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Friday, September 25, 2009

Time for Some Kick-Ass?

My goal as a facilitator is to meet the group where they are at and create a space for them to get what they want. Simple. And, I like simple.

There is a subtle complexity though which is interesting and challenging. How much structure should I bring? Should I bring a “hard edge” style or a softer, more welcoming and accepting edge? I can do the hard edge… short abbreviated sentences, clear instructions, little story or emotion, just the facts. And, I can do the soft edge… let the stories unfold a bit, embrace emotion, lead from a step behind yet still lead, keep a light grip on what is coming up and where the group wants to go.

I am noticing that many groups today are desiring the softer edge. In a rapidly changing and unsettled world environment, the soft edge seems to provide a refuge, a place of comfort, a sense of support. Not a free-for-all touchy feely love fest, yet a space that says “come inside for a time… it’s pretty tough out there right now.”

It makes me wonder about how this might translate to leadership in the workplace. Is it time for kick-ass… or is it time to take a breath and recognize that we are people first and we all have fears about what’s lurking just over the horizon?

How are you showing up with your people right now? What would support look like… for them? Have you asked recently?