Facilitator’s Club – How to Handle Humor on the Carpet

Sometimes participants are genuinely funny… even when they are sharing about profoundly upsetting experiences.

The group may start laughing a lot, and it can be confusing — how are you supposed to facilitate a truly healing process with all this laughing going on?

Many facilitators mis-handle this situation… but there IS a way to handle it well, so it

  • grounds the process,
  • builds the participant’s trust in the process, and
  • moves the process forward.

In this three-and-a-half minute video, I share with you exactly how to handle humor on the carpet.

I hope you enjoy it.


About Dmitri


  1. Terry Hartwick says:

    Good Stuff.
    I like the fact you work on building trust and not shaming him by advising he’s not congruent with a serious subject
    (which I’ve done)

  2. Sometimes we get oh so serious about our processes in men’s work that we lose sight of the bigger picture, in that sometimes very bad situations have a humorous dimension to them. Acknowledging a man’s sense of humor in no way detracts from the depth of the pain he might be experiencing. Thank you for reminding us of this.

  3. Great example of how to ‘aikido’ that situation… I could see you use the energy of the humor to move the conversation to a deeper level without shame or confrontation. Ah so. (:

    • Dmitri says:

      SO MUCH of good facilitation is being able to acknowledge where the participant is at, AND authentically see how his or her behaviors have been trying to (and even succeeding in) supporting survival.

      The more you can show that you understand, REALLY understand, that the participant has been doing his or her best, the easier facilitation will be.

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