Group field is a tangible force. It occurs when multiple people are gathered in a focused setting which is supported by shared intention and mutual respect. It is, in essence, the magic of theatre, in which all parties agree to certain guidelines, thus creating a living, fluid, spontaneous arising of presence — the creation of a “world”. As a facilitator, by offering guidelines that create both boundaries and permission, your result will be an over-arching sense of safety within in the group. It is through safety that great openings occur.
Safety is also established through inclusion. A sense of inclusion in any given group field is possible through many creative approaches. When I facilitate classes and workshops, I utilize different tools, but always make an effort to include each person in the space, even if that is merely through eye-contact.
The inclusion of the individual is one thing, yet we can also go a step deeper to include the different aspects of each person in the space, including the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies of each person. There are many creative ways to include each aspect, and an excellent facilitator will know how to weave these aspects into each lesson. This is truly an art.
How can a facilitator give just enough information to settle the mind, but not bring it into the driver’s seat, which results in a dense “mental field”? How can a facilitator include the emotional body — the living, breathing, felt sense of each person into a workshop or class? How can a facilitator offer permission to feel good in the body — to move, stretch, close eyes (and go to the bathroom) as needed? These inquiries make for a solid foundation of excellent facilitation.
We all have been in that class or workshop that didn’t live up to this level of inclusion. These group spaces create uncomfortable experiences, to say the least! You might remember a time that you felt like you might jump out of your skin at any moment, or where your eyes were burning, or your mind churning from too much information and not enough space to process it. We’ve probably all been in that class or workshop where it really feels like we are there to celebrate the greatness of the teacher — instead of feeling included and a sense of personal care, attention, and connection.
Here are a few great tips if you are a facilitator or plan to be: Create a great introduction which includes a moment to introduce your fluid outline for the class, your plan. This can settle the mind/mental bodies of your students, and allow them the space they need to focus. Intentional movement and stating the permission and boundaries of the space can also help the group to focus while relieving the physical body of tensions. Certain prompts, inquiries, and creative practices can be woven throughout your offering to include a bit of emotional intelligence, with permission to really be alive within the space. A great inquiry is simply, “What’s alive in your body right now? What did you come into this space with?” And the Whole Integrated Being, or spiritual body, is accessed through moments of silence, space, and integration. Space for the absorption of material and the integration of new information are absolutely necessary for all settings and make for superb facilitation.
We are magical beings. When we come together in a focused and intentional way, it is possible for that magic to inform the space and create something truly awesome and inspiring through us. This something may never again arise, and it is worthy of presence. Through presence all is possible. An excellent facilitator knows how to call forth presence by establishing safety and inclusion into a group field.
Destiny Marie Love is passionate about facilitation, as you can see! She is a facilitation coach and helps many people worldwide to become excellent facilitators. Visit her website for more information and lots of free material: www.DestinyMarieLove.com
Plus you can take her online course, “The Inclusive Facilitator Training Keys” for a discount here: https://www.udemy.com/facilitator-training-keys/?couponCode=INTROVERT14 Enjoy!