The ninth chapter of Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation, downloadable here as an individual resource. This chapter is useful as an assigned reading before entering a challenging conversation, as a conversation starter, or integrated into any facilitator training. Navigating feeling triggered is often one of the most prevalent concerns for new facilitators and this chapter is a great starting point.
From the chapter:
The stimulus triggered your intrapersonal root. Damn. This is already starting to feel bad. But you’ve felt this before, and as such, you’ve prepared yourself for just this occasion. You reach into your mental utility belt and pull out a pair of safety goggles, and it’s through these goggles that you will see the stimulus.
The goggles might be “this isn’t about me. My job is to facilitate their learning.” Before any training, you remind yourself what your role is, and you decide that you’ll take the high road if this stimulus triggers you.
Or maybe your safety goggles are more of the “Haters gonna hate” variety, and you are able to rest in comfort knowing sometimes people are jerks.
Or, if you’re like Sam, perhaps you go with the “I blame society” goggles, and you are able to process the stimulus through a lens that it wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t malicious, and even if it was, the person was socialized to respond in that way. It’s not their fault. Similarly, Meg’s go-to safety goggles are “they learned that,” which helps remind her that they learned what they shared from somewhere (making it not their fault) and giving her hope for unlearning.
To learn more about triggers, what they are and how to navigate them, click the download link above.