Facilitator, Graphic Facilitator, Graphic Recorder – A Unifying Theory

Facilitator, Graphic Facilitator, Graphic Recorder – A Unifying Theory

Meeting Catalystpng

This week I listened to this fascinating Youtube video by Brandy Agerbeck which draws the distinction between Graphic Facilitation and Graphic Recording. Nice work Brandy. I read the comments on the Graphic Facilitation Facebook Group and though more deeply about how we defined the various facilitation roles and techniques.

My own view is that the different approaches are just different routes to the same end. if we throw away all existing terms I am left with the new term a Meeting Catalyst.

I have long held that meetings are transitional events. If a meeting changes nothing why would we hold it?
My traditional meeting model suggest a basic framework of Context, Creativity and Completion as the three main phases for a transitional meeting.

In the Context phase we must draw out data, information and opinion and order it using affinity work, grouping and connecting. We create new insight, reveal new relationships and patterns or connections from an existing situation.
In the Creativity Phases we reveal new options for the future and create new ideas and approaches. We might use brainstorming, metaphor, synthesis, maps diagrams or other tools to reveal the things we did not know we knew or to invent new things. If we are inventing a new future state we will use visualisation, invention and predictive techniques.
The final Closure phase sees us gather together our insights to determine the actions that will deliver our new state.
Attendees will all contribute in different ways.

Meeting catalyst

This is my first attempt at a graphic to think my way through this issue. Help me please to think this through by commenting on this post.

Contribution from attendees may depend on our ability as a meeting catalyst to encourage participation and interactivity. We know that some participants favour auditory engagement – speaking and listing. Others prefer visualisation with pictures, diagrams and illustrations sparking their ideas and comments. Some attendees are mathematical or logical wanting data to organise and analyse to gain their insight and others kinaesthetic to draw on the most simple of models. Most individuals will have a preference but also work well in other sensory areas. This means that the best catalysts will call on all of these human preferences to maximise the attendees contribution.

The wider our range of communication skills the better our ability to engage every sense. Interestingly, we use the term visualisation often when working in the future. We can visualise the future in words, pictures and diagrams so no single technique holds sway over any meeting domain. We can draw the past, we can use boxes, arrows colour and lines without being a Rembrandt .
No meeting catalyst should be excluded by definition, we may be better in some areas than in others. Some may be intimidated by the idea of illustrating or questioning groups or any part of the skill set. Working in pairs or teams is also not excluded in any way other than by client preference and budget.

i love the logic and process of facilitation but I personally think graphically and love to draw and illustrate and have always been able to create visualisations of my meetings. Am I a Facilitator, a Graphic Facilitator a Graphic Recorder, No I am a Meeting Catalyst so there! What are you?