To facilitate means "to make easy"” The art of facilitation is the art of bringing clarity and effectiveness to the work process of individuals and groups. The facilitator's mandate is to ensure that the process is designed and implemented in a way that brings out the best thinking of each participant and the best resolution of issues from each group.
This morning I was thinking about my experience with cancer and the coming to knowing of my situation. I have had a slew of physicians and alternative health practitioners trying to facilitate my way to health. A few are quite good and others quite lacking with their facilitative skills. Cancer is a very individual experience. While there are many common elements and shared experiences can bring forth much useful knowledge, in the end it is my work to do. Work that is physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally taxing.
It seems relevant that I consider my own journey into a very foreign landscape and territory from the perspective of the MG Taylor system and method. Facilitation is such an important concept in our process and it has always been inclusive of several levels of recursion. There is no single facilitator or controller of the system. Instead, we consider three levels:
Front of the room facilitator: In this case, it is me. I must take this role and not accept that one or several of my experts can do this job. I think of this person as steering the process forward. She works like a trim-tab, gently steering the process toward its optimum course. She brings long and short term thinking together and continually maintains the context for what matters.
Middle of the room facilitators: These are my doctors and other experts who are taking part in the process. These individuals have important knowledge and lenses from which they view my situation and work to steer it in the most fruitful completion. I count on them to provide information and services that can work to optimize results. They each bring an individual lens, often in contrast or conflict to each others narrow expertise. A healthy process helps to sort out this information and make the best of it at any given moment in time.
Back of the room facilitators: These are my friends and family. This is my support system and as a group they are supreme knowledge workers. They recommend articles, books, experts, provide emotional support and are always there when needed ... often moments before I know what I am looking for. They provide the stability so that I can facilitate my way to health ... and continually remember to see both the forest and the trees. At moments of great nausea or depression, my sureness waivers and that is when family and friends come through in such a magnificent and present manner.
When the three levels of facilitation are working together sapiential leadership thrives.