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Episode 113

May 19, 2021

113: Taoism, agility, and the essence of facilitation with Dov Tsal

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    Facilitation has many intersections, but one I didn’t ever think I would discuss on this podcast is that of Taoism and facilitation.

    Yet, here we are, and it has proven to be an eye-opening, enriching experience.

    This week, I am joined by Dov Tsal. Dov is a Scrum Master, coach, and transformation expert with an exceptional and unique perspective on facilitation.

    Join us as we explore the shared roots and surprising similarities between this ancient Eastern religion and the practice of facilitation. I think you will be amazed by the connections Dov makes.

    Find out about

    • Dov’s connection to Taosim and how it complements and enhances his work
    • Why emotional energy is so important if we want to achieve transformation
    • How Dov differentiates between Taoist Agile and Agile
    • Dov’s secret to ‘always being right’
    • Why great facilitation comes from deep preparation that is loosely held
    • Why Dov believes so strongly in the value in emergent facilitation
    • How we can use silence in our workshop design
    • Negotiating our narratives about the past and future to help us be present

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    Thanks to our sponsor “Dancing with Markers”. Click here to get the workshops work discount for Lauren’s upcoming visual facilitation course.

    Questions and Answers

    01:06When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?
    05:15What other schools of thought have inspired you as a facilitator?
    07:21 If we are like neurons in a brain, what is our equivalent to synapses?
    09:05When was the moment you connected Taoism with your work?
    13:02 What is something that people get wrong about what agile actually is?
    18:47What does harmony look like in an organisation?21:13What – if any – difference is there between Tao Agile and ‘normal’ Agile?
    23:41How do you teach people to always be right?
    28:27Could you read a short Tao poem for us?
    30:26How do you relate this idea – of removing the self and accepting the whole – to facilitation?
    32:41How do you prepare for a workshop?
    37:25How would you normally start a workshop, if you have not prepared for it?
    41:48What is the real role of a facilitator if a group can conclude a workshop without us?
    46:13What makes a workshop fail?
    55:46How do we negotiate workshops when people enter them with ‘history’ or preconceptions?
    58:57How do you create space for participants to be fully present?
    01:05:02 Does the opening exercise of asking ‘why are you here?’ help to create that space?
    01:13:15 What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?


    Dov’s Podcast – The Agile Tao Podcast

    Dov’s meeting cards: The Meeting Spicer

    The Agile Tao book

    Watch a talk between Dov with Peter Merel: here, or one about leadership: here

    Connect to Dov