Posts Tagged ‘mediator’

Facilitator

August 27, 2008

I’m a tired puppy. One of my roles in my job, which I’m currently deep in the midst of, is to be a facilitator for project teams coming in for assistance. For those who don’t know what a facilitator does, they are a combination meeting lead, mediator, consultant, and twit.

As a meeting lead, I’m in charge of keeping the team on track to both the schedule and to the meeting objective. Sort of like herding cats, you’re always on the move to pull folks back to the topic at hand and moving them along so they don’t get chatty.

As a mediator, I have to keep an eye on each of the team members. I have to make sure those that have something to say get a chance to do so, while quieting those who don’t have a damn thing to say but like hearing their own voice. Figuring out which is which is not always an easy task.

As a consultant, I have to have some level of expertise in the topic under discussion so I can provide my glaringly amazing input to quickly knock down roadblocks, solve world hunger, and otherwise be the answer guy to any questions. Needless to say… well, okay, not so needless since most of you don’t know me from Adam… much of this part of the job involves me exercising my acting skills and downright pretending to know what the hell I’m doing.

And, finally, my favorite part of this role is “The Twit”, for which I’m uniquely predisposed to play. I get to be nasty and rude, all in the name of accomplishing the other three facilitator roles already mentioned. I can tell people to shut up without feeling guilty. I can sidetrack inane conversations by telling people, “That’s not important right now” while sneaking in my own irrelevant story. I can declare victory in the face of utter defeat just by saying so. Somehow it all works out.

Wearing so many hats and dealing with so many people is draining on me. Still not sleeping that well, it becomes extra tiring. But, I can’t let a little thing like getting a Divorce get in the way of keeping the job which will be funding The Wife’s alimony (ooo, did I just sound a wee bit bitter there?). But, still, dealing with and controlling 5 – 20 distinct personalities, many of them Type A asses who demand their moment of glory, is very tiring.  Especially today when I thought for a bit that two of them would come to fisticuffs arguing over some petty little problem… 

I believe I will take on a facilitator role for myself here in this blog, tell myself to shut up, declare victory, and head to bed.