Rick Lindeman wrote in a discussion “Facilitators unite! A brand new brand is coming our way…”
I know Jan likes to to start a discussion from the etymological origin of the entity discussed, but i think the word ‘brand’ has transcended from its ‘cattle status’ of “being owned by”, to ones own identity.. it’s about knowing yourself.. γνῶθι σεαυτόν gnothi seauton .. and by knowing yourself, and your drives you can communicate what are you are doing more effectively..
As a response to my opinion, that branding facilitation is beside the issue. I do not want to be branded as a facilitator belonging to IAF. Rick continues saying people make choices subconsciously, and therefore we need brands. The word “subconsciously” triggered this:
Signs are present
My point is: every sign is ambiguous. A sign, a symbol represents. A symbol is not the thing spoken about, it is not about what is “present”. The experience, the feeling, the subconscious awareness is present. In order to talk about the present (! “he implies today!” “No, Jan means a gift.”; “are you kidding, he is presenting a joke”, … ) we need something to represent it. Now two habits kick in.
Owning the meaning
1. We have to assume the other accepts (= “owns”) the meaning as we intended. This is called “The Helsinki Principle”. (In the late 50’s, information system developers had to agree on the meaning of information on a screen. They decided that the meaning is 100% the same as intended by the sender. This is the root cause of the failure of every ICT system). See also the thesis: “Every sign is a request for compliance”.
Means controlling the meaning
2. At the same time (and now I do not mean the present), the symbol gets in the way. (In Dutch we even say: “staat voor”, meaning both stands in its place and stands in front of).
It is not that I’m against symbols and branding. I’m against the (implicit or explicit) suggestion that I own (= control) the meaning through owning the sign.
I do not control your meaning
This is what makes facilitation so special (and, if you want “weak”): it is the other who determines the meaning of what is present. We present something unique and it is NOT the brand.
Own your self
The second part of your argument, Rick, is even better. “it’s about knowing yourself.. γνῶθι σεαυτόν gnothi seauton ..”. This represents (sic) facilitation even better: the royal path to knowing yourself is in accepting the other in you. Facilitating is about making (facere) connection (li) – it is not me who started a discussion with etymology, it were the blind poets -. Getting to know yourself, means getting to now Other. The other is also in the group. We belong to the same One.
Now it gets complicated. In order to “exist” we have to become separated. A child becomes separated – parted – from mother, parents, family, tribe, …sometimes even nation. We find ourselves thrown into life. Our self becomes “dissociated”. We project the disowned parts on others. It is not me who is bad, our parent is bad; it is not me who is good, our parent is good. (You always have two times two choices).
At a certain point in life, we have to “find ourselves” (or is it “my self”, I’m unsure about this). Well, you don’t have to; you might choose to remain “incognito”, but then, you’re probably not becoming a facilitator. We have to make reconnection (= facilitate) with our split-off parts. Interestingly, every other member of your group also represents something you “remember”. These are the parts you have to connect with: other symbolizes part of you. But you have rejected them in the past and the other parts feel rejected too. (Please note the implicit use of projected). So there it is: we need a connection-maker to reconnect. This is what we call “leader”. A facilitative leader.
The only thing a leader ethically cannot do, is “owning” the other. A leader has to liberate.
We had to work in groups in order to survive. For thousands of years. Now we’ve finally liberated ourselves – we live in a world of plenty – and are facing our worst enemy: our selves. Facilitating is in sharing with others the parts we disown. Another word for this is friendship. Or peace.