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043 – Being over Doing: On the relevance of presence for facilitation with Michelle Howard


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On episode 043 I speak with Michelle Howard, a specialist facilitator and MD of collaborations in Melbourne.  She has written a book on the relevance of presence and has worked in the government, private and not-for-profit sectors.

“The most valuable (facilitation) tool we have is ourselves.”
Michelle Howard

In less than one hour, Michelle and I explore many different spheres besides the relevance of presence for facilitation and, how we can learn to be more present. We also speak about the analogy facilitation and parenting, the ingredients of facilitation superpowers, the role of ego, and the limitations of accreditation programs when it comes to the assessment of "being" over "doing".

Unfortunately, the connection wasn’t really good but Michelle was able to compensate all the technical hiccups with great content and value bombs.

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Questions and Answers 


[1:36] How did you discover your superpower of facilitation?

[4:35] What have you learned from community work that you apply to your facilitation within organisations?

[5:54] What is the most important skill set a facilitator needs?

[8:42] In an earlier conversation we spoke about the analogy of parenting. What prompted this idea in you?

[12:21] Would you consider such behavior as “ego”?

[16:19] Can we learn presence and being as a facilitation skill?

[18:55] How do you create the trust a group needs to go with you through a sometimes uncomfortable process?

[22:17] Would you design for discomfort or is it something that naturally happens?

[24:20] If you were to train future facilitators on presence, what would be the first lesson?   

[26:23] To what extent does this framework of learning your story to the concept of authenticity?

[29:52] What is the role of community for facilitators to find comfort in being enough?

[31:29] Is the notion of being over doing something that is agreed or discussed across your network?

[34:27] When it comes to accreditation, is the “being” part of the facilitation skillset something that can be evaluated?

[36:51] What makes a client difficult?

[41:17] What’s your favorite exercise?

[42:45] Would participants then bring their own images to the workshop?

[50:11] What makes a workshop fail?

[53:01] What would you like the audience to remember from the conversation?


Links to check



Connect to Michelle


on LinkedIn 

Follow Michelle on Instagram @collaborations_

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