This photo of me thanks to Clark Dever reminds me that as a facilitator my face and body language are very expressive – sometime too expressive.
Preparing to lead a train-the-trainer workshop this reminds me to talk about the facilitator influence over a group.
Similar to the leaders influence in a meeting and project; the facilitator when offering experiential activities and discussions is looked at by people for approval and disapproval. This is evident when teams are struggling with an team-building activity.
If you watch the people they look at you for clues of rightness and wrongness, they can be influenced. Being mindful of your presence body posture and facial expressions is challenging when you are in front of a group of corporate leaders; and the stress of public speaking is weighing on you.
The solution? have a co-facilitator in the room with you.
Prior to the program the co-facilitator and you work out some non-verbal signals to alert who-ever is talking at that time of how they are doing. Think of it like a Pitcher and a Catcher in baseball. The Catcher sends signals to the Pitcher prior to the pitch. The Pitcher can call off the signals and choose to ignore them; the same is true for facilitating team-building.
Develop non-verbal cues and you can increase your awareness of signals that may be adding to and subtracting from the impact and reaction of the group.
michael cardus is create-learning