Clinton Swaine is the founder, owner and lead trainer of Frontier Trainings – The World Leader in Experiential Business Trainings. He has taught on many of the top stages around the globe with world renowned speakers, including: T. Harv Eker, Brian Tracy, Bob Allen, Mark Victor Hansen, Bill Bartmann and many others. He comes to Malaysia regularly to conduct programs that are often filled up far in advance.
As a speaker we can make an impact but the heavy work is done where we move off the stage as the star and we make the students the stars. When we move the safety of our protected castle at the front of the room and go out into the jungle of transformation; the training room floor. When you’re out in the jungle, life doesn’t seem quite as safe as it does in your cushy little house. Howling keeping you awake at night? Rustling in the bushes on the trail got you scared? It should. Ever faced a starving bear needing to feed it’s cubs? Been attacked by an angry Rhinoceros? How about a Lion who just considers you lunch?
For you, you may think I’m never going to face a Lion or a Bear. Well bless your cotton socks. Ain’t you lucky. But if you’re going to work with people’s emotions you’re going to realize something real quick. We all like to think we ride this elephant called our emotions and that we’re in charge. That is until it spooks and then your job is simply to hang on for dear life cos it’s going to take you where it wants to go not you.
Working with people in the training room as a facilitator is like being in the jungle. You’ve got Lions (Pride), Deadly Pythons (Guilt), Elephants (Rage), Antelopes (Fear), Alligators (Overwhelm) and every type of creature under the sun. Now for most of us we don’t get too close to the animals and so life is pretty tame but throw in some perturbation and stand back and watch the show. Calm old ladies getting angry and yelling at someone. A business person melting down as they drown under the numbers.
As a Facilitator we need to be a Big Game Hunter and be prepared to tackle the big stuff. You don’t go into the middle of the jungle with a butter knife. That’s a recipe to come off second best in every single way. No, don’t think you are ready to run into the forest because you bought a couple of nice tools and have them in your tool belt. Yes you need the Big Guns but you need to be able to use them and use them under pressure and this takes experience. You can’t get experience by reading a book. Knowledge is not experience.
A great Facilitator is one who knows when to turn up the heat of Perturbation and when to turn it down before overcooking everyone. Here is one of the biggest lessons about being a Facilitator. It is easy 95% if the time. Hell, you look amazing, the job looks easy and you’re sitting pretty drinking tea, having a Burrito or eating a snack. It is the 5% of the time that tells you how good a facilitator you are. That’s when your reputation is made or broken. Never forget for one minute you are in the wild and surrounded by some of the most savage beasts known to exist; Human Emotions.
A Wall Of Silence. A Shrug of The Shoulders. Biting Sarcasm and Wit. Better get ready, because you’re about to get chewed alive. Facilitation is about being able to navigate these labyrinthine trails or these twisting rivers. And we haven’t even talked about natives looking to send you to the bottoms. Excuses, Justifications, Stories, Reasons are all smokescreens to tell you to back off, stay away, don’t get too close to the pain, the hurt, the trauma, the suffering.
But here’s the thing. As intrepid adventurers, of course we can do nothing less.
“Transformation is about going into the trauma, into the densest, darkest of places and cutting through to bring sunlight, joy and freedom back into a person’s life.”
Will this be easy? No. Will you face fierce resistance? Often. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I’m not saying this is for everyone. It’s not. Some people prefer to be sipping a Pinot Noir or a Shiraz by the fire. Then understand you may be a speaker but you’re not a Transformational Facilitator.
The First step is to learn the tools of transformation – and there’s a lot, including Timeline Therapy, Gratitude Processes, Strategy Scramblers and hundred of other tools – some simple and others more complex. And get ready to start using them. Start interrupting your own menagerie of excuses, stories and reasons. Start turning them into success, forward momentum and results.
The second step is to be ferocious in pursuing opportunities to facilitate. Take every opportunity you can and learn and learn and learn what worked and what didn’t from every encounter.
Then and only then you’re ready to be a Big Game Hunter, A Transformer Of Humanity and a Ferocious Facilitator.