Self Awareness for Groups

I was working with a client last week that was immersed in a relatively difficult “who’s in charge” conversation. At one point in the conversation, one of the participants said (I’m paraphrasing here):

I’ve noticed that we’re not answering the question Jamie just asked. He asked us what we thought the role of [a particular group] was, and we’re not answering that. We’re doing what’s comfortable and talking about how many times a year this group should meet and other process details, but we’re avoiding talking about the more difficult topic.

Amen! I love it when groups point out what’s going on, so I don’t have to. As a facilitator, one of the things I often do is point out dynamics like that. Like this participant, I try to do it without judgment, but I do point it out.

But it’s better when the group itself can point it out. Too often we get immersed in the content of the conversation, so we stop being aware of what is happening, and there is often just as much to be learned from the process as from the content.