by Axle Davids
Here at Distility, we recently took ourselves through our own branding workflow. While it was invigorating for our team, it was a timely reminder to me on the pains and perils of both facilitating a group and contributing to brand building at the same time.
- It hurts when you have a great idea, one that you want to shout to the rooftops, defend and promote with passion, but you can’t because you are sworn (as facilitator) to be unbiased. You can’t be unbiased and passionate at the same time.
- Even if you can flip between both modes, it physically hurts to switch back and forth so many times between passionate participant and unbiased facilitator. Doing both is exhausting.
- As the team marketer, you have probably spent more time thinking about the brand then any participant. If you truly let yourself go, you’ll be taking up most of the air in the room, and denying your participants their talk time.
- Your brand will be weak because you were not sufficiently involved with promoting and killing ideas for fear of being a poor facilitator.
- Your brand will be wrong because you (consciously or unconsciously) steamrolled other great inputs with the passion of your own ideas.
- Your team will resent being involved in a process you promised to facilitate but instead left them feeling unheard, shut out, misunderstood, or otherwise at the raw end of the collaboration spectrum.
- Your brand will lack buy-in and momentum. Two killers when it comes to winning in the world of marketing.
What can you do?
Not everyone can hire a Distility to get their branding done quickly and collaboratively. For those of you who must both facilitate and participate at the same time here are some tips to make the most of a bad situation:
- Don’t time bound your process. Yes, it will probably drag on for weeks or more, and, yes, participants may lose interest, but the biggest contributor to the pains and perils above is your team feeling forced to decisions before they are ready by you wearing both facilitator and participant hats. A strong brand has buy-in from your whole team.
- Repeatedly explain to participants the challenge you face both facilitating and participating. This may minimize the chances of people resenting your promoting your ideas and controlling the process at the same time.
- Make the process you are taking the team through explicit before and during your sessions. This way your team will feel as much guided by the process as by you.
For those of you who can afford outside help. Check out our Distility 1day1brand workshop.