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Episode 254

January 31st, 2024

Are Facilitators Manipulators? with Thomas Lahnthaler, Cate Czerwinski, Shamir Joseph and Florentine Versteeg

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    Master-manipulator, con-artist… facilitator? When we think of manipulation, facilitation is probably the last thing that springs to mind. We are neutral, we are trusted shepherds, we encourage emergence! So where does the line between manipulation and facilitation start, and where does it end?

    This week, my brilliant colleagues Thomas Lahnthaler, Cate Czerwinski, Shamir Joseph and Florentine Versteeg sat down with me to examine this ethically grey, but endlessly fascinating area.

    We explore manipulation in its many, inconspicuous guises: mysterious agendas, influencing the process, the facilitation tools we deploy, practising self-awareness, power dynamics and navigating participant consent.

    Find out about

    • Where manipulation and facilitation meet, overlap, and the ethical danger zones to be cautious of when facilitating
    • Why manipulation in a facilitation context becomes a causal sequence of: purpose, presence, power, process, participants and play.
    • Why practicing self-awareness and presence is crucial to be able to navigate the needs of the group, the client, and yourself
    • The power we possess as facilitators, and why obtaining consent at the beginning of a workshop is crucial to earning trust
    • Why the predefined roles that participants adopt can stifle the process and prevent new perspectives from being explored.

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