Last week, I was discussing with my community change graduate class the concept of values-neutral facilitation. We spent some time unpacking the challenges behind being truly neutral while facilitating, especially on concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Using a values-neutral approach to facilitation doesn’t mean you don’t have values or that your values won’t show up in your facilitation. In fact, your values absolutely do show up in your facilitation. So what does it mean to perform values-neutral facilitation?
Let’s face it – we adults come to the table with a lot of baggage. We have many years (perhaps decades) of knowledge and experiences that inform every decision we make. I don’t know about you but I love giving advice to a young person about all my lessons learned even when that advice might not have been specifically requested which is pretty much always (#sorrynotsorry). Sometimes, we, as adults, need to take a step back and learn a thing or two (or 100) from the young people we live and work alongside and check our baggage at the door.
For those working in agencies and organizations looking to better serve or involve young people – this process begins with authenticity.
I am often tapped to speak and disability awareness, ableism, the intersection between disability and sexuality, ableist microaggressions and other such important (and I think, exciting) topics. One big piece of speaking to able-bodied/neurotypical people about these issues is discussing how to make the education and workshops that THEY offer to their communities and clients more accessible overall. Given how popular this topic is, are a few quick and easy tips to be aware of about when writing/talking/presenting.