Facilitator’s ABC: Point Thread Bandwidth

Cord Oliver Molthan attitude, facilitation

One large room. Thirty-one people from one organization. Many have long tenure with the company. Diverse departments. All connected to technology. The big boss comes in and says why everyone has come together and where to go. No questions. No resentment. Big boss leaves. Facilitator takes over. Greeting. Warming up with each other. Question: do you all know why you are here? And then, normally, the facilitator can go get some tea first as thirty-one people try to generate a shared understanding of why they are there. This process can take several hours with interventions, small group discussions, breaks, and threatening to leave the room as things go in circles and no result is in sight. Lunch Break. The diversity of perspectives and interests leaves the facilitator with the task in the room, that after lunch, there should be an idea for agreement on the table that allows the group to breathe a sigh of relief and chart a constructive way forward. Can this be a point? Can diversity be brought to the point?  Is it worthwhile to work out a red thread and get the group to agree on a common logic? During three hours the group has just gone through the four phases of team building. How broad or narrow can the construct that now follows be so that the tenuous foundation of togetherness survives? The solution is bandwidth. A corridor that sets out breadth and path and destination and allows the group to experience in a physical experience the togetherness that has been worked out. But how exactly does that work?