A great insight from Johnnie Moore on learning facilitation:
I’ve done quite a bit of facilitation training this year, loads of it with Viv. We’ve pushed to get the sponsors to accept less emphasis on learning lots of techniques and tips in favour of lots of activities where participants try stuff out. One area where we play around a lot is the “difficult people” situation.
We resist offering standard tricks for this. So we don’t offer formulaic models for managing difficult people, however comprehensively researched. Instead, we ask people to recall or imagine their encounters with the inevitable impossible participant and then recreate it as an improv scene, and ask them to play it out. And then we play around, asking them to try and play it in different ways. Or we introduce “tagging” where other participants step into the scene to try different responses.
If anyone in the audience comes up with a clever analysis, we tend to stop them and say, great, go play that idea out. Funnily, their first response is mild panic – as they realise it’s one thing to do the theory and another to do the the practice.
What this play encourages, I believe, is a growing willingness to try stuff and realise nothing is written.