Successful people build each other up, they motivate, inspire and push each other. Unsuccessful people just hate, blame and complain.    Flowers only bloom when they are ready. People are the same way. You cannot rush or force them open, just because you think it's time. Be patient. - Timber Hawkeye    We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein    Success is to be measured, not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles that one has overcome while trying to succeed. - Bookert T. Washington    Be solution driven. Treat the disease, not the symptoms by targeting the source of the problem or issue.    In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins... not through strength, but through persistence. - Buddha    Are you interested in changing, or are you committed to change?
Jan 032012

The golden key to efficient facilitation is an unconditional respect for and accommodation of choice, the freedom and the freedom of choice of the individual.

The moment we start to disregard or ignore the above “golden key of facilitation“, we frequently falls into the facilitation trap and conduct facilitation activities, firmly based on an underlying believe that “I ALWAYS KNOW THE BEST“, either consciously or sub-consciously. Therefore,  the person or persons are obliged to follow my advice or – at least – accept my “expert” point of view. This facilitation trap normally starts of innocently enough, but nevertheless, is quite destructive and manipulative in its final outcome. In its core, the facilitation trap normally proceeds as follows. You…

  1. …put on the table a reasonable and straight forward request at first, not pressuring the person at all. When the person doesn’t agree or accepts your “advice“…
  2. …initiate a reasoning and discussion effort, mostly applying a one-sided “power of reason“, with some subtle hints of pressure to view things as you do. When this attempt also fail to obtain compliance…
  3. …attempt bribery, placing more pressure on the individual to convince him/her of the benefits to see things as you do. A manipulative application of the “power of sacrifice“. When this also result in failure…
  4. …resort to instill fear and use hidden threats, emphasizing that you are still “in command” and the person should – for his/her own good – accept your “superior choice“. Applying a mild form of the power of brutality, subtly indicating who’s the boss. When this fails to “convince” the individual to comply….
  5. …bring into play, brute force (i.e. bullying), placing the individual in such a position, that s/he has to conform to your “authority” unconditionally and without daring to question it.

In essence, the outcome of this facilitation trap always is… “you are going to do, what I expect from you“, regardless. Thus, very similar to “keeping the peace at all costs, even when it means going to war“.

This unhealthy cycle (facilitation trap) happens daily all over our planet, firmly supporting those with the power, to make decisions and “the powerless” should unconditionally “surrendered” to that power by their own “choice“. Because freedom of choice is only allowed, when they choose what we want them to choose.

What intensified the facilitation trap (also known as the egg syndrome), is time pressures, deadlines and a envisioned looming crisis that “force” us to start pulling the leaves of a plant, in a feeble and illusional attempt to speed-up it’s growth.

Therefore, to avoid the above described facilitation trap, we need to first understand the context and dynamics of what & who we are dealing with, before we can advice, guide, facilitate, teach, educate or coach another person.

PLEASE, do not accept advice or guidance unconditionally, because it sounds right and originate from an expert or “somebody that knows best“! Evaluate the quality of the advice or guidance on its own merit… not the messenger providing it. Thus, never – ever – surrender your “freedom of choice“.