Title of ArticleReflections on being and becoming a person-centred facilitator
Type of ArticleSpecial Issue Paper
Author/sFamke van Lieshout and Shaun Cardiff
ReferenceVolume 5, Special Issue on Person-centredness, Article 4
Date of PublicationSeptember 2015
KeywordsAction research, facilitation relationships, person-centeredness, leadership relationships, workplace culture, support systems

Background: Facilitation is vital for effective practice development and is viewed as an holistic means of enabling practitioner emancipation, development of self and effective workplace cultures. Person-centredness is a core value enacted in effective workplace cultures and focuses on enabling personhood, or the ‘coming into own’ and flourishing of self and others. Combining the concept of facilitation with person-centredness implies developing connected relationships in which both facilitator and those facilitated feel acknowledged and respected as persons who are able to develop and grow. This in turn implies that the facilitator is also in a constant state of being and becoming, which can be supported and guided by principles for action.

Aims and objectives: The aim of this paper is to present principles for person-centred facilitation derived from a critical and creative reflective inquiry into the authors’ experiences of facilitating participatory action research. The four key principles for developing and sustaining person-centred facilitation are illustrated in this paper using a conversational narrative.

Conclusion: Individuals and relationships are continuously subjected to constant intrapersonal, interpersonal and contextual influences, so being a person-centred facilitator in everyday healthcare practice is no mean feat. It is proposed that the four principles – being other-centred without losing self, valuing a constant state of becoming, maintaining relational connectedness and consciously working with context and cultures – help sustain balance in self and relational reciprocity while facilitating practice development in a person-centred way.

Relevance to practice development: Reflection in action using the four principles can support person-centred facilitation of practice development. Those supporting (novice) facilitators may also find the principles useful in formulating critical questions to guide reflection on action.

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