Thursday, February 27, 2014

Learning that context matters . . .

At this evenings CTE Committee meeting I took a step backward before moving forward.  I felt it was necessary with the feedback that I received from the last meeting that I blogged about here and here.  Looking back gave me a chance to reflect on decisions that were made and changes to the process that may have contributed to a difficult experience for some committee members. My reflection resulted in learning that will influence the remainder of this and future groups that I facilitate.

A significant learning for me beyond ensuring that the proper question(s) are guiding the process is the need to create a common and deep context for participants.  When in a situation that calls for skillful conversations and difficult decisions it is important for participants to have a shared and deep understanding of the given situation and variables that must be considered in the decision making process.  Too often we, as facilitators, don't create this understanding before rapidly proceeding to conversation and decision making unknowingly operating from an assumption that they have the same background knowledge and understanding as we bring to the work.   We don't remember that we spend much time in the preparation process that is difficult and often neglected when we bring the group together.  The work of the committee reinforced for me the need to replicate as much as possible this front end work to ensure that the group moves forward with this shared and deeper understanding.

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