We define the Group Awareness as one of four faces of the Integral Facilitator that navigates, understands, and facilitates healthy group cultures that translate into collaborative and productive behaviors.
Group Awareness Archetypes
Listening (The Friend)
- Attend to whoever is speaking and if distracted reengage with the speaker.
- Listen to grasp significance and meaning of individual participant comments (content) while facilitating.
- Listen for depth and meaning in conversation using non-verbal cues in body language and my intuition.
Inquiry (The Investigator)
- Question incongruence
- Clarify and reveal assumptions
- Ask open-ended questions to draw out participants
- Concisely summarize key points of discussion
Understanding (The Muse)
- Read group culture, i.e. norms, patterns, values, power relationships.
- Use and interpret body language to connect and engage.
- Take advantage of “surprises” and “mistakes” in service of group goals.
- Sense group’s energetic state and how it might need to shift to
support the current task.
- Sense group’s cognitive and emotional readiness for the task and adjusts approach as necessary.
- Sense group’s readiness based on stage of group development.
Forbearance (The Empath)
- Be inwardly and outwardly silent to hold space of the group.
- Keep attention on participant, not myself
- Be empathetic, putting yourself in other’s shoes
- Honor participant’s ability to experience and process their thoughts & feelings.
Set (The Shaman)
- Select and time process to consider group “state”
- Intervene to shift state in support of task
- Employ words, icons, symbols, and activities relevant to group culture
- Create rituals for learning, connection, transition
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.
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.