Facilitation, rapt attention, and love

facilitation rapt attention and lovePerhaps you’re wondering: what’s the connection between facilitation, rapt attention, and love?

Why am I drawn to facilitation? I’ve often heard an uneasy inner voice that wonders if it’s about a desire or need for control and/or power. And yet I know through experience that when I am facilitating well, I have influence but no real control or power.

Then I read this:

“Freud said that psychoanalysis is a ‘cure through love,’ and I think that is essentially correct. The love is conveyed not so much in the content as in the form: the rapt attention of someone who cares enough to interrogate you. The love stows away in the conversation.”
—Psychotherapist and writer Gary Greenberg, interviewed in “Who Are You Calling Crazy?”, The Sun, July 2016

Facilitation is not psychotherapy (though sometimes it may have similar results.) But they both have something in common when performed with skill: the gift of listening closely. And that gift of rapt attention is given out of love—not of the content but through the form.

Though I sometimes want to be in (illusory) control, I am drawn to facilitation out of love.

Why are you drawn (if, indeed, you are) to facilitation?

Photo attribution: Flickr user alphachimpstudio

3 thoughts on “Facilitation, rapt attention, and love

  1. Yes, you’ve captured the essence of facilitation: listening with love. There’s a grace to facilitating, almost like choreography, that allows us to bring out the best in people. The brilliance is there, right on the surface, and our job is to coax that from our participants and allow them to share with the group in a way that contributes to everyone. We all yearn to be heard and a facilitator gives that as a gift that, paradoxically, has nothing to do with him or her–and yet is has everything to do with him or her. Thanks for your insights, Adrian!

    1. Vickie and Adrian, I didn’t know the two of you knew each other! Glad to have both of you in my network!

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