One-legged facilitation

Day one of our strategic planning workshop is over. We started, as I had predicted (and planned for in my design), about an hour after the announced starting time. This time the late start was not entirely preventable as the president of the country was in the neighborhood for an official function. As a result the traffic in our part of the city had come to a complete stop for most of the morning. This meant that the cake for the tea break and the lunch food did not arrive as planned.

And so we skipped the morning break and then continued the afternoon program with empty bellies until the president had gone home and the road had opened and the food could come through.

I took the participants on an imaginary trip to the year 1398 (Afghan’s solar calendar, our year 2018) and let them dream and fantasize what was in place then, related to pharmaceutical affairs in Afghanistan, and what stood in sharp contrast with the current situation which we had explored earlier in the morning.

The event is essentially in Dari. I can follow some of the deliberations but not enough to facilitate on my own. One of my colleagues is my co-facilitator. He is learning on the job to facilitate a design that is totally new to him, but he is game. We practiced the guided imagery and then he got it. As I faded towards the end of the day, because one-legged facilitation is a little more challenging than the two-legged kind, he and Judy took over. I seated myself out of the line of sight, massaging my sore ankle which I had liberated from it boot.

Spirits were up when we closed the day. I know what we did was the easy part: restating what had already been stated a thousand times, namely the key conditions of the present that need to be addressed in order to get out of the doldrums, and dreaming about the future. Tomorrow will be more challenging as they need to commit to actions that will put wheels under their dreams.

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