Shaping the Room: Power, Vulnerability, and the Art of Facilitation with Michelle Howard

Workshops.Work · February 21, 2024

About Track

Everybody in the workshop process experiences some element of vulnerability.

The client is taking a risk on your skills and the outcomes that might emerge from using them. The participants are taking a risk in showing up, bringing what they bring to the room, and trusting (or fighting) the process. You — the facilitator — is taking a risk on your work, reputation, and ability.

So why should we expect any of us to be the perfect picture of confidence throughout?

Michelle Howard helps me understand the value of vulnerability (and its inevitability) in this episode, explaining the dance between power and vulnerability that happens in workshops — no matter who you are.

Find out about:

  • Why vulnerability and courage are two sides of the same coin
  • Understanding how our individual actions can be responses to and prompts for the collective
  • Why a facilitator built of 100% confidence is unlikely to produce great results
  • How community acts as a crucial filter for the shiny new objects/tools/trends in facilitation
  • Why addressing individual needs makes a big difference to the whole group
  • How to help clients relax their desire for the safest route and embrace the risk of empowering the group

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

And download the free 1-page summary, so you can always have the key points of this episode to hand.


Watch the video recording of this episode on YouTube.

Collaborations, Michelle’s company.

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About Creator


The world is waking up to the power of facilitation. Whether it's hosting a workshop, holding better meetings, or leading happy and productive teams - we want to make collaboration easy and effective. Dr. Myriam Hadnes is the founder of NeverDoneBefore, a global online facilitation community and festival, and this is her podcast. 'workshops work' is 50% sandbox and 50% classroom, a safe space for anyone interested in facilitation to learn more about the craft. Each week, a professional facilitator, trainer, or coach joins Myriam to discuss their interests and experiences in the world of facilitation. The conversations are open, and honest, and make facilitation understandable and accessible to all.Get practical tips and advice from a raft of experts and uncover the magic ingredients that make workshops work. You can download a free 1-page summary of each episode on

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Track Includes

  • 3 Key Takeaways