This sounds like a fairly easy-going line, but undoubtedly it has been one of the most important pieces of advice I received just before delivering my first workshop at FocusU, and it is as valid today as it was then.
Imagine you are a Facilitator. You have thoroughly rehearsed the scripts/activities and even timed it to perfection, and then at the last minute the conference organizers inform you that they are running late and you would need to shave off just 1 hour from your 2-hour allotted period!
Or imagine you land up on the morning of the workshop and just 10 minutes before the start, the leader wishes to discuss the objectives and expected outputs and you realize it’s radically different from the planned sequence of events for the day! (Never mind wherever this leader was over the last one month when the design was being finalized or the umpteen conference calls you had with other ‘key stakeholders’ from that organization in the run-up to this workshop!)
Let’s take yet another common occurrence during process facilitation workshops, wherein the discussion takes a sharp, tangential direction that you could never have accounted for. For example, there may be some critical undercurrents among the participants towards the senior management team that the organizer fails to mention, but later show up in the conversation!
Invariably, one can panic and flounder during such dramatic, though not wholly uncommon, situations.
Hang Loose. This one mantra (call it motto/slogan, or whatever you will!) can firmly anchor you in the choppy sea of dynamic changes and the resulting agitation.
Derived from the Hawaiian Islands, hang loose or “shocka” is used as a non-verbal expression or greeting to tell the recipient that every thing will be okay and to relax.
So how does one hang loose in reality?
So the next time you face a crisis situation, do not hang yourself just yet! Rather, hang loose and hang in there!