What is Facilitator Improv?
It is a participatory format where everyone in a group is able to facilitate the group with experiential exercises. Its a process by which a group can co-pilot itself. Traditionally we a group is dependent on a leader to guide it. Facilitator Improv is a process that allows a group to not have that dependence.
What is the basic format of Facilitator Improv?
- Sit in a circle (2 to 20 people)
- Sit in meditation until someone gets an intuition of some exercise to lead the group in
- Optional : give some signal that you are done with exercise
- Again, sit in meditation until someone gets an intuition of another exercise
- Keep repeating this.
What are some examples of exercises people have led at Facilitator Improv circles?
Loosen up your jaws. Describe what icecream flavor the universe is to you this moment. Pair up, place hands on partner shoulder and massage. Make a gesture with a part of your body that creates confidence. Text someone you have been a bit out of contact with a nice message. Create a visual hologram of an issue/problem you are dealing with, then walk around it . Ground energetically and let that energy join with others into a flower. Smell something . Meditate and watch your thoughts and emotions without judgment .Notice something that catches your attention, then move like it, Touch a body part of yours that you do not pay much attention to usually. Do kapali breathing .Look at each other as if you had power of the other, then look at each other as if you share power with. Do a 1 minute pitch about project or yourself . Mirror each others movements – Make a sound from your belly. Imagine connecting your third eye with the others third eye. Share your earliest memory. Build a tower collaboratively (with stuff in the room) . Draw a pagoda collaboratively. Find a way to join hands of the group that is not just holding the hand of person next to you . Say someone’s elses name and your own. Imagine a fire in the middle of the circle that is warming your stomach . Say a sound that a cartoon would make. Tune into your emotions and name three that you are experiencing. Forgive someone. Wear the shoe of someone else in the circle and walk around.
How do you guide a group into using Facilitator Improv?
Its easiest to start off with a short Facilitator Improv, like one around 10-15 minutes. People are then encouraged to come up with exercises that are about a minute in length during this short Facilitator Improv. This shorter length gives people a chance to sense into the group field, how to allow others a chance to lead, how to feed off each other etc. People can discuss how it went.
Can a Facilitator Improv be too talk focused?
It depends on the intent of the group. If a group would like to be more experiential, which we do suggest because it allows for a more embodied way of knowing, then this can be clarified before hand. If during the Facilitator Improv too many exercises are focused around dialogue, then someone can make a meta-comment about the situation. A group can choose a hand signal for making meta-comments if so desired.
Can you use Facilitator Improv in more specific fields?
Yes, you can for instance do an Art Facilitator Improv, where everyone leads artistic exercises. Or you could do a Yoga Facilitator Improv where everyone leads a yoga pose. You could do group collaboration groups, restorative justice, holistic health, entertainment Facilitator Improv’s.
How does Facilitator Improv create a new model for workshops?
Its an operating system for workshops that can allow a workshop to be hosted without the host necessarily knowing too much about the material.
So for instance, someone can put on a workshop “How to manage your time efficiently” run on a facilitator improv format, which means that everyone goes into silence, until someone gets a hit on an exercise to lead the group related to managing your time. Then after that exercise is led, the group goes back into silence again, until someone else gets an intuitive hit. People can share feedback as to how well the exercises land.
It allows much greater freedom and ease in putting on workshops, for one doesn’t need to prepare so much. One can put on a workshop on “Tapping into your intuition”, “Overcoming anger”, “Improving your relationship to money” etc… by simply advertising it and having a space to hold it, and then allowing people to come to help run the workshop. Its a new model, a new paradigm of what workshops are. It doesn’t require beforehand to have the teacher, and the exercises all prepared, it instead depends on emergence from people coming.
There’s a similarity to how in Open Space Technology facilitation events, where anyone can call a group, even if they do not know anything about it, and then people coming would discuss the topic. The difference to Open Space Technology here is that anyone can call a stand alone workshop, and also that there is more of a focus on facilitating experiential exercises rather than dialogue.
Can the Facilitator Improv format be used to generate spontaneous gatherings?
When facilitator improv practitioners get together they can spontaneously organize or a circle or even a longer conference of several day gathering because the facilitation exercises are emergent and dqo not have to be preplanned.
Facilitator Improv flashmobs ( Facilitator Flashmob for short) can also happen where unsuspecting people in a public location can be guided into facilitating each other in varied exercises.
How can Facilitator Improv spread cultural memes?
The exercises people come up with can be recorded on a website, and also put into an open source deck of cards. There is currently a deck of cards called Ish which contains exercises many people have come up with. Others can then by looking at the website, or using the deck of cards also use these exercises, thus propagating and spreading the facilitation exercise cultural meme
What is the relationship between Faciliator Improv and the new paradigm of leadership?
Traditionally we have a Leader as Boss. We are now moving as a society into the direction of Leader as Facilitator. The next step after that will be Leader as Co-Facilitator. Meaning everyone can facilitate. Facillitator Improv is one of the leading edge social architectures that embodies this new paradigm that allows for omni-facilitation, where omni-facilitation means everyone can facilitate.
At what stage of consciousness (in Ken Wilber’s Integral theory) does the Facilitator Improv social architecture lie at?
At the amber(blue) stage the paradigm is Leader as Boss who rules through punishment. At orange the paradigm is Leader as Boss who rules through the carrot. At green and teal the paradigm is Leader as Facilitator. At turquoise the paradigm is Leader as Co-facilitator.
What does this have to do with new political and justice systems?
Currently we have a top-down political system. A more bottom-up inclusive political system can happen when people from different demographics and interests can come together and co-facilitate themselves to understand each other, and to work together in society.
Currently we have a top-down justice system which is based on cops, jails, courts, and lawyers. A more bottom-up system of restorative justice would involve a community coming together, including ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ to listen, empathize, forgive, and make amends.
Other articles about Facilitator Improv
A new paradigm of workshops – participant lead workshops
New paradigms of leadership – from facilitator to we-facilitator
How you are empowered to facilitate humanity into a radically new operating system