The month of May has been very blissful for me in many ways. Usually, this is the time we take off for the mountains and I usually go off the grid to refresh and renew for the busy monsoon season. This year, we stayed home and instead, I got to enjoy the use of a totally empty gym, traffic-free roads, a bumper crop of mangoes & litchis and time to catch up on my reading. There is one other thing I did this month and that was creating a brand new, grounds-up manual for a course in Facilitation.
Writing a manual is like writing a recipe – you are telling someone (the reader) how to do something! What makes it tricky is that this person will spend many days in front of you – so the manual needs to be complete and tell the entire story and yet ensure that it needs the face-time interaction to enrich it and give it depth. The final ingredient in this sauce is to consider the synergy of the group – the manual needs to encourage the user to seek input & support from the others using the manual at that time. These are the 3 components of a killer manual: precision how-to instructions, a deeper layer of insight through live interaction also called the workbook or playbook part & the underlay of group synergy structures & frameworks!
And hey, this was a manual on facilitation so what emerged organically was that the act of writing the manual was also a facilitation! How so, you might ask? Well, facilitation comes from the root word, facilis, which means easy. So simply put, facilitation is the process of making something easier! In the context of learning, facilitation is the process of enabling learning – creating a space where the participant taps into their own experience, creativity & insights to learn. For 21 some days, I became the facilitator & the facilitated – there was a space created where I could ask these questions:
- what does a facilitator need to know?
- how does a facilitator need to be during facilitation and in preparation for it?
- what is the USP of this brand of facilitation that I am sharing?
- how can I make sure that each user can gain insights & benefit from this work in a way that honours his or her own style?
And the understanding, the learning, the insights I gained started to unfold as the pages of this manual. Soon, it will be time to share this manual and the Foundation Course with 10 amazing participants. And I know that as I facilitate that process, I will also witness countless more insights emerging from each individual and the group as a whole. It promises to be a transformation!
PS Check out the details of this intimate, intense course and I look forward to seeing some of you in the room!