A good friend of mine suggested that I should share more personal stories on here, so let me start - with a confession:
I still get pre-workshop nerves.
Yes, even after running 100s of workshops, I still stress before facilitating content with a group.
In the situations I am in, there’s usually a lot riding on the workshop:
- The outcome may lead to a $ million investment, or the realisation that there’s no value here
- There may be a lot of strong characters that I’ve never met before and who could disrupt the flow
- I sometimes don’t know much about the subject area, so it can be tricky to know whether we’re asking the right questions.
But really, I needn’t worry. Facilitation isn’t consultancy. Not the way I do it anyway. Facilitation is about making a process easy. Really, I’m not there to solve their problem. I’m there to help them solve their problem themselves, by giving them a framework, creating structure and coaching for engagement.
An hour into the workshop, my whole attitude changes. I start feeling fine. Afterwards, I feel good. Later, I feel great. It’s rarely as bad as I think. Dr Pepper had it right with “what’s the worst that could happen?
I’m experimenting with ways to design this out. This week, I invited my good friend Dana
to co-facilitate a sprint (check her out
). Taking my own advice of having a co-facilitator, I’m starting to treat facilitation more as a team-sport and welcome different ways of solving problems. Growing isn’t easy and I think that’s the point.
Question: What makes you stress about work? Reply to this email - I’d love to know.
Thanks for your attention reading this issue,