Silence Is Not A Problem To Solve

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Learning to manage anxiety in the presence of silence is another insight from the work of Weisbord and Janoff. As they suggest, “We are mindful that each time we break the silence, we deprive someone of a chance to make a valuable observation.” Waiting even 10 seconds will seem like an eternity, but it allows people to experience whatever is happening and come up with insights about what’s next.

State The Obvious

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I am a big fan of Weisbord and Janoff, creators of Future Search, and learned much about facilitation when I took their training. Their new book Lead More, Control Less applies their years of experience to leadership, and offers great insights.

One of their concepts is how to handle one’s anxiety when leading meetings. Often we try to rush to solution or tell people what to think. Stating the obvious signals you’ve heard people and actually eases your own anxiety. It also eases anxiety for others. State the obvious and pause. In my experience someone will come up with the next step for the meeting.

Facilitators are Alchemists

I attended the first ever Shareshops held at the Victoria Executive Centre, hosted by Michele Breuer and Dan Doherty. It was a wonderful networking event, sprinkled with three speakers and wine and cheese. We even experienced a power outage 😉

It was lovely to hang out and talk with facilitators about all things facilitation, and I appreciated the energy and enthusiasm of the speakers. The evening was summed up well by the idea that facilitators are alchemists. I loved that sentiment as it really captures the transformational nature of my work with teams, and how I am also transformed each time I facilitate. No wonder I feel tired sometimes 😉

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Where do you do your best work?

We had the honour of working with the Victoria Brain Injury Society today as part of our once-a-quarter initiative and were blown away by their energy, engagement and vision for the future. I was also appreciative, as always, of working with great colleagues, Lisa Arora, Lisa Edwards, and Michele Breuer of the Victoria Executive Centre. Michele’s amazing meeting space inspired this blog. How often do you try to do important work in hotel rooms with no windows? For your next meeting, find a room with natural light and inspire and engage your participants.

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