Not being an MC

Facilitation means different things to different people. It’s worth spending a bit of time finding out what people really want when they ask for a facilitator.

Sometimes I find clients want a master-of-ceremonies – someone charismatic to lend glamour and gravitas to proceedings and to be the reassuring central figure through whom all activities can be safely and reassuringly handled. If they can afford it, they should hire a TV star who will do this really well.

But this is not my idea of what a facilitator should be doing. I think a facilitator needs to wary of the spotlight and willing to take themselves off the stage as soon as possible, letting the participants do the work. Far too often, I see people trying to facilitate who work too hard and end up hogging the microphone, explaining, making amusing jokes, asking deep, tough-sounding questions.

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