Tag Archives: Facilitation

It could be you- or is it them?

It’s Nic here, my last blog for a couple of weeks as I’m shortly off to Sordevolo, Italy for almost three weeks to stay with family.  Lots of sunshine, peace, mountain walks and the odd glass of wine.

It’s been another interesting week.  I facilitated a meeting in Bedfordshire for a group of trustees from a range of organisations.  I had been approached by officers, concerned that as a result of the changing funding landscape for voluntary sector groups,  trustees had a series of potentially very difficult decisions to take.   Officers wanted me to help trustees to start talking about the elephant in the room-could and should all the organisations present continue in their current form?

I had not spoken to any of the trustees and my brief was just that- brief.  I arrived at the meeting with no prepared agenda and only a loose understanding of what the trustees wanted to achieve. I thought I might encounter a hostile group but this was not the case.  What I met was a group of trustees who were well aware of the challenges their organisations faced and who remained committed to ensuring that the core purpose of their organisations, to support others, remained paramount.  We enjoyed a frank, open and focused meeting before being joined by officers.  During the initial part of the meeting, I mentioned that officers had told me that the trustees were reluctant to address difficult key issues.  The wry smiles told me that the trustees might also think the same of the officers…

It’s all about communications isn’t it?  It could just be about  us and not about them, or it could be about both of us.  Of course difficult situations compound things  But at the core, is the need to communicate, especially true when things get difficult.

The trustees agreed to set up a Work Group to examine in detail the options and way forward for organisations individually and collectively.  Although, I pride myself on being a good facilitator, I couldn’t manage exploring all options and agreeing a way forward in less than two hours!

It was a strong start to a challenging progress and I’m really pleased that I’ll be carrying on working with the group as they move forward.  I’ll keep you posted.