Su writes “Splendid work with a Simplifying Facilitation training group this week. We explored the impact that laying the groundwork has on a group: investing time in gaining clarity on what we’re doing together and how we’re going to do it.  We noticed – you might notice this too with groups you facilitate – that sometimes there is a resistance to this, as some people are eager to get on with the “real work” and feel like this is wasting time. Surely we all know that we’ve got to be confidential, they’re thinking! Yet the contracting is absolutely part of the “real work” and our role as a facilitator includes helping them understand that.

How can we do that? One way is about being clear about the process and noticing it out loud: “This is part of our work. Some of us might find this slow or frustrating, and it will mean we can get where we need to”.

And we can also borrow from other experiences… “You can’t create a scrum in rugby without preparing – that would be a disaster” “You need to invest time in wedging the clay before you start making the pot” “Our dance teacher spends 25 minutes of our hour session on warm ups before we begin the routine” “I need to prepare the soil if there’s any chance of the seeds growing”. Our metaphors came thick and fast! And they also felt very personal: I honestly can’t say I understand the rugby one, but the dancing one makes perfect sense to me!

What metaphor would you use?”

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