Young Team Builders
It's Never Too Early To Start Changing The World
Photo by Miha Rekar
This post is submitted by Frances, a high school senior and team builder.
The one thing that absolutely marked the curve in my growth as a facilitator so far was realizing how important it is to be able to adapt to your group and allow the facilitation to take the path that will be most beneficial for them, even if that is not your intended outcome.
I think that a good facilitator merely guides the group and allows the participants to come to their own conclusions. While the facilitator is obviously structuring the way the activity flows,
I’ve found that my ability to promote growth while not forcing a fixed outcome upon the group is vital to the strength of the outcome of the activity. Of course, having an outcome in mind and being properly planned when facilitating an activity is crucial. However, you never know where your group will take an activity, and if it’s in the complete opposite direction from your original intent, I think that it’s more beneficial to allow them to groove with the outcome they naturally pull from the activity.
As a facilitator, I need to be prepared to foster that conversation and not be stuck in the mindset that my intended outcome is the only correct debrief to have. For me, finding the confidence to pull questions from what happened during the activity or what’s been said in the debrief instead of reading prepared questions off a sheet in my hand was one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as a facilitator. I really think it just came with experience and failing forward in the past, but now it’s the lesson that I feel has advanced me the most as a facilitator, and one of the learning opportunities I’ve been most thankful for.
Photo by Michael Weidner
This post is submitted by Annisa, a high school sophomore and peer team builder.
My greatest lesson as a young team builder, that I have learned so far, has been learning to go with the flow and being confident even when my facilitation and/or plans do not go exactly how I want them to.
In the beginning of my time facilitating, I only felt confident in briefing and debriefing activities when I had a very well-organized plan and my entire peer leader team knew exactly what was going to happen during a class period.
An experience that really tested this, and shook my confidence, happened early on in our semester. We had planned to pull another leader’s car and debrief and talk about the importance of effort in our Adventure class. Unfortunately, the leader whose car we were planning on pulling was late to class, which meant that we had to re-plan the entire class period within the 7 minutes of passing period we had before the class started. For someone who needs to be planned, this was extremely stressful for me because I felt very unprepared being a new leader who was not very used to facilitating to begin with.
During the class, my co-leaders and I 'pulled' together very well as a team and we were able to have a very successful experience even though most of it was unplanned. This unexpected situation challenged not only my need to be organized, but also my confidence.
The lesson that I learned from this very stressful situation was that even when things don’t go according to plan, you can still be confident and facilitate through it. I think that I have used this new-found confidence daily in my Adventure class because each and every day things go wrong and things don’t go entirely according to plan. Now, I am ready and confident when I need to improvise during a facilitation.
Young team Builders are high school and college age students working in team building settings around the world, contributing to this space, sharing what they're creating, programming, teaching and learning.
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