We know that well run, well facilitated and well designed processes will lead to good results. We also know that it is often taken for granted that facilitation or encouraging conversations is easy. It can be, but isn’t always. Just throwing people together and asking them to talk does not always work. Power dynamics, cultural biases, gender relations and other imbalances exist everywhere, if you don’t think about facilitation, you will only reinforce these.
We are very good at knowing about others problems, issues and deficiencies. It is easy to see issues from afar, but internal reflection is hard. Asking for help is also hard. Looking outside is hard. Processes that could benefit from an external input often don’t get them. I would like 2018 to be about openness, connections and finding that common language. I would like 2018 to include a recognition that none of us are perfect, and that maybe by being honest and open we can all improve.
In 2018 I hope that people don’t passively hope that things will change. I hope that people understand that change takes work, takes openness, self reflection and facilitation.
The starting place for all of the above is finding a common language. By this, we don’t mean “English”, we mean a place, a parlance and a tone where I am understood and I can understand others. We often encounter processes were the first hurdle to clear, is making sure that everyone is “speaking the same language” that everyone is on the same page. This can include making sure that success is, and what success looks like is understood. If we can’t find a common language, it is very difficult to change.
Where can we start?
Let’s start small. Open a conversation, hold a meeting. Talk about issues that you see others having “but can’t possibly be occuring to me”. Find a common language within your own organisation and with key partners. Make sure that your success matches those of your partners. Have a meeting to discuss gender awareness & equality. Have a meeting to establish your common language. Bring in a facilitator to help. Be open.