Igniting Group Genius through facilitation

Here are some suggestions on how to facilitate and ignite the genius of any group through your Matrix/Hakomi Group Facilitation.


RESOURCING SELF for Subtle Energy Facilitation in MatrixWorks

Here are some tips for how to resource yourself before energetically engaging the group.

Step 1: Drop into experiencing and feeling your body, aware of how energy is flowing in your body. Take as long as you need. You can be general in your focus, or very specific. For example: How does my skin feel?  What about my Bones?  What about my Fluids, organs etc.?   Doing this at beginning of facilitation allows for the Facilitator’s inner competence to bring about Coherence in the group.  Step one is intended to bring attention and awareness into your body as a base/ground to stabilize the energy.  Our body is one of the most important sources of wisdom and intuition in Groups.

Step 2: Imagine that you can really feel and connect with the mid line of your body (the spine, the central channel, whatever name…) that capacity for us to be in a state of neutrality by focusing on the midline.  This midline is connected to our sense of  our Will – applying this to what we’re doing is like gathering your energy and bringing your energy under your own direction, resourcing your will, which is something we can clarify by having an intention for the goodness of the group, the right action of the group, you want the best for everyone in the group – make this part of your consciousness before you even begin to interact with group because it sets the field of the group. In MatrixWorks we believe that the field is very important and the Field is what sets the tone for the work of the group.  Therefore, personal resourcing of the facilitator helps to make sure that the field is resourced and ready to support and to open to new possibilities. 

Step 3: Next, the Facilitator checks in with their emotional orientation in the moment– ‘How am I  feeling?’ What tells me I’m okay just now?’ ‘What lets me know I’m safe?’ Resource your emotional presence, and after spending a few moments on that, you’d want to do the same thing with your sense of the quality of your mind. Of course, this is a lot of focus and preparation of oneself before stepping into Leadership, but this is a sequence that can empower you to become much more effective in how you interact with group. You build your foundation before moving into action.

All of the preparation is good practice in mindfulness and self awareness, essential skills for conscious Leaders.

Step 4: Make contact with CoFacilitator if you have one, and in MatrixWorks we really believe in the advantage of co-facilitating – the two facilitators become as the banks of the river, creating safety so that the energy/dynamics of the group can flow more easily. If you are  lucky enough to have a Facilitator,  make  verbal contact with them.  You might say: ‘I’m glad to sit across with you.” You might also mention something about your relationship, and how you are excited to hold space with them in this group.  Sharing like this makes the relationship between

CoFacilitators visible as a resource to the group– people will notice the ease and connection between you, and this will strengthen the feeling of Safety in the group.

Step 5: Energetically imagine a midline between the facilitators and each of the members of the group– look around at each person, saying to them in your own mind, that you’re available, and you’re welcoming them with a quality of presence and stillness that invites people to take their seat in the group.

Step 6: After all the energetic preparation, now it’s time to turn to what is the purpose of the group. Genius Groups do three things all the time, simultaneously. These are:

1) Attend to relationship (how is the energy/information flowing between people in the group?)

2) Accomplish task (as facilitators, make sure you’re clear about the task, so maybe one of your first intentions will be to clarify the task of the group)

3) Create/cultivate/sustain cultures that are nourishing, support wellbeing, and the ability to manifest care, creativity, and compassion. 

These three capacities form three points of a triangle and area always happening in high functioning groups.  As a Facilitator/Co-Facilitator you pay close attention to how these three capacities are present or how they are missing.

The most important first step in helping the group to realize its potential is to facilitate safety/connection/support between group members (relationship building phase). A useful tool to build safety at the beginning of the group is to offer a potentially nourishing phrase to the group as a kind of experiment of engagement.

Here is an example of this approach: invite group to become mindful and relax into themselves. Then share with them: “I’m going to offer a potentially nourishing phrase. Notice whatever happens all by itself when you hear this phrase. You don’t have to believe it. Just notice what happens when you hear the phrase. Like a pebble/ripples…” notice what happens when you hear a voice saying, “Your life belongs to you.” Say this three times and give a few minutes for people to register what has happened for them. Encourage them to think about how they responded– was it a shift in their sensations, maybe a feeling arose, maybe there was a thought, whatever happened, it is OK. Then invite sharing (popcorn style, or go around the circle). Through this sharing, we can see some of the things we need to attend to in this particular group. We know that without attending to the three capacities of Genius Groups, i.e.Relationship, Tasks, Culture it will be more difficult for the Facilitator to help the Group access its Genius.

Another opening tool would be to ask each person to share one word about what they’re feeling in the moment.

Or to share something you want to learn in this group, something that you’re hoping for in this group.

Attending to hopes/fears are very important in beginning stages of group life.

Step 7: Every group has beginning, middle, end, and as facilitators we take responsibility for keeping track of time and tending to these phases.

Beginning phase is really about establishing safety because the more safety, the deeper and more productive the group can be.

Middle phase could be spent really working issues with people, or divide into little work teams to solve a problem. It’s the working phase, whether that’s inter/intra personally, a time that is lively and needs to be approached as also with the potential of being nourishing to the members. Notice if energy is lagging or there is stuckness – if so, Facilitator may need to do something to encourage movement of energy. In MatrixWorks , we are always looking for the coherence and energy level of the group at any stage of the group’s life.  We support the feelings, aliveness and dynamic interactions balanced with silence as the group develops. Facilitators continue to check in with their own body/mind intelligence to get clues about the unfolding of the group’s capacity. 

Ending phase–– at this phase, facilitators want to help stitch together the territory that’s been covered– if there’s aliveness and dynamism in the group, it should be easy to recap the themes – issues – what was resolved, and what hasn’t been – what’s been accomplished – encourage the group to feel a sense of completion as the group comes to an end.

There’s a great hunger in humans for sense of completion. Facilitators need to know and remember that it is common for a group when it gets going to not want to stop. Facilitators have to put the brakes on and prevent peoples’ enthusiasm from being excessive.  This is true because once there’s been a peak experience in a group, you’ve got to let the group rest. Let them have that sense of completion and accomplishment. If you try to rush into the next issue or try to duplicate what’s just happened, you lose the sense of rhythm you have with the group. As facilitator be mindful of what is reasonable for the time, energy, structure, and contract that you have with the group.  In a way, you are being a good parent here!


Step 8:  In Summary

MatrixWorks provides a subtle energy approach to facilitation– constantly tracking what’s going on inside ourselves, between people, and within the group as a whole.  Paying attention to these three levels: INTRA-PERSONAL, INTER-PERSONAL, FIELD, provides an exciting new approach that encourages us to see the group as a living system/living being.  Seeing the Group as a Living System, makes new possibilities available to us.  We experience a sense of belonging and intimacy, balanced with an experience of our uniqueness and autonomy.  Being able to feel both our belonging and intimacy, as well as our autonomy and uniqueness is one of the genuine longings of the 21st century.

Learning to facilitate in this way will help us to create more and more groups that function as healthy Living Systems.  Through this art, we create a more living and loving world.  We know we belong and we are unique.