hand drawn

Use These Techniques to Diffuse A Tense Scenario at Work (or at Home)

One of the exciting things about being a facilitator is that you get to work with people. And people are not always predictable, which may leave you in the midst of a conversation that heated up real quick, and all eyes are on YOU to see how you’ll handle the situation.

You’ve got to think quickly, act compassionately, and get the group back on track without saying something that will completely shut individuals or the group down. (And at this point your client is super pumped they made the savvy decision to bring in a facilitator for this meeting instead of having to be the one in the hot seat.)

What do you do? This week I’m sharing some tips from the lovely and talented Carrie Bennett on how to “Unload Loaded Language”.

  1. Stay calm!  This isn’t about you.  It’s your job to help people hear and understand one another, not weigh in on the merits of their ideas. 
  2. Dig through the negative to find what the person DOES want.  Buried in their statements is something even their “opponent” can probably support in some way (try to find the interest behind their position).  The more you know about the issues, the more easily you can do this but you don’t need to be an expert.  Listen for what’s important to people.
  3. Translate the loaded language into something more neutral. Try to preserve the interest and check back to get the speaker’s agreement before you go on.

Give it a try…how can you re-frame these statements to be more neutral?

  • Melanie is such a slob.  I can’t even work with her because I’m always having to clean up her messes.  I’m not her maid!
  • You know, these freeloaders aren’t even trying.  They’re just happy to live off the government and let the rest of us foot the bill.  If they really wanted a better life, they would get off their @$$*$ and get a job.
ConverSketch learn to draw unloading

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Need a professional to help guide your group and unload things if they get spicy?

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

The first week of April we got to take some time off and float through Cataract Canyon in Utah. I love rafting because I get to disconnect completely, be present, and enjoy the beauty of the Canyon and my friends. I always try to sneak in a bit of plein air watercolor, and waiting for the shuttle was a perfect moment to do a quick sketch.

The first week of April we got to take some time off and float through Cataract Canyon in Utah. I love rafting because I get to disconnect completely, be present, and enjoy the beauty of the Canyon and my friends. I always try to sneak in a bit of plein air watercolor, and waiting for the shuttle was a perfect moment to do a quick sketch.

Since we got back from Cataract, it's been full on video production here at ConverSketch HQ. Here's the one I finished up last week -- and hopefully you'll get to see another one in the next post as well.

Short & Sweet - Where in the World is ConverSketch

Good morning!

It's time for some experimenting here at ConverSketch. So this week I'm keeping it short and sweet with few words and mostly images of what I'm working on. 

Last week I worked to graphic record and co-facilitate a workshop with researchers and practitioners that help ensure disaster recovery work includes and is sensitive to the culture of the people affected.

I've also been working on a heap of videos this fall -- here's a snapshot of me painting some veggies for a restaurant in downtown New York City that is seeking to triple the impact of every dollar through its business model, and a screenshot of a video for the National Park Service on smart wildlife watching (click to see it!). Other videos in the works include research on bovine tuberculosis, fish consumption advisories, climate change in National Historic Parks, and fire mitigation strategies for homeowners.

Finally, I've been working with the Conservation Leadership Through Learning Master's program at Colorado State University to do a short training series on basic facilitation and graphic recording skills for conservation professionals. Here they are facilitating a World Cafe.

I need your help! Did you like this shorter email? Not so much? Please let me know so I can send you Email Goodies that spark creativity and are full of interesting little nuggets to make your day better.
 

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina