Resources for Skillful Facilitation

This week, we're sharing the words of Laura Peck. Laura is a coach, facilitator, and yoga teacher with over 30 years of experience working with leaders committed to building a world that works for all. Her passion is at the intersection of reflection, conversation, and embodied presence.  We at Luminare are big fans, and encourage you to subscribe to her newsletter for some monthly wisdom.


“Every time we gather becomes a model of the future we want to create.”
- Peter Block in Community: The Structure of Belonging

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As part of my moving into my next decade, I’ve been looking through old journals and winnowing my book collection. If I could create a word cloud, I am certain that Conversations That Matter would be in 36 font.

I am hungry for conversations (from the Latin, turning to one another) that are robust enough for conflict, that get to the heart of what we care most about, that generate connection and learning. They happen over coffee, around tables and campfires and even video conferences.

Below is a curated list of resources for those who want to host and facilitate these conversations.

A SEMINAL ARTICLE: THE POP MODEL

The Fabulous POP Model is the facilitation resource I share most frequently. POP stands for purpose, outcomes and process. It’s an essential guide to thinking through and designing meetings that work.

The framework invites us to start at the beginning with the hard work of getting clear on purpose: why do we want to convene people? Can we assure a return on our investment of time and attention, our most precious resources? As we distill our purpose we can determine the vital few participants (Tip: a meeting may not be the best way to achieve our purpose).

Only then are we ready to consider outcomes: what we specifically want to accomplish and process: what the content and sequence of information sharing, sense-making, planning and deciding is required.

FOUR BOOKS TO CHECK OUT

Each author talks about why and how and includes questions that ignite powerful inquiry.

  • Gracious Space (Patricia Hughes)

  • Talk Matters! (Mary Gelinas)

  • Turning to One Another (Margaret Wheatley)

  • Community: The Structure of Belonging (Peter Block)

FOUR PLACES TO HONE YOUR SKILLS

ON THE MAT

As a yoga teacher and a student, I apply The Fabulous POP Model to designing a home practice or a class. I consider:

Purpose: Why do I practice?
Outcomes: What do I want to learn, strengthen, or heal?
Process: How might I sequence the asanas for the time and props I have available?

Intention informs attention. The body is the field of awareness. My practice becomes a conversation of query and response: What happens if I exhale on the extension? What do I need to strengthen or release to find stability? Where is my foundation in the pose?

MY GO TO RESOURCES

  1. In Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body, Donald Moyer offers a series of practice sequences with chapters like "Align your Shoulder Blades," "Balance your Sternum," and "Stabilize your Elbows." He guides the student to develop awareness, to cultivate an experimental approach, and to deepen her home practice.

  2. In Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, B.K.S. Iyengar offers therapeutic practices for body systems and disease conditions. When I have a cold, I turn to his chapter on the Respiratory System and follow his “prescription.”

As Mr. Iyengar writes, "An asana is not a posture which you assume mechanically. It involves thought, at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance."

Thank you for holding this space for me! If you are interested in Facilitation Coaching or yoga instruction, don’t hesitate to reach out.