During the last two days I facilitated a vision/mission workshop for 28 people. As you might guess, finding a common vision for 28 people is in itself a challenging task. In addition, there was a time constraint and a group which consists of sub-groups. On top of that, not all of them did know each other before and there was no time for a team building. All in all, a big challenge for me.
What I can say is that it was intense. Which is a very good thing. A vision should provoke emotions and it is a good thing to have arguments about it. Otherwise something is not going in the right direction. Of course, having intense arguments in a group can become at odds with my need for harmony. Another challenge =).
I also might have been a bit naïve when thinking about what can be accomplished in the amount of time given. However, I didn’t give up, but rather tried to not make it about me. I accepted the current situation and changed my thought from: “this is a problem” to “how can I help to improve the situation”. I don’t say I did everything right and I am going out with some key learnings, but it really helped me not to make what is happening about myself. Putting blame on yourself or saying it is your fault doesn’t help. Often, we react in two different ways. Blaming someone else, with is rather dangerous when facilitating, or blaming yourself. One key insight is that both are not good, because sometimes you cannot predict the outcome and all you can do is your best to improve things.
To summarize, what helped me was to reframe the problem and rather seeing it as a puzzle I can solve, because this triggered my curiosity. Furthermore, it helped to not make it about myself. This helped me to see some other benefits and, I was better able to adjust to the situation.
How do you deal with challenging situations? Let me know in the comments below.
Have a wonderful day and take care!