Hey there, Changemakers!
Today I'm thinking about the art of facilitation.
I once read about the etymological connection between the Spanish facil which means "easy" and the word "facilitate" which means "to make an action or process easier." Because facilitation is a part of the work I do, I love stumbling upon metaphors that grow my understanding of what it means to facilitate well, i.e. what it means to make challenging processes easier for folks.
The metaphor on my mind today is: what if being a facilitator is like being a human field guide?
My husband leads these plant identification walks in parks and wild lands throughout the metro Atlanta region. As a human field guide, he's not responsible for growing the plants or for creating perfect conditions. As a field guide, his job is to walk with others as they discover what already exists. He points out new connections his fellow walkers may not see and he invites people to participate in the processes happening all around him.
Our work as facilitators seems similar.
We can't create perfect conditions; we show up and cultivate ease in whatever conditions we find ourselves in.
We don't bring all the answers; we help people draw out answers already within their communities.
We don't dominate or control conversations; we posture ourselves and invite others to be more active participants in the processes unfolding in and around them.
It's beautiful work. It's good work.
Let's be field guides today - drawing out the best in others and cultivating ease everywhere we go.