My facilitation services are a natural outgrowth of my work as a psychotherapist, group therapist, meditator, and wilderness guide leading "circle" processes. My main avenue of facilitation is to host meetings in which participants are supported in speaking authentically and in allowing creative solutions to arise out of an open dialogue process. I also coach all participants in playing different roles in the meetings (including the host), aiming in this way to pass on the facilitation skills to the group itself.
This style of facilitation is part of an emerging movement to foster a culture of dialogue within organizations and communities to help them move beyond the stuckness and bad feelings that so commonly haunt them. The circle of dialogue creates a “container” for having the difficult conversations that stand in the way of more collaborative and creative working relationships. As a structure of equal, horizontal relationships, the circle also creates a space to draw on the strengths and intelligence of the whole group. New ways forward are discovered that would not otherwise emerge.
To me, participating in this kind of group process not only makes for a better meeting but for better people. In other words, I see it as a practice of human development. It teaches deep listening and empathy, embracing of difference, interpersonal creativity, ownership of our “shadow” selves, and an ability to respect the individual while yielding to the will of the whole. It also teaches a certain faith in human nature—for when the conditions are right, our cooperative nature and inborn compassion shine. At this difficult moment in human history, we need such faith more than ever.