We like to deride ego. However, we all have one in whatever shape of strength or fragility. Our goal as facilitators is to use our egos for our goals rather than whatever goals our egos might have.
I certainly have an ego-derived need to look like I know what I’m doing. And there are times in working with a group that I have no idea what is going on or what I might do about it. Unfortunately, to sit back looking wise while things escalate out of control has not proven to be useful. Nor have my attempts at changing the topic been any more useful. What has been useful is showing-off by acknowledging that I haven’t a clue about what’s happening and asking for those clues. I’ve yet to find a group that wouldn’t help me. In that process, I demonstrate humility (an admirable trait) by acknowledging that I don’t know and gain critical information for myself and for the group that leads me to knowing what to do! Ah, my mighty ego not only survives but wins another round!
I can use my ego successfully as long as I am not automatically identifying with the automatic responses of my ego. If I am operating as if I am my ego, then I am doomed to operate as my ego dictates. Likewise, I would be doomed to do what my anger wants me to do (fight) or my fear wants me to do (flight) or my guilt wants me to do (punish myself) as long as I identify myself as my emotions, such as, “I am angry,” “I am afraid,” or “I am guilty.” Have your ego, don’t be it. Use it to get your job done or put it slightly aside to deal with later when it can no longer derail your facilitation.
Whether we are talking about intention, connectivity, or ego-management, consciously choose what you believe since that directs your thoughts which direct your emotions which direct your actions. You can consciously be in charge of all four if you choose (and have the support) to do so!