Short answer: because it can be dangerous and expose your participants to potential harm.

A longer answer: over the 10+ years of being a facilitator I have seen many people being inspired by my work, all the way up to copying workshop titles, complete frameworks for workshops, and whatnot. I have had participants coming in with notebooks and, without saying a word, writing down every single word I say so they can use it in their own work.

First of all, workshops are part of copyright, and as such, are under legal protection from being copied without explicit permission. Then, as people in my field are usually all about integrity, consent, and respect, copying without permission or attribution is going right against those values.

But more importantly, what you see in a workshop as an observer or participant, is just the outside. The paint on the wall, without a visible wall or foundation underneath. The paint couldn’t be there without the wall, and without a foundation, that wall isn’t stable.

When I design a workshop, there is a storyline. Things happen in a certain order, to prevent people do things under group pressure. I use words that give permission to choose to not take an active part in exercises. I design gradients and opt-outs, consent is subtly, often invisible to the observer, in every invitation. I encourage people to listen to their voice within – how I do that is different for each group, as groups are different. This isn’t logical science – it takes skills from me to step back and listen, and make decisions in a split second.

Many words can be directive. A great exercise at the wrong moment can be traumatizing. Not understanding our participants can result in excluding certain groups, genders, and differently-abled folks. It can create harm.

Our own behaviour and positioning, again, often invisible to the observer, has immense impact, as does our choice and informing of our team.

It’s great if you are inspired by my work, and you are welcome to let that inspiration fuel your work and passion. If you wish to copy some elements of my work, the correct etiquette is to attribute that to me whenever you use that aspect. If you want to use the frameworks or titles of my workshops, you ask me for permission. If you wish to copy my work, or learn how I do things, you pay me for my time to teach you (and you understand that business-to-business fees aren’t cheap).

So please, do not nonconsensually copy the work of others. It’s out of integrity, illegal, and potentially harming your people.