The Integral Facilitation model views every situation as containing the following four perspectives: 1) Experiential, 2) Behavioral, 3) Social & Systemic, and 4) Cultural.
When applied to groups, the Integral Facilitation Model offers a holistic framework that allows us to:
- Systematically examine and facilitate the cultural, task, and process aspects of group dynamics.
- Better understand the natural complexity of systems and situations by taking into account the multiple dimensions, stages of development, and state of groups.
- Include and leverage the subtle but powerful view of Self as an instrument to provoke optimal performance.
- Facilitate the emergence of complex, high-functioning, collaborative teams.
The Four Quadrants of Facilitation
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
— The Beatles —
We can look at the very act of facilitation and collaboration, in addition to the facilitator, through these same four quadrants. So here is how we define these quadrants as four aspects of any engagement from a facilitative perspective.
SELF-AWARENESS: The awareness, attention, intention, values, knowledge, and motivation of the individual, whether the group leader or participant. This is the realm of self-awareness.
TASK MANAGEMENT: This quadrant presents objectives, goals, and constraints such as time, cost, quality, and scope. It is fueled, as well, by content such as facts and figures that can stimulate the work of the group to achieve an expected or intended outcome. Outcomes may look like a list of ideas, a report, a new product, a solution, an improved organizational system, or a more effective team.
GROUP MANAGEMENT: Much of what’s visible in the world of the group facilitator are the processes, methods, tools, and structures he or she uses to engage groups in healthy participation to facilitate progress towards their stated goals.
GROUP AWARENESS: Each group or organization possesses its own unique and ever-changing internal dynamic: its specialized values, symbols, worldviews, structures, and behavioral norms. These are reinforced because of the conditions and context it faces. Being able to recognize, read, and understand group or organizational culture must become a central focus if we are to solve complex problems.
Next, we identified 20 skill sets or archetypes that we believe are important to facilitate collaboration in groups and mapped them into four quadrants. Understand that we group these not for rigid application to those tasks assigned to each quadrant but in an attempt to organize our thinking and cover all the roles occupied by facilitation. Review summaries of each of these archetypes in the pull-down menu under Archetypes of Collaboration. In addition to the competency map, we have an Integral Facilitator’s Primer & Self-Assessment. Complete this assessment to determine your level of competency for each of these archetypes, then consider the questions that follow to help you craft a development plan to enhance your skills.
You may freely use this assessment in your meetings and organizational work to help develop the facilitation skills of yourself and others as long as it is presented intact within this document as a whole.
Enhanced Facilitator Value
Facilitators equipped with an integral perspective can bring great value to their groups before they even gather. Helping them to view the “problem” through a wider lens can lead us closer to the source issues and when these are addressed, solutions are farther reaching, have more leverage, and far greater return on investment of time and resources.
This model is taught in an applied format during our Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration Workshop, a five-day experiential event offered regularly at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and sometimes at other locations throughout the country based on interest and by invitation.