More and more, the animators of Professional Codevelopment Groups are being asked by the organizations in which they work, for certifications.

However, the founders of the method, Adrien Payette and Claude Champagne, did not initially orient the codevelopment market around labels and supporting documents.

The aim of this article is to show how much the emergence of this debate finds its meaning in a broader reflection on the power of Codevelopment. And who says power in terms of benefits, perhaps also says power in terms of nuisance … hence the importance of an animation in awareness of the stakes and the risks.  

Under what conditions is codevelopment safe and why can we speak of danger in certain cases?

Dans cet article, j’évoque les points de vigilance à avoir dans les groupes qui suivent les principes de la méthode initiale. Parce que le codéveloppement est plus qu’un processus théorique qu’on déroule étape par étape … **

In this article, I evoke the points of vigilance to have in the groups which follow the principles of the initial method. Because codevelopment is more than a theoretical process that takes place step by step … **


Reading time : 5 minutes 

* I will not come back to the cases that AFCODEV underlines in its article and which stem from a poor understanding of the method and its framework (for example, groups made up of 14 people, participants with hierarchical links between them: to read the article, it’s HERE).

** This article aims to highlight the importance of a practice of animation that is regularly questioned and re-evaluated in the light of real experiences in animation. Because training is a first step … but it is not enough to face the challenges of real-world practice of such a powerful method.

A framework of openness of oneself to others

Because the codev by its framework induces trust, confidentiality and benevolence, we open up to others. This opening exposes the person called “client” of the session. Without the benevolence of setting and respect for the operating rules of the group, a session can quickly turn sour: loss of self-confidence, feeling of humiliation, …

And sometimes it takes so little for a session to go wrong! A simple remark from a participant can cause the building to falter. For example, a “but hey, I really don’t see where the problem is”. The rules may have been accepted by all, the facilitator may refocus, … the damage is done. 

Before a session, the facilitator must be able to ensure that the framework of codevelopment is understood by all and well integrated. When he sets out the group’s rules, he makes them explicit. As he goes through each step of the process, he rests that framework again. He must be able to be attentive at the beginning of the session to the risks that certain participants represent in their posture or behavior and possibly intervene upstream, by recalling for example that the clarification phase is a questioning phase in which the opinion of the consultants on the subject treated is not welcome!

In the reality of an animation in a company, sometimes reappears the current climate of the company, the weight of the past interactions between the participants, etc.

 The Stake is then played out at various stages of the process:

1. As soon as the group is formed

The facilitator must be able to trust himself on the clues he perceives and which could indicate to him to be vigilant on certain points or even to dare to question the constitution of the group with the client.

2. At the start of the session

To ensure that the group is on the same wavelength by recalling a basic principle if necessary: “we do not try to see to what extent we find the situation of the problematic client, but to understand why it is problematic for him and to help him find concrete progress “.

3. Throughout the session

Session during which the facilitator must be attentive to the non-verbal, or the para-verbal when he is at a distance. Trust yourself on your feelings to rest certain rules in case of need, and especially question the group on what is being played. If he thinks it necessary to give a “thumbs up” to stop the session, let him trust himself. However, a real time of setting up often makes it possible to save these pause times which slow down the “flow” of the animation.

A call to self knowledge

Animating codev to completely new audiences is not a problem. However, it can be useful before starting a cycle of sessions, to sensitize the group to the principles of codevelopment, in a more thorough way than at the beginning of a session.

A person I know begins their co-development cycles with a half-day “self-knowledge” around the MBTI. Thus, it allows everyone to become aware of their relationship to collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, learning, …

Another way can be to introduce the group to the method of codevelopment over a dedicated period of time to take the time to deepen your principles and give everyone time to ask questions, understand and take ownership.

An issue of distinction on the aim of codevelopment: problem solving vs peer learning

While codevelopment makes it possible, in a fairly factual way, to sometimes resolve problematic situations, it allows above all to learn from one’s peers and to develop one’s professional practice.

However, it is not easy to put a group of “operational” people, used to seeking efficiency and action above all else, in this state of mind. However, this is the key to success.

From the moment I participate in a group with the intention of improving my practice by taking a step back by a collective work on real cases experienced by peers, then, I am no longer in a dynamic of “consumption” where a situation that does not seem to concern me will push me to be expeditious and in judgment. I am in a state of mind where I seek through questioning to investigate a complex field in order to identify operating modes, objectify them in order to re-choose them or abandon them and learn about me.

The work on the choice of the subject makes it possible in particular to orient a session towards this state of mind.

When the following conditions are met:

  • Thoughtful and questioned constitution of the group
  • Introduction to the principles of codevelopment
  • Work on the participant’s intellectual posture and the type of subject
  • Awakening the facilitator to weak signals during the session

… then co-development turns out to be a powerful method that allows:

a. for individuals to change their perspective on their practices in order to do things differently and take a step forward

b. collectives to function more on the dynamics of trust and benevolence

Who rubs it pricks it … and gets caught up in the game!

These elements of vigilance being posed, I can only recall how much the power of the method creates followers, even addicts! What a pleasure to belong to a supportive community, made up of peers, to experience regular sessions and to come out always delighted, mobilized, along the way, … it’s up to you to complete the list! A participant once shared with me seeing the group as a “breath of fresh air” in its complex daily life. And how vital air is to us! So I have only one word to end this article: rub shoulders with codevelopment and poke yourself into the fine game of collective intelligence that it offers.

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