Sunday, July 12, 2009


This is the slightly tautological title of a short paper that I've just written. I found writing it both cathartic and illuminating. I had to quickly let go of the idea that it could cover the whole subject - not just because there would be a lot to say, but also because the boundaries of facilitation as a concept or discipline are fuzzy to say the least.

I also had to dispense with the idea that I could define it in any rigorous fashion. The engineer in me protested: how can you write about something that you can't define? Well I can define it, but how does that help if someone else's definition is different - and maybe just as valid?

In the end, I've just written a series of observations and conclusions on some of the aspects of facilitation that interest me. It is non-linear, it is not intellectually disciplined - in fact in some ways it bears resemblance to some of the conversations that I've facilitated. It is certainly open to rebuttal and I'm sure that you may disagree with some of my points.

I'm happy with that as questions and uncertainty are often more powerful than answers.

If you want a copy, just go to and fill in the form.

If you have a copy, post your comments on this blog!


Michael Ryding said...

Hi Chris, thanks for the chance to read your paper on Facilitation Made Easy. It was a really good piece as you managed to capture the essence of facilitation and communicate it in an enjoyable and concise manner. I was lifted by your point on it being a conversation; this is an excellent observation and extends my own drive to make all 'Business Presentations' real live conversations. Both points indicate that it is not just a one way street of instructions, teaching and advice (as is often seen to be delivered) but a tangible two way relationship with active engagement from all present. This is great, as for me it means that; firstly people matter as people not just resource blanks, and secondly that relationship building (social interaction) is vital to the success of both of these entrenched business activities. This is definitely one I’ll be letting my 'co-conspirators' know about, so well done and thanks again for taking the time to do this, I hope it serves you well.
Michael Ryding

Chris Pearse said...

Thanks Michael. I'm glad you liked it. In a funny kind of way we don't have to do much to have good, productive meetings - it's all the stuff that we do in an attempt to make them productive that gets in the way. Less is more I guess.