A facilitator’s dilemma

23rd June 2011

Facilitation is an art, not a science, so we continually have to use our trained intuition to make judgements in the groups we work with. Here’s a great example of a facilitation dilemma from a colleague of mine. What would you have done?

Today I ran a focus group with a team of 18 people – 12 of them were perfectly marvellous participants – the other 6 were like unruly muppets.

I was coping brilliantly with the dynamic in the group until something happened that I’ve never experienced before…one of them – very purposefully – FARTED!!!! Loudly!!! Proudly!!!!

The 6 muppets told me I should feel pleased because he obviously felt comfortable with me. The others were horrified. I didn’t flinch (bit like the queen) and continued where Id left off after the commotion died down.

What would you have done? Am I a prude?