Insights From the Field

by Ten Directions

Insights, essays, perspectives, and lessons learned while working in the field of facilitative leadership. Authors include our staff, as well as guest contributors.

Featured Articles

Rebecca Colwell

Facilitator’s Dilemma: Owning our mistakes

Today, I’d like to share some feedback on an interesting dilemma that’s come across my desk.   As you read this, see if you can find in your own experience a moment when this might have been true for you. You might also engage in thinking about your immediate response and whether you’re “listening to fix

Alana Felt

Innovation, Freefall and Not-Knowing

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa A friend shared his definition of innovation with me the other day. Innovation, he said, means we are going somewhere new and when we innovate, we never know how we

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authentic leadership
Lauren Tenney

What does it mean to ‘own’ your facilitator voice?

Recently we led a learning session in our community entitled “Owning your Facilitator Voice”.  In this rich and fruitful inquiry we explored our own values about facilitator neutrality, and how they shape the way we bring in our voice and experience while facilitating.  We also invited the group to consider ways we might bring more

Mark Fackler

The Power of Group Wisdom for Learning and Innovation

I am a lifelong student of leadership and mindfulness. From my early days, I was fascinated by human dynamics. Even in grade school, I asked myself, “Why did the room react that way?” 

Jonas Altman

We Are All the Same. And Different.

The sun sets at La Barceloneta, bathing the sky in hues of orange and pink. Suddenly, a man emerges and snatches my friend’s purse. Reacting instinctively, I grab the strap and, in a surprising twist, attempt a spin kick – which narrowly misses its mark. The thief punches me in the head.

Rebecca Colwell

Unlocking Depth in Conversations: A Hack for Inspired Leadership

Discovering the Power of Depth In a world increasingly dominated by fleeting interactions, the art of facilitating depth in conversations is not only uncommon but immensely powerful.  At a recent workshop, a leader asked me, “How can I have my group connect more deeply with what matters in our conversations?” It’s a sentiment many of

Rebecca Colwell

Grow Your People, Grow Your Organization

The world is facing a growing leadership talent gap.   More than ever, organizations need sophisticated, self-managing leaders able to thrive in complex and rapidly-changing professional environments. But demand for this type of talent vastly outpaces the supply.   Several factors contribute to this gap, including the retirement of baby boomers, the rapid pace of technological advancements,

Rebecca Colwell

What should I do when my group is failing?

Your facilitative leadership is perfectly positioned to make a difference, to help make your groups flourish, but knowing what to do when the culture itself is under performing is another matter altogether. “I get this feeling that my group could be better, but I am at a loss about how to reach higher levels of

Rebecca Colwell

Catalyze more engaging conversations: Framing the topic

As CEOs, business leaders, consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs – we have lots of ideas about relevant “topics” to bring up in our group meetings. However, HOW you introduce and talk about topics is often a powerful determinant of whether the experience is an engaging one – or falls flat.

Ten Directions

Alignment: Not the same as agreement!

Recently a leader in one of our cohorts shared a challenging facilitation experience: “I was facilitating a project meeting for a large organization with leaders from different teams present. While everyone was on the same page about some aspects of the project – such as the timeline and key roles – I was also aware

Rebecca Colwell

“I felt threatened….”

The large multipurpose room in the community college was full – chairs clustered around tables, and it buzzed with the hum of about 100 people saying hello to each other. And, there was an electricity in the room that felt exciting, unpredictable, and somewhat volatile. I was midway through a series of open dialogue meetings

Ten Directions

6 trust-eroding behaviors to avoid as a mentor

Trust is the must-have element for successful mentoring.   Like strong masonry walls or foundations, mentoring relationships built on trust are a product of many repeated actions over time that demonstrate care, steadiness, and consistency.

Rebecca Colwell

Finding the Pause Button: Empowering meaningful dialogue without muting the chatterbox

As you find yourself standing before a group of senior leaders, you relax into a well-earned sense of confidence. It is during these moments that you truly come alive, effortlessly navigating through the realm of issues and ideas, stuck points and possibilities to grow your groups’ passion and make pursuit of their purpose even more

Fuel inner growth. Drive outer impact.

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