Ah, but what are they talking about?

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

kingston.jpgDominic Campbell took this pic at an event yesterday and tweeted:

Mr @johnniemoore getting people talking at Surrey Council

I saw the tweet and idly wondered if people might feel a bit sceptical: who does this guy think he is posturing as some kind of insightful catalyst. So when @TomSprints tweeted back as follows…

@dominiccampbell @johnniemoore Ah but what are they talking about?

I could well understand the scepticism. To be a facilitator is to be constantly tempted into grandiose ideas about your importance, and (in my case anyway) to get regular reminders not to sustain them.

As it happens, I generally don’t go earwigging on group conversations. For one thing, it feels intrusive, almost supervisory. In a lot of contexts it’s also quite useful not to get too caught up in content.

But on a broader point, I generally think it’s up to participants to manage their own conversations. I guess that Tom’s concern is that these conversations might have been in some way purposeless or inefficient… but I think it’s hard to be really sure what makes a conversation purposeful. Apparently idle small talk can easily be a prelude to a riskier more challenging conversation; apparently intense conversations related to the matter in hand might lead nowhere.

Later that morning I suggested a particular way for groups to feedback. I wasn’t sure it was a good format and several groups opted out of my plan and did their own thing. I’m glad they pushed back… I take it as a healthy sign of people taking care of themselves.

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