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Episode 161

April 20th, 2022

161:Workshops are the Conflict Playground for Real Life with Ez Bridgman

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    Intersectionality is a fundamental part of facilitation – and a common topic on this podcast – but, usually, we discuss it in relation to other professional disciplines.

    It’s high time we looked at how facilitation can influence our personal lives, in our deepest and dearest relationships.

    Ez Bridgman, creative experience designer and playful vitality proponent, joins this episode to discuss playfulness, vulnerability, and conflict. And, of course, how facilitation can be a guiding light through all those complexities in our relationships.

    Find out about

    • How Ez has curated a “garden of life” and how it’s helped him and those around him
    • Why play isn’t always laughing, exuberance, and high energy
    • Why sticking with your plan and ignoring the energy in the room can be disastrous
    • How to use conflict to strengthen your relationships, not harm them
    • What it means to make an agreement and why it’s critical to prove you’ll stick to it
    • How to use ‘Theoretical Speed Dating’ to prepare a group for collaboration

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    And if the idea of NeverDoneBefore 2021, the community of facilitators, caught your attention; click here to explore it in more detail!

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    Questions and Answers

    01:19When did you start calling yourself a facilitator? 03:53What was your measure of success, that allowed you to feel comfortable with the label of facilitator? 04:57 What would make a workshop fail? 07:10In corporate settings, does following energy, rather than a plan, feel like freedom? 10:08How do you use play as a tool or method in facilitation? 13:51How do you create an environment in which people feel comfortable coming out of their shells? 15:57How do you encourage people in a corporate setting to open up when they fear being judged? 22:47How does clowning incorporate in your facilitation? 24:16Can you share your journey of ‘interior expansion’? 26:50After your own journey of breaking out of your shell, do you find you have more empathy for hesitant or uncomfortable participants? 30:01How do you hold space to act in a facilitative way with your family? Is there a tension between facilitation and participation? 35:09 What would be your advice to anyone who wants to try a ‘family roasting’, but wants to avoid it spiralling or becoming hurtful? 02:05 The value of practicing conflict ‘out loud’, just as much as we practice agreement. 04:02 What’s your advice for remembering our facilitative powers when in moments of conflict? 06:55So how can we create a sense of safety for ourselves, so that we can tap into our empathy? 08:55Is it safe or sensible to use play to resolve conflict? 11:38Can you share an example of an exercise? 15:08What impact does it have to focus on a point of distinct disagreement and opposition? 18:13How do you structure the ‘closing circle’? 21:23Was there anything you wanted to share that we haven’t discussed yet? 22:43How would you handle someone who doesn’t play by the rules?


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