No kicking, no biting, no gouging

I had such fun yesterday.

I spent it on a training course which included elements of role-play. We were there to improve our facilitation skills and when I explained this to the one I explain these things to he said “oh, chairing meetings”. Mmmm. Not quite. Meetings are for sharing information among people who meet regularly. Workshops – in theory at least – produce “jointly-owned” “outputs” or “work-products”, the hole being greater than some of the parts an’ all that. Facilitation is more like being a referee – you aren’t part of the match but you make sure the match happens and that there is no kicking, no biting, no gouging. You also get to record the score. Not the best analogy I’ve ever written, but I like it for the suppressed violence it implies.

There were seven of us, and we took it in turns to facilitate various mini-workshops. One of my team-mates was there, and he was briefed to be incredibly talkative but know nothing at all. That was fun to facilitate. Of course it was fun. Yes.

Then I got to be the stroppy one, twice. First time round I had to make sure that my (rather irrelevant) point got made, talking over people if necessary. That was a very therapeutic experience. Second time round I didn’t care what happened so long as no-one gave me any more work to do. Being completely irresponsible and giving the nod to stuff that was clearly crap was pretty therapeutic as well.

I wish there were more days that I could go to work and be paid to behave really really badly.

I wish to speak…

2 responses to “No kicking, no biting, no gouging

  1. Sounds fun. I have to go in this afternoon for 3 hours of objective setting training, relating my team’s objectives to the departmental plan (I myself have 89 mini objectives for each of which I have to to provide evidence of achievement, and no-one can read the departmental plan without falling asleep, plus we are in the middle of reorganisation so we don’t quite know what we will be doing in a month) I wondered what all this is based on – we haven’t seen any improvements in morale, quality or productivity since all this measurable objective stuff was introduced, are there any studies that show it can work?

  2. This is how I facilitate group feedback on another member of the team’s performance:

    You – say what you liked. No just the one good point. Zzzzp. I said one. You – another good point. Say it again. Say ‘you’ not ‘she’. You – good point. We’ve had that one. A different good point. You – one piece of constructive critisism. Yes, generally it was good. But one piece of constructive critisism? Right. Next time you need to give two pieces of constructive critisism. You – constructive.

    Ok. Here’s what I think. [Insert five minutes of waffle]. Good bye.

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