Trainers Network Mtg, 2.6.2020

Rachel: Think about a behavior that you manifest that is “difficult”.

Introduce yourself as your difficult behavior.

Have your partner write down what they interpret the negative behavior to be.

Stand next to the larger category that that falls into (post-its are involved)

Focus ?’s


When I act this way in a mtg, I do so because….

For myself, how does this behavior relate to my own experiences of internalized oppression

What are my thoughts?

What can a facilitator do to help me engage when I’m acting this way?

Dominant Voices

      • Calling on people by name
      • Wasn’t afraid to ask people to stop talking
      • Pair share (dyads)
      • Stack
      • Called attention to the fact that other people were raising their hand
      • Validated people
      • Stuck to the agenda

Passive Aggressive:

      • Asked for ideas early on
      • Kept calm/stayed patient
      • helpful to use their name
        • addressing them directly to acknowledge them and get them to genuinely participate
      • find mutual experience
      • stepped up and invited the PA person to help facilitate/direct the conversation
      • Passive aggression= not feeling like the space is safe enough 
      • referring back to ground rules
      • opening space to make sure that person’s voice is heard—checking in after the meeting
      • break up into smaller groups
      • Trust issues unfamiliar people
      • Not given chance to speak
      • Communicating/ dislike idea


      • Competition with others
      • Denial
      • Competing feeling
      • Between marginalized and privileged


      • Defensive
      • Shifting/ twitching
      • Loud voice
      • Protect self
      • Frustration
      • Feeling underappreciated/ under valued


      • Safe space
      • Common interests, common goals
      • Sharing time to spare
      • Smaller group

Passive/Shutdown group

      • Pairs
      • Group eye contact
      • Directly calling on individuals
      • Acknowledge different forms of communication
      • Giving people a chance to discuss signals
      • Go-around (rather than calling out individual people), give them space
      • Mix up the order/beginning/direction of the go around
      • Frontload- checking in before the meeting/training
      • Creative/non verbal activities to help bring folks out
      • Giving people time to think before the first person is given time to speak Because
      • Fear of judgment
      • Exhaustion
      • Frustration
      • Not knowing/ having an opinion yet
      • Want to think first
      • Need quiet/ processing time
      • There’s no space


      • Feel that I know better/ but then won’t listen (s)
      • Sense that everyone else knows each other (i)
      • Others know more (i)                     
      • Ask group blank what it looks like when they shut down


      • Won’t say anything 
      • Wont fully express
      • Sitting in back, doing/ thinking other things
      • Feeling  judgmental


      • Take break from topic and move to another  agenda item/ then go back/ build sense of working together

Facilitation Help

      • Room Setup
      • Group silence
      • Allow time to write/ draw before share
      • Allow other ways of expressing
      • Ask directly for input/ ideas/ comments
      • Round robin first/ start talking then more…
      • Pair share “how feeling in the moment”

Overly critical of others

      • Referring to the agenda
      • Didn’t let critical person dominate the conversation
      • Criticism vs. discussion
      • Responded to the critique/addressed it
      • Strong facilitation (some spaces) 
      • Matt was able to see the legitimacy beyond the behavior
      • Group sharing
      • Emphasize overlap
      • “Let’s now respect Lizzie’s time”,  respect is a very strong motivator
      • Transparent process/facilitator/politics
      • Acknowledgement of criticisms/ concerns, though not too far down
      • Facilitator holding ground/ directly addressing behavior


      • Referring back to agreements
      • Calling it out
      • Addressing the behavior out
      • Acknowledging their opinions but also looking to others’ input
      • Opening the floor for feedback
      • Being open to changing the agenda if that’s where the group is at
      • Switch to each agenda topic
      • Don’t know mtg goal or timing in a group of negative ppl
      • No strong facilitator 
      • Feeling overpowered/ voice isn’t heard
      • Don’t respect facilitators or process- think agenda is stupid (or unclear)
      • Power structures : not feeling heard +discrediting process
      • Larger dynamics:  don’t want to participate outside mtg
      • Shutting down, not paying attention, side-convos, derail agenda, throw a wrench in convo
      • Conflict! Asking why we’re here anyways??
      • Having a clear agenda- prep-ground rules


      • Be a good facilitator + everything that means
      • Read good vibes of group. Know when to ditch agenda + address concerns
      • Take breaks- check in individually to see why negative.
      • Check in with others, should we change agenda?
      • Deflect question to group- get more input
      • Call ppl out for side convos – ask why- it’s a symptom
      • Figure out a root cause, making an easy decision together!


      • Taking the person aside
      • Looking to validation- other people didn’t really validate, shut original person down
      • asking the person who’s being oppressive if they know why is important
      • Calling it out
      • w/ peers it’s important to addressing them individually
      • I statements
      • Naming the impact, vs. giving them to opportunity to give space 
      • “Can we talk about this, can get open up space to get people’s reactions” 
      • Might get people siding with the person who made the comment
      • Ignorance/ not knowing / entering my own experience
      • Overcompensating
      • Not creating space for others, not offering equal attention, comments that belittle
      • Open the space, equalize participation, set ground rules, articulate goals/intentions

Dominant/ Overbearing


        • Not listening/ not aware of whole groups needs
        • Excited, thinking it out loud

a. Superior

          • Maleness/patriarchy
          • Whiteness
          • Middle class & higher income

b. Inferior

          • Unable to articulate, keep talking
          • Attempts to gain status w/in group (or feeling secure safe)

c. Prevents input from others
d. Makes others feel stifled
e. Become cynical (feel like you are doing all the work)


a.    Have a stack appoint speakers

b.    Community agreements

          • Intro 
          • Meet each person in room

c.    Facilitator can thank the speaker then respectfully “open the floor “/ move it along
d.    Circle share, group questions

When difficulties are arising…

      • don’t freak out!
      • don’t roll over, stay strong. 
      • Focus on behavior, not person
      • Awareness of motive, root causesymptoms of something
      • trust people’s good hearts, shared goals
      • assume best intentions
      • transparency of facilitation 
      • engaging the disruptive behaviorer w/out entirely focusing on them
      • mixing up the facilitation tools- sign that the group has established norms and that those norms aren’t working for everyone. 
      • knowing where you are and the relationships in the room
      • acknowledge efforts and the validity of people’s points
      • let the storming happen if it needs to happen
      • check in/closing
      • set boundaries
      • be humble and aware of yourself