Love and Truth LO3838

Fri, 24 Nov 1995 20:32:35 -0500

Replying to LO3541 --

Suzanne writes:

"Here's a thought that's been rumbling around in my head for a while
that's in this vein. I've done lots of facilitating of groups and teams
and have a reputation as being pretty good at it. I've struggled some
with trying to figure out what it is that makes for a good facilitator.
Margaret Wheatley helped me come to an "Aha" understanding that it's love.
When the facilitator is whole-heartedly and whole-headedly devoted to
helping a group (loves the group), and the group trusts this to be true,
the group will behave differently, and more effectively, than it would
without the presence of the facilitator. In fact, I believe this may be
true even if the facilitator never makes an overt intervention. Does this
make any sense?"

This makes a great sense to me, and not only because I've seen Suzanne in
action, and I think that her love for the people and what they are trying
to do has a real impact on her effectiveness.

I think that Wheatley's discussion of fields makes the power of love in a
room make a great deal of sense (it's been a couple of years since I've
read her book, so this may be a bit off). I vividly recall her
description of two stores, one which 'feels' great, one which 'feels'
awful. Noone needs to speak or even be seen - somehow the information is
transmitted. I think that the same thing happens with a facilitator.
I've seen facilitators who didn't care one way or another (it was a job or
an experiment) about their group, and had little success. I've seen
facilitators (or others in a meeting) who sometimes have a great deal of
love, and sometimes are annoyed or indifferent or even petulant. Their
attitude comes through no matter how hard they try to control it.
Recently in my office a facilitator with whom we will be working in a
month observed one of our meetings, and his presence and the tremendous
warmth he felt for us seemed to have a real impact on what we were saying
and how we were doing.

Groups are just collections of people. How many times have any of you
been comforted just by the presence of someone who loves you?

Barak Rosenbloom, Troublemaker
Employment and Training Administration
US Department of Labor, Seattle
206-553-4543 x8030

"The way enlightenment comes . . . is in bits and pieces of humdrum reality, each adding its mosaic bit of glitter to the eventual vision." - E.L. Doctorow