Don’t wing it solo — get a Wing Woman
Are you the only facilitator in your organisation?
Being the only in-house facilitator doesn’t mean you have to fly solo — in the room and especially not on the screen.
Who is your Wing Woman? Man? Person? The pronoun is completely up to you. I just love alliteration 😊!
I ask because I’m working with a few Wing Women at the moment. Two I work with regularly (hi Em! Hi Bec!) and a third is a client who has embraced the role with gusto.
I can certainly do a workshop without them. But I know I can do a creative workshop better with them.
They help me so much that I thought I’d check in with you. Who is your Wing Woman? Do you have one?
I ask because a friend, an experienced facilitator, has only recently realised that she might be better off with one too.
One of her participants suggested she get some help after a recent workshop. Ouch!
With a Wing Woman, she wouldn’t have to check with her participants if they could see her screen when she shared it. Or if they could see the results of a poll.
They wouldn’t have to sit and wait for her to create the break out rooms for their discussions. Or listen to her as she vocalised every step of the process.
It hadn’t crossed my friend’s mind that she might benefit from a Wing Woman. Other facilitators, however, have given a lot of consideration to why they don’t work with a Wing Woman. Here’s a few reasons I’ve heard:
‘I have to explain everything. It’s faster if I do it myself.’
For a facilitator, ‘have to explain everything’ means
• Articulating the purpose in a way that someone else understands.
• Talking out loud about who is coming and what they might hope to get from the session.
• Stepping through each activity in detail to sense check flow and logic.
• Seeing if the transitions that worked in your mind’s eye actually work in practice.
I don’t know about you but to me, that sounds like a great return on a little investment of time.
Which brings me to another reason why people don’t engage a Wing Woman.
‘It’ll cost me extra.’
A dollars and cents mentality undervalues our service as facilitators. Park the cost. Let’s think about the size of the problem that a workshop, or series of workshops, is trying to address. The bigger the problem, the more help we need. The return on your extra $$ for a Wing Woman can be extraordinary.
Depending on the group and our purpose, Wing Women are:
🖥 Zoom drivers
🧡 Room readers
🤔 Sense checkers
👓 Proof readers
👩🏻🤝👩🏻 Hand holders
⌨ Note takers
⏳ Time keepers
….and so much more.
What have I missed? If you’re a Wing Woman or work with one, I’d love to hear what other hats a Wing Woman wears. Just comment below.