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How to live a facilitative life

We are grateful to Dr Myriam Hadnes of Workshops Work for hosting this podcast episode with Stephen Berkeley, co-author of chapter 8 Living a Facilitative Life.

How to live a facilitative life with Stephen Berkeley


Being a facilitator is one thing, but Stephen Berkeley is on a mission to live a facilitative life.

This idea is incredibly intriguing – can it be done? How do we walk the line between staying curious and ‘coaching’ our relationships? Is it possible to use silence as a tool in our day-to-day lives?

Stephen joins me in this episode to explore all of the above and much more. We wind our way through the edges of facilitation and find ourselves at the heart of what it means to be human, to hold space for others, and to be present in every situation we encounter.

Find out about

  • Understanding the difference between facilitating and being facilitative
  • The special things that happen when you start a workshop in silence
  • The three-question process Stephen follows to reflect on his workshops
  • Why a ‘bad’ or ‘failed’ workshop is a matter of perspective
  • How to nurture our natural curiosity so it easily extends into all facets of our lives
  • Stephen’s advice to anyone who is curious about living a more facilitative life

Don’t miss the next show: Subscribe to the show with your favourite podcast player.

A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

Questions and Answers

01:16 When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?

03:51 What is the difference between being facilitative and being a facilitator?

07:02 How can we detect our innate facilitative skill?

11:37 What does it mean, to you, to live a facilitative life?

13:02 How can we avoid ‘overfacilitating’ non-workshop situations and creating friction?

18:32 Is there a possibility that having experienced such high-intensity crises, you risk underestimating crises in a workshop?

21:47 What three questions do you answer to help you reflect on a workshop you’ve delivered?

24:52 Have you ever come to the conclusion that a workshop failed?

32:38 Do you use silence in other areas of your life or work?

01:16 When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?

37:08 What happens if we apply more silence in our daily conversations?

43:12 As facilitators, we listen and reflect all day. Does our capacity to listen outside of our work diminish as a result?

46:07 How can we nurture our facilitative nature so that asking questions, being curious, and listening come naturally to us and don’t require us to put our ‘facilitator hat’ on?

51:01 If someone in the audience would like to start living a more facilitative life, what would be your advice to them?

The Power of Facilitation including Stephen’s chapter.

Connect to Stephen



By Martin Gilbraith

Certified Professional Facilitator | Master, ICA:UK Associate, #FacPower author, FRSA.