The method, the design, the process: Although it is easy to be preoccupied by these issues, the most important tool that we have at our disposal as facilitator is ourselves and our presence.
For me, being present in the moment and for my clients is the most important principle. I am there for your process, for you as a group, with all my senses and an open mind and heart.
Being present allows me to ask the necessary questions, to listen deeply, to react to your needs, and essentially to hold you as a group and the space you are in.
This is the source of my understanding of process consultation and facilitation. Being present. Being aware. Being authentic.
Although many typical meeting or conference rooms are not conducive to dialogue, we continue to use them out of habit. My intervention begins here. Too often, we are more concerned about the agenda than the place we are operating in. Meanwhile, the physical space exerts an incredibly strong influence on the entire process.
I aim to create spaces that are appealing to the senses that enable something to emerge. I am eager to move out of comfort zones and into spaces where people can enter into true and meaningful conversations.
Creating spaces is important, no matter how small or large the audience may be.
(see reference projects for examples of different settings for small, medium and large groups)
My Underlying Approach
My work approach is a combination of various influences, whereby the basic structure is formed by the systemic constructivist approach to organisational development. Furthermore, I regard the Gestalt approach as a relevant pattern that often helps me in my intervention design. The same applies to Edgar Schein and his approaches to consultation and change processes, or Otto Scharmer’s Theory U. Recently I have discovered Nancy's Kline Thinking Environment and I am highly inspired by her work.
In addition to these rather classic sources, I have of course been influenced by a variety of encouraging and inspiring people and all the beautiful and amazing facets of the change processes that I have had the opportunity to support.
South Africa offers wonderful opportunities to learn and explore theories of change every single day. Living in this country is my biggest inspiration and the widest learning field I can imagine.
Understanding the context and the request for my support is crucial to me. I therefore pay the most attention to the briefing process, taking time to understand and listen.
I often try to speak to various stakeholders included in the process in order to grasp their perspectives and expectations.
Before designing the actual intervention, I ensure that we understand one another and that we have a common perception of the expected outcomes.
The actual design is thought from the end, so to speak. I am always guided by the question "What do we want to achieve?" and structure the intervention accordingly.