We let our guard down during this Friday’s Transcribe and discussed what we fear as facilitators of change. Though each member of our team has varying degrees of experience as a facilitator, we found many shared fears and effective practices to overcome them.

The most common fear was that as consultants partnering with subject matter experts to solve complex business challenges, we may not share an equal level of understanding of the content being discussed. We posit that as long as a facilitator is proficient enough to grasp the flow of the conversation, it is a benefit to not be a subject matter expert on the content being discussed. Not having an expert understanding of the content makes it easier for the facilitator to be an objective partner, ask clarifying and challenging questions, and maintain the role of process expert to guide participants to achieve their objective.

Many of us also shared the fear of failing to effectively achieve the client’s objectives, especially when you do not know how you would have improved the process. This fear may be an inherent risk of facilitating. If you do not take some risks, you will not push the envelope of innovation.

Early in our careers, some of us feared knowing enough about the creative process model to facilitate a meeting, but not holistically understanding it. An understanding of practice without a comprehensive knowledge of theory is a dangerous combination that could result in methodology that lacks substance. An insatiable appetite for knowledge and the willingness to learn from others can assuage this fear.

These are some of the fears we share. What do you fear as a facilitator? Share your thoughts with us below. We look forward to continuing the discussion with you!