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Self-facilitation and remote working

How do you motivate yourself? An interesting exploration of self-facilitation.

I am back again today. After setting myself the goal on the 1st of April to write a blog post every day now until the end of the year, I already failed right at the beginning. But that is ok as long as I get back to it. So here I am writing again.

It does fit the subject of this blog today. I learnt yesterday in one of our remote team meetings, that self- facilitation is increasingly more important in a virtual environment. What do I mean by self - facilitation?

By Self-facilitation I refer to once own capacity to manage oneself. It starts with an increase in self-awareness. It most likely is a life's journey of discovering oneself.

These times of isolation provide a wonderful opportunity to go deeper into understanding and being with oneself. In the context of being with others, the more you know yourself the more you can facilitate any triggers that might come up for you when you are with others.

The general rule of thumb in this situation is that whatever you feel inside of you has most like to do with you and not with others. So how can you shift yourself from being triggered to being able to be present with the others again? This is the journey of self-facilitation. Whilst I am writing this, I am realising that I just opened up a huge subject. So please see this as a starting point on how we might use this understanding in our current situation. For today, I like to explore this in two ways:  

1) In the context of online meetings

One thing that is very challenging to do in a virtual environment is to read the room. As a facilitator of meetings and workshop, we do use the skill of reading the room a lot. What that means is that you look around and you pick up on body language, people's energy, which can be high or low or neutral and it tells a story about people's engagement.

When this happens, a facilitator/ leader of the meeting can intervene to invite people who might be disengaged or can shift the energy levels by suggesting another process to shift the group back to a more energetic and engaged stage.

Reading the room is hard to do in a virtual environment. All you see as the facilitator is the upper body of the people in the group and depending on the technology that you use you might not even see the other people or all of them. That means that you can not see how people react to an intervention or question that you might offer.

This can make it very challenging to facilitate online meetings effectively.

If, however, the facilitator of the meeting would invite people to self-facilitate and invite people to name what is missing for them, then this would help to run remote meetings more smoothly. What I mean by that is that people are invited to speak up when something is not working for them. For example, "I feel stuck in my head, is there something we can do to move into another part of our whole person so that I can focus again?"

This will give the facilitator a hint to ask another question or suggest another exercise to shift the group. For example, for this question, you could suggest going for a brief walk in your house to pick an object that represents how you feel about the topic of discussion or asks the group to draw so that they get a moment off the screen and access another part in their body.

Or if you feel restless stand-up and stretch. Turn your camera off if you like and drop a note in the chatbox. Do whatever you need to do to stay present at the meeting. Self - facilitation can help to make online meetings more successful!      

2) In the context of remote working

Most of us probably know the term of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. In the context of remote working, the importance of intrinsic motivation is becoming stronger.

Here is a great image that shows the difference between the two:

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Here is also a fantastic article that helps to understand how to create more intrinsic motivation in relation to self motvaton and also parenting:

The short answer to the subject of self - facilitation is that we are responsible for ourselves and our state of being. In these times of forced isolation and in many cases forced intimacy with the people we live with, we do have to increase our level of self - facilitation. We have a choice.

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Have a great day. Simone

Connect with the Author

Simone Maus is an experienced facilitator and trainer of facilitators. She has worked with experienced and emerging facilitators all over the world in government, business and community sectors. Her expertise lie within workshop design, coaching programmes and training programmes for workshop and meeting facilitators with any level of experience.

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