Monday, October 11, 2010

Facilitating resistance in a group discussion

You are facilitating a lunch meeting in a big consultancy company. One of the key questions is "How to stimulate entrepreneurship in the organisation". One of your participants is showing a big resistance, because he was requested by the director to attend the meeting. He shows a non-verbal non interested attitude and is eager to sabotage the meeting. You as a facilitator are worried and are doing your ultimate best to involve this person. What to do?
Involving resistant people and making them feel responsible for the group proces is one of the biggest challenges while facilitating a meeting. "Checking people's expectations" is one measure. Another is the temparature method. Just check people's feeling about their presence, while you are starting a meeting. Address and check people's behaviour is a risky one, but if you recognize people's emotions, it can be an effective one. "Is it right that you are angry? " This statement provides resistant participants space to express their emotions and feel themselves recognised in a meeting.

How to deal with resistant people as a facilitator was one of the topics of the training 'Basic Facilitation methods' which was led by Simon Koolwijk on the 6th and 7th October, 2010 at ICCOenKerkinActie. The training was composed of the theoretical principles of facilitation, the Technology of Participation methods, creative methods (Creativity Today, Igor Byttebier) and how to deal with resistance.

"The training was practical. It had a good balance between theory and practise" commented the participants. I liked the tools, attributes and the coloured smelly markers and the sticky wall. The atmosphere was safe and open to practise.

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