If I was facilitating a meeting and everyone was as restless and distracted as I was today, I would have called for a break and recommended a walk around the building, perhaps guided some basic stretches or a facilitated game where folks move around.
Then I would have huddled with the agenda – Hmm, should we shift tasks? Is there a higher energy activity we can do now, and save this dull stuff for a time when people are concentrating better? Is there a way to re-frame or re-organize this work so that people can function differently while doing it? Can we work in a different room, or move into different lighting? Do we need snacks or more coffee? (The answers to those last two are always yes!)
It’s so easy to try to power through unfocused, unproductive moments, because, let’s face it, we do have to do a lot of tedious tasks and we can’t always feel awesome while doing them! But so often in groups, we are sludging endlessly around the same items – when a 10 minute break would clear heads and save an hour(s) of glazed eyes and talking in mind-numbed circles.
However, today I did not take any of the advice or use any of the great techniques for focusing energy that I have learned over the years from watching great facilitators keep groups moving through tough material.
Instead, I stared at documents with bleary eyes and sighed a lot. If I was facilitating myself, I believe would have pulled myself aside and for a quick check in.
Why don’t I facilitate myself like I would a group? I have a feeling I’m not the only one who would enjoy the benefits of receiving the same thoughtful structures from myself that I try so hard to set up for other people. 🙂