Expertise, learning and practice
There is no way you can learn the art of facilitation, the art of hosting, by simply coming to a workshop. It happens from time to time that people show up for a three day workshop and expect that at the end they will be competent hosts of groups process in any situation. To get good at arts you have to practice.
Last week in Montreal, I saw 120 people come to an Art of Hosting with an overwhelming desire to practice. The invitation to them was to attend if they were wanting to develop and improve their practice. It made for an incredible experience. When people are invited to come to learn because they are ready to host, they are open wide to what is offered, not only by us as teachers, but more importantly by the group itself. This is an excellent ground from which to develop a practice of hosting, and the relationships that are formed are the critical supports for competency in that practice to unfold.
Somehow, the view of learning in the world has been confused with the kinds of quality control that is attached to manufacturing. We imagine that a learning experience will have specific achievable outcomes and that upon completing a course, we can be certified in the competency in which we have been trained. While this can be true for technical training, such as how to operate equipment, with things like art and strategy and leadership and communications and other practice based arts, the opposite is actually true. When I leave practice based learning events I recognize that I am a baby, just starting out, and with a lifetime of practice ahead of me. I can’t be certified to be competent, because there is no way to guarantee that I will be perfect. When we first begin to practice, we always make mistakes. Over a lifetime we develop our own styles and we get better at it.
Hosting is practice. The willingness to embrace it this way is the biggest indicator to me as to whether someone will eventually develop a competency in this art. Expertise is developed, not given or bought.