As a facilitator I often introduce myself by answerring questions from the participants. The advantage is that they get an answer to any question they want to ask, and it prevents me from talking about things people don’t want to hear. It also gives an idea of the frames of mind in the room.
Recently a participant asked me about my work/life balance. In honest I started to answer that I do work a lot, and that I really love my work. It dawned upon me that it was a peculiar phrase, since it carries the assumption that there is a difference between my life and my work. I made a small remark on it without giving it any further attention.
Somewhere on day three, halfway through the programme, we looked back to see where people had encountered issues to think about, or cues for change. ‘The remark on the seeming divide between life and work,’ it came without a trace of hesitation from that participant. A bit surprised I realised that
– one can design a good programme, but you cannot plan where or when a participant has an experience or an insight;
– as facilitator you may have to offer most when you think least about it, when there is no divide between work and life.
Read more: Academic article from ’97 against the use of the phrase work/life balance.
Reaction: Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week