Excellent Facilitation: Embrace the Journey

We should seek… “not perfection as a final goal, but the ever-enduring process of perfecting, maturing, refining is the aim of living.”

John Dewey

Learning is a process, not an outcome. Encourage participants to view the group process as a journey that has no particular destination. However, even experience cannot teach us what we do not seek to learn.   

John Dewey once wrote that we should seek, “Not perfection as a final goal, but the ever-enduring process of perfecting, maturing, refining is the aim of living.” This is true of excellent facilitation.

Participants should use group action as a starting point for a lifelong journey that includes learning, reflection, examination, and re-envisioning democracy in our communities.   

Facilitators help groups down that path, and encourage participants to embrace the journey.  

Here are seven ways to embrace the journey with participants.

7 Ways to Embrace the Journey

  1. Try The New: Encouraging participants to try new things can be a powerful tool for learning in any activity. Pushing habits to the wayside and behaving, thinking, and feeling differently can be a major gateway for meaningful facilitation.
  2. Stop Controlling: For some participants its important to control and direct as much as they can, whenver they can. Facilitating opportunities to let go and stop controlling can be powerful ways to open a group up.
  3. Walk In Small Steps: Encourage participants to see learning as many small steps instead of looking for one big outcome. Your activities will have ups and downs, and learning won’t always make sense — immediately.
  4. See What Matters: In our activities, participants need to see what matters and let go of what doesn’t. Encourage them decide what is most important, and let go of things that don’t matter.
  5. Make Mistakes. Give participants opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them. Facilitate learning from mistakes and encourage the group to be better and grow from them.
  6. Get Grateful: Teach participants that sharing and showing gratitude can mean saying thanks overtly, or simply reminding yourself that you’re thankful for what’s happened. its important to remember that we’re not alone in our learning, no matter what it looks like.

When we embrace the journey of excellent facilitation we see that participants teach us, too!

Read on to learn more about excellent facilitation.

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Published by Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker and writer who researches, writes and shares about youth, education, and history. Learn more about me at https://adamfletcher.net

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