Monday, November 14, 2005

Facilitation Story

More than five years ago, I worked at a software consulting company. One of my colleagues was an excellent facilitator. Let's call him "Ron". One of our clients was, in the estimation of most of my co-workers, a very tough customer. Let's call him "Jack". It seemed it was always Jack's way, or the highway.

At one meeting, we proposed a way to solve a problem the client was having. Jack, in categorical terms, rejected the proposed solution. My colleagues heads sagged as it was obvious what was going through all of our heads, "There is no way we can change Jack's mind."

However, within five minutes, Ron had Jack enthusiastically endorsing the proposal and treating it as if were his own idea. I can't even remember what Ron asked and said to change Jack's mind, but the experience left me with the realization that facilitation is a powerful and grossly underestimated tool.

1 comment :

Chip said...

Yeah, good ol' Jack. Jack Ass, wasn't it?