I’ve been doing some facilitation work recently.
I love facilitating!!!
It doesn’t matter whether it’s running strategy workshops, developing culture in leadership sessions, or hard-nosed operational reviews. I love them all and have been doing them all of late.
I love the energy, the theatrics, the challenging, and the satisfaction I get from seeing teams, and people have “aha moments“. You know the ones, where things come together and there is a major movement forward and there is some group learning and togetherness.
I was working with one great team in a beautiful town south of Sydney last week. It was 4pm on a Friday afternoon. It had been a long, but VERY, productive day. Really top notch day in fact.
But 4pm on a Friday? That’s beer o’clock time, right?
Well two awesome things happened.
Firstly, I noticed the energy in the room. It was just brilliant. These people were engaged, they were talking, they were positive. They were challenged with a big transformation and they were standing up as transformational leaders. Now, apart from being my favourite catch cry (Transformation, Innovation, and Growth is what my acronym TIG stands for, after all!!), it was real! And these wonderful people were expecting less of other people and accepting the baton of responsibility to expect more of themselves as leaders of a transformation.
My drive back to Sydney was traffic-infested. But I didn’t notice because of the energy these people created. It’s a wonderful experience driven by a massive desire to see people realise their potential. No drugs involved whatsoever..as an aside, I wish some sporting people would lesson their reliance on artificial stimulants….
Secondly, there was something that happened at 4pm as well. There was great energy but there was also a great question. You see I’ve always believed that the best way to learn is to teach. It’s actually why I love facilitating because I learn so much every time I lead a session. But someone asked about mentoring. Who should they choose? What will they learn? etc etc
Mentoring is an awesome thing to do. Because you learn so much.
But here’s the drum. Don’t mentor and lecture. Mentor and ASK QUESTIONS!
A coach gives you direction, technique, even solutions. and they are important in many ways. If you have a deficiency in an area, need some skills enhancement, want some more tools and techniques.
But a mentor facilitates you to find a self-discovered solution.
But as importantly, being a mentor is wonderful. Because as a mentor you learn. You learn to ask the insightful question. You learn to listen. You learn perspectives. It’s very unselfish learning.
If you want a mentor, perhaps have a few. Get some varied and trusted people together to ask you lots of questions and guide you to find solutions.
And as a mentor, learn to ask the insightful question. Learn the art of story telling. And learn the art of listening.
Because sometimes helping others is a step to realising your potential…