When my daughter was three, the favourite game at home was called ‘Giddy Up’. I was the horse and she would clamber on to my back and shout ‘giddy-up’. I had to move ahead emitting neighs. Every time she wanted a bit more excitement, her magic word was ‘giddy up’ and I had to change pace. (a.k.a faster).

One horse that I would like to clamber on and ride into the future is a steed named Facilitation. And guess what, ‘Giddy Up’ would be the first thing that I would say. There are several reasons.

Facilitation is best poised to be a potent tool to build dialogue and bridges in a world that is mired in conflict and walls. There are several other reasons and I would urge you to give this a read.

For years now, the power of debate, dialogue and the strength of human connection pulled mankind through. Now stare at several abysses. The invasion of technology, the loss of connect, the generational gap, the resurrection of walls and much else. It is time to say ‘giddy up’ all over again and help the world experience the power of facilitation.

Giddy-Up for #Facweek

The week beginning 15th October is being celebrated as the International Facilitation Week. There are several events that are happening around the world for the same.

You could consider being part of a few or follow the hashtag #FacWeek on social channels. I intend writing here on some of my experiences and ideas on Facilitation. Do give me a shout if any resonates with you.

I have had the good fortune of facilitating conversations across cultures and continents. Whenever¬† I do this, there is one phrase that I play in my mind.¬† Every time I sit in silence before a session or emerge from the cacophony after it is the catchphrase ‘lightly-tightly’.

To be able to tell between ‘light’ and ‘tight’, and to be able to work it well is important. What would you hold light? Why? And at the other end of the spectrum, what would you hold tight? Why?

To be able to hold your own fleeting feelings and emotions lightly whilst getting the group to tightly own the agenda and work towards finding solutions makes much of a difference. When the group owns the problem and there is a space for solutions to emerge, much happens. Much of it is unseen and goes by the name of ‘facilitation’. When the facilitator is invisible and the groups declare that they did it by themselves, there is collective move forward.

The masters of the craft, I have noticed, hold themselves lightly and recede into the background. Emerging only to nudge the group to hold each other tightly if they find a need. With experience and success, the ability to cast oneself out of the frame is troublesome and tricky. But that often get the group to ‘Giddy Up’ and gallop away!

That’s my thought. Your turn now.

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