I love turning a room of “Not So Happy to be Here at The Moment” peers into “Passionate Fired Ups with Ideas and Presence.”
I love watching the skepticals quickly move on the spectrum from “Eye Rollers” to “Eye Smilers.”
I love solving problems with Play.
I believe, when Play and Work tangles magic happens. As leaders, we don’t have to be the experts of domain, but we need to be “ The Space Holders” and “The Witnessers” for unique experts to crack out of their cocoons to show up with their beautiful colors. So, how might we just facilitate THAT? I have few theories and some tried methods:
SET AN INTENTION about the outcome before you meet with the group. Later, when the creative energy dissipates and dragon heat rises, remembering your intention will help you sail through the storms. You have an intention and you have a direction. Storm shall pass, keep sailing.
WARM everybody physically with energizers. We can not solve problems behind the open laptop screens. We need eye contact. We need body wisdom. We need connection.
TRUST that everyone in the meeting has a brilliant piece of the puzzle. Your task as the facilitator is to help gem pieces to find each other. Utilize design thinking exercises to help the pieces define their shapes. “ I have this piece that looks like a good fit here.” Boom.
PRACTICE spontaneity. Preparation before a meeting is good, but sometimes we don’t have time to prepare. Sometimes, we don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. Sometimes we just need to go with the flow. Trust that the moment will reveal what needs to be revealed for the team. Teach team to show up to see what happens.
FRAME problems. Imagine you are in an art gallery and you are walking through an exhibit of problems. Which problem is the most interesting and relevant? Invite everyone to join you to solve that frame of problem and make sure you are in the same museum, looking at the same picture.
IDEATE with Play. Give everyone permission to get the “Bad Ideas” out of their system. Role play solving problems with an “As If The Sky is Blue” mindset to make everyone creatively excited to get the ideas flowing in the room. Finally, bring them “Down to Earth” to meet timelines and budget. When people’s energies are given blue skies to soar, it is much acceptable for the creative forces to land on what is actually achievable.
BE A CHEERLEADER. Tell everyone that they are doing great. Frequently.
PROTOTYPE ideas quickly with papers, scissors, role playing, singing, drawing, whatever. Invest in “The Story” and it’s “Telling” and not in “Pixels and “ “Perfection” ”.
TEST ideas immediately.
CELEBRATE mistake and failures.
REMEMBER when “Work” and “Play” tangles, “Magic” happens.