Happiness Equation

By Jessica Delaney, Principal, Engagement + Communications

Neil Pasricha’s book, the Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything, had been on my reading list for a while and I recently finished it. The take away that was most compelling to me is the image above. The typical equation we follow is: can do = want to do = do. Pasricha’s pitch is that we need to break this equation and re-wire ourselves to “do” which leads us to thinking we “can do” and then we “want to”.

When I read this it got me thinking about facilitation and holding space. The number one fear people have is of public speaking and so it is understandable that people who may not immediately feel they have this gift don’t want to facilitate. If we only want to do the things we “can do” then we might be missing out on building our secret super power. The reality is that loud, confident people don’t necessarily make good facilitators, and yet they often are the ones at the front of the room.

So, here are five tips to consider in building the DO – CAN DO – WANT TO cycle with facilitation:

  • Start in house. Ask if different team members can share the load by facilitating internal meetings.
  • Volunteer at events where you have no stake or skin in the game. Practice first with table facilitation and then work your way up.
  • Get to know yourself and your style. I recently took the Sparketype quiz available free at https://www.goodlifeproject.com/sparketest/ and it gave me some insights into my style, my passion and my strength. There are others out there. If you are not a particular style, don’t force it. Lean into your type and develop your own facilitation style that feels uniquely you.
  • Go to Toastmasters or another public speaking group. Sometimes just practicing our delivery makes us want to do it more.
  • Know it will end. Good or bad, every facilitated session ends. I just finished a long week of training. It was a great group, connections were made and I believe as a group we thought together. … and then it was over.

If you wait to be perfect before you facilitate you will never facilitate. Each of us brings something unique to a space. So, be brave and start doing. You have a unique gift, a spark and a way with holding space that no one else does.