Friday, September 17, 2010

Facilitating Kindness

to make easier or less difficult; help forward (an action, a process, etc.)

That certainly sounds like kindness, doesn't it?

Every year I lead ( I like to think, facilitate) many workshops. Usually the theme revolves around sportsmanship. But it isn't often that I have the opportunity to participate in an event that is led by a professional facilitator. Yesterday, however, I had the absolute pleasure of being part of a brainstorming session that took place at the True Sport offices in Ottawa, led by professional facilitator/artist Judy Kent.

Facilitating is such an art. It is the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each individual at the table, pull out those strengths, encourage contribution and consensus, all within the framework of a specific agenda. To make this appear easy, is ironically, no easy feat. When a facilitator can point out the elephant in the room with a gentleness that is no less frank, it not only moves the agenda forward, but preserves everyone's dignity. Not surprisingly, Judy is the lead facilitator for Generations for Peace.

Generations for Peace:
Generations For Peace is a global organisation founded by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan, to contribute to the world’s need for greater tolerance and understanding between conflicting communities; ultimately helping to lead to a demand and desire for peace.

Launched in Jordan in April 2007, Generations For Peace uses sport to empower leaders of youth from hostile regions, to act as agents of change to help instil tolerance, understanding and ultimately peace. Generations For Peace will teach them sport, peace education and how to cascade the programmes in their own communities and regions.

When the session ended, I gave Judy some dakbands in recognition of her kind leadership throughout the course of the day. Since she is off to Russia next week, who knows where they might end up. I have a feeling the stories of kindness will inspire us all.

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