Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.
The Upper Left Quadrant of the Integral Facilitation model refers to “Self-Awareness”. Many competency models tend to ignore this dimension of leadership yet all action ultimately starts within the subjective interior space. Your efforts to develop, lead, dare we say “facilitate” yourself will support you to become a powerful instrument for building high-functioning, collaborative teams.
Why Facilitate Yourself?
Meeting the demands of this role often requires a certain degree of intestinal fortitude, courage, and authenticity. It requires one to remain attentive to content, context, process, and human psychology in a way that many jugglers can’t imagine. Like a juggler, facilitating happens in real-time and in front of others. Managing or facilitating yourself prepares you as a leader to serve more effectively. This is so because:
- A leader’s actions are influenced by mental models, perspectives, and overall mindset at the moment.
- Leaders have inferential and relational power, the impacts of which one must be conscious.
- Leaders manage and deliver on projects THROUGH interactions with people.
The values and level of awareness held by individuals are reflected in the systems in which they operate. This relationship is illustrated in our familiar four-quadrant model and is further validated by Otto Scharmer when he suggests that Awareness is the Blind Spot, and hence the leverage point in leadership today.
Therefore, when the blind spots, patterns, worldviews, and momentary lapses in self-awareness that we don’t recognize in ourselves greatly affect our abilities as leaders, Self-Facilitation becomes a necessary skill. One requiring you to practice conscious and mindful action in each and every moment, which is made all the more challenging in the presence of dynamic and sometimes dysfunctional groups!
Conversely, the very process of leading groups can be a catalyst for expanding self-awareness and is therefore transformative for the practitioner as well as for the group. Facilitating groups can cause you to see your inner terrain more obviously than nearly any other event in life. We believe this is so because, in your desire to be there completely for your group, you are at the same time more completely there for yourself, and necessarily more self-aware.
The competencies and the practices described in the 20 Archetypes of the Integral Facilitator will serve to cultivate the landscape of the “Inner Guide.” In this spirit and in service to leadership that we invite you to dig in more deeply to both “know thyself” as a product of your past, then to “facilitate thyself” as an instrument of the present.
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.
 Scharmer, Otto, Addressing the Blind Spot of Our Time:Executive summary of Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, 2010.