Participating in a Facilitated space

What does it mean to be part of a facilitated space? To read a description of facilitated spaces you can refer to this post.

Over here we will describe how you can participate in such a space and what to expect.
The key premise of a facilitated space is that trained facilitators are available for helping out in a few different scenarios:

  • if you are having a personal issue navigating the community
  • if you are having a personal issue with another member or find something offensive or disturbing
  • if there is a communal disturbance

The facilitator’s job is not just to sympathize with one side or to remove offensive content. A facilitated space helps people grow by understanding the deeper hidden issues behind the scenes.

A facilitator is not an authority figure. They are a member of the community who brings a set of skills to mediate the space and help bridge the gap when misunderstandings take place or to alert someone if they are overstepping a boundary or guideline. This is not done by punishing nor condoning “bad behavior”, rather it is done in a way that brings awareness to what the person is doing.

As long as members are open to feedback about their actions and to evolve and change when required, there is no need for any punitive action. This is a space where we are all growing together. Including the facilitators. We are always learning.

This is why a facilitator can also be called out on their behavior. Everyone has a shadow / dark side / unconscious: a part of themselves they cannot see. This is why participating in a group / community is deeply effective. Others can help to reflect those parts which are hidden. So feedback is welcome for facilitators as well if they are behaving inappropriately. This is a level playing field.

Which brings us to you. Figuring out your role in a community is a journey in itself. This community is a completely new experimental space, so you have the opportunity to find and define your role with complete flexibility.

If you have a certain skill to offer that you feel adds value to the community, please talk about it. Whether it is organizing events / meetups / workshops, guiding new members, helping out with technical management, every bit helps to make the community more fluid and dynamic.

If you have never done it before, take on a role and see if it works. Want to train as a facilitator ? That too is a possibility. We encourage people to go out of their comfort zone and try new things - and fail spectacularly so you can learn and evolve.

Have thoughts? Please share in the comments below.

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