On adopting a facilitators’ mindset
To facilitate is to guide; helping people with a process to reach a desired end. Facilitators affect change and inspire action; they create space for thought.
A facilitator is a leader. They are confident to direct people when they need direction. They are empathetic, understanding the push and pull - the give and take - of a relationship. They are someone who can remove barriers to create space, offer comfort, safety, and sometimes create gentle friction. They are kind.
The most effective facilitators are those who understand that the time and space which they occupy does not belong to them. They are working in the service of people and problems they are facing.
While this might sound like a heavy burden to carry I argue that each one of us has the power to facilitate. Maybe you are hosting a workshop or meeting; you are asked for support with a sticky work challenge between colleagues; you’re parenting your children to help them learn and grow as people. We have the ability to act from the outside in and can engage with people in the facilitators' mindset; guidance, direction, space, comfort, safety, and kindness.