I’m Tanya Edlington and I completed the year long Advanced Groupwork Centre course in 2015. My business is called The Conversation Clinic and I also lead education in the trade union movement.
I remember turning up to the information night with the mission of finding out if the course had anything to teach me. I had been “facilitating” for a long time but realised immediately that there was so much more for me to learn. I had completed a “Mastery of Deep Facilitation” masterclass through the University of Melbourne Business School and my fuse was lit.
My lasting, profound lesson is about dealing with challenging behaviour in groups. Most of what is modelled by trainers is to ignore, shut down and move on. Then there is the inevitable explosion that happens when a participant is not being seen and heard.
The lesson of validation has travelled with me in groups, leadership of teams and in coaching sessions. It creates the space for conversation rather than conflict, even where there is disagreement and heat. What could be better than that?
My passion is to help people have better conversations and it has taken me into health care, higher education, government and trade unions. The skills I learned have also enriched my personal life.
When undertaking Compassion Cultivation Training a couple of years ago, I came across my favourite quote: “All unhelpful behaviour is the tragic expression of unmet need”, Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Centre for Non-violent Communication. To me, this is the reason the world needs skilled facilitators.
You can find me on LinkedIn.