As a facilitator, one of the hardest things I have to deal with is helping others articulate themselves so they’re being clear on what they want to say and to whom they’re saying it.
Most people have a belief that they are likely to offend someone if they speak their mind, so they don’t and they speak in vague language instead. They try and couch what they want to say in words and language that is trying to say something but doesn’t end up saying anything.
I guess some of this is the British stiff upper lip attitude. We’ll just crack on and hope to not offend anyone along the way.
But teams don’t work that way. Especially when people have things they need to say. They end up expressing themselves in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. Things I’ve heard and seen often over the years:
- And we all know what that means
- We have a blame culture
- It’s not my opinion but…
- Someone not engaging in the team discussion
- Behaviours that suggest some people are not willing to speak up
And so that’s where I think the role of a facilitator really comes into being. In providing safe and healthy ways for people to express themselves, to say what they want to say and need to say, to be heard. And those of us who philosophise about such things, will understand those are human instruments. We need those to happen in our lives for us to be well.
It’s one of the challenges I see online. People express themselves poorly when they’re in anger and frustrated and they’re seeking ways to express themselves in ways they can’t see a better way of doing.
Which is one of the things I enjoy about Twitter chats like #ldinsight or #failchat. They have a community of people who can help you to be more articulate. There’s a group of people present who are mindful about words and language and the influence they have on day to day living.
Just some thoughts and reflections today. Nothing more.