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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Facilitation Anywhere - Ending and Transition

The year end has got us thinking about the flow of experience from beginnings through to endings and transitions, and how the best of our experience and learning can enliven and enrich the next stage of our lives. So too with gatherings. When a meeting comes to an end, how can we best support people to make that sometimes tricky transition back to the workplace?
meeting 01
image credit development art.com

In our first blog in this series, focusing on the ‘openings’ of an event, we talked about a key early task for facilitators being to help people ‘arrive’ in every sense of the word. At the start of a gathering we help people transition from the clogged busyness of the everyday so they can focus on their shared purpose and agenda. When a group spends time together, committed to a common agenda and prepared to relax into a more creative frame of mind, together they can make a kind of magic when they find or combine ideas, untangle the knots that block progress, and release energy for joint action.

Meetings and gatherings at their best open up space for focused conversation and exchange, thinking and reflection on the issues and questions that really matter to the people in the room. These are luxuries under normal operational pressures. All the more important then to intentionally create spaces that allow for emergence – that unpredictable and magical thing that happens when ideas and thoughts combine and something else takes shape.

So a good ending really matters. It completes a cycle of learning, energy and engagement so that people can more easily make the transition back into the realities of working and everyday life. Ending is a process, and includes drawing together key learning, deciding on actions and personal commitments, reviewing the event process, saying thank you and good-bye, and bringing everything to a close.

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