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ON THE WEB


and work together. So Ernst & Young had licensed their process, and they were just starting up in Chicago.


At the time, the last thing I wanted was a full-time job, and [my classmate] said, “No, no, no, it’s a contract thing. You would work for six days.” I thought,


“Okay, I’m 22. I don’t know which end is up.” I was hired to do one of these workshops for a six-day contract. It was very highly facilitated — there were 60 people in the workshop, there were 15 of us supporting the event by doing graphic facilitation. The very first thing they told us when we walked in was, “This is all about facilitation. Your job as


facilitators is to make the participants’ job easy.” And that was it. I get that.


I get to really, really work at the peak of what I am good at. I think a lot of people come at [graphic facilitation] in differ- ent directions and it’s not necessarily their sweet spot. But for me, I’m really thrilled that I get to work completely to my strengths. And I get to serve people. Our culture is slowly getting more and more visual. Look at YouTube and Pin- terest and Tumblr — those are all really visual mediums that people totally get and embrace.


There are three powers to the work. The first is being listened to. I think you can go into a meeting and spend all of this energy worrying about how you’re going to get to express X, Y, and Z. The great thing is, once you get X, Y, and Z


out and it’s on that sheet of paper, you think, “Okay, now I can listen to other people. Now I can build on their ideas.”


The second thing is shared understand- ing. It’s the idea that I came in with X, Y, and Z, but Bob came in with A, B, and C, and Jill has M, N, and O. You’re seeing how these things all fit together.


The third thing is that idea of seeing and touching your work. We live in a very text-based and auditory culture. You go into these meetings and the medium of a meeting is talking, and you only retain the things that are most pertinent to you. Once you get it up there on paper, people see everything in context. They have a shared understanding, and they also have much better retention.


. — As told to Barbara Palmer


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