetings I’ve attended were unproductive with no resulting action items as takeaways.  When we started facilitating internal meetings – WOW – the meeting dynamic changed.  There was more focus, more ideas, more solutions, and folks left the meeting feeling that stuff got accomplished.  I LOVE meetings that are facilitated!!

Facilitation did wonders for our organization and for me.  I am a better listener which resulted in me being a better friend, girlfriend, librarian, manager, meeting attendee, college instructor, and yoga teacher.  I went through yoga teacher training at about the same time we started this IMLS grant.  We learned that a yoga teacher is simply there to guide students through poses so that they have their own experience.  The yoga teacher possesses versatility; works and reads the room; make subtle adjustments if needed; and, last but not least, her or his ego is left at the door.  Facilitation operates in the same manner.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this project.  Grateful for all the projects we worked on as teams.  Grateful for Sam McBane Mulford and Cheryl Gould who guided us through this process.
Posted by Amy Mather, Facilitator-in-Training

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