Sometimes you just have to give up something to get something. Case in point: collaboration. We give up a bit of personal autonomy for an outcome that’s greater than what we might have achieved on our own. Bottom line is that we and the customer/client both get more value.
I’ve been formally working as a mediator for 10 years. Over the last couple of years, I’ve also mentored a dozen or more different mediators, as part of the BC Court Mediation Program. The mentoring is done as a co-mediation. The mentor and the mentee co-facilitate, the mediation session.
When I first started mentoring, I tended to fall back to the teacher/student image, in my mind. I was the teacher. They were the student. I knew the score. They didn’t. Wrong.
Similar to being in a different cultural setting, I soon realized that I had to let go of that lens, and say hello to whatever was present. When I did, good things happened:
- I relaxed more
- I listened more
- the mediation and conversation space expanded
- the gifts of each mediator were allowed to shine forth
- trust grew in the mediator/mentor relationship
- the blending of hearts and brains enriched the dialogue
- the capacity to solve the issues at hand expanded
- value increased; for the parties in dispute and the co-mediators
In a good collaboration, 1 + 1 > 2.
Mediation is facilitated negotiation. Mediation is just one context where we can co-facilitate. The opportunity list is huge.
If you don’t already co-facilitate in some way, what if you intentionally sought to co-facilitate? What’s stopping you? Lost income; e.g., from splitting the work?
Through co-facilitation, we can expand the value pie. And, that goes for revenue, too. Co-facilitation is a growth opportunity; personally, professionally and maybe most important, it can deliver greater value to your constituents, clients and customers.
So, how has co-facilitation added value for you and yours?