API Summer 2021

This person is confronting a disap- pointment that is beyond his means. Ignoring these moments can wreck the experience for him and ruin the timing and outcomes of the tour for everyone. So: Handle the emotional moment and get the tour back on track. An effective structure for emotional intervention will quickly bring the person back from a decline and help him to re-focus. Others in the group watch how this is handled and decide for themselves about the character of the guide and how they might be treated if they struggle. Emotional interventions typically involve a sequence of empathetic inquiry and movement toward a set of choices the participant needs to sort through, with your help. Begin by inquiring about their present state. Offer a full deep breath together to bring them into the present. Then return to their earlier stated goals for the experience, and re- view the challenge before them. Explore the options, and finally, the participant needs to make a choice. The goal is for the participant to end up as the coura-

geous hero of their own story.

us for an adventure, we want them to have a safe and positive experience, and we want them to tell others how much they loved it so that they and others will return. Facilitation of the journey, the bumps in the road, challenges over- come, and new friends made will turn a brief experience into a lifelong memory. People will remember how they felt, and how you treated them. Facilitation provides the means to rapidly develop an emotionally safe setting. It establishes a foundation of trust and, in the event of a struggle, the guide is already viewed as safe, helpful, and competent. People who experience your care and professionalism are easier to lead, more willing to take on a higher challenge, and more forgiving when there are mistakes. Tom and his wife, Jennifer, operate Leahy & Associates Inc., providing challenge course design, operations, training, and the NCCPS Facilitators Unconference. Contact Tom at tom@leahy-inc.com.

The final debrief. A simple circle at the end of the tour, a few questions about successes and the things we have expe- rienced, provides a fitting finale. A “final frenzie” that allows us to acknowledge and thank each other for the journey is just the right closing.


In a facilitated approach, participants arrive as strangers, leave as friends, and tell the story of their amazing experience to everyone who will listen. Facilitation is an intentional process in which we bring a group of strangers or friends together as we guide them through a sequence of challenges. The challenges we choose set the stage for thoughtful reflection leading to positive outcomes. Facilitation infuses a sense of connection, compe- tence, and celebration to the experience from arrival to departure. Common goal for all. All programs, facilitated and guided, have something in common: We want people to join


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STAR LIFTS USA Conor Rowan 603.863.0241

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