Barbara MacKay

Finally – Your Very Own Complete Professional Facilitator Development Library

We did it. We worked for years to make facilitator user-friendly content. Now we hope you will benefit from it in some new ways. This blog shares a bit of a story about my journey (and my collaboration with Eileen) and where I am now. Sorry – not much on technique today.  BUT rich on…

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The Gift of Being a Facilitator Entrepreneur

Join me for a casual interview with emerging facilitator and entrepreneur, Malia Josephine, from Portland, Oregon. We divided the interview into three parts. In part A, Malia introduces her new business aimed at helping facilitators and clients find each other. She also asks me as a facilitator entrepreneur the following types of questions. What services…

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Honouring Black Male Facilitators … and publicly sharing my DEI practices

Once again, February is Black History Month and I’m recalling with great joy and appreciation how I was welcomed to the U.S. and supported while in the U.S. by several black male colleagues in particular. I would like to take a moment to honour each of them even though we haven’t spoken for awhile.  These…

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Light Up Your Group’s Thinking Power

Let’s focus today on online versions of three of my absolute favorite tried and true creative thinking frameworks/techniques.  I have used these for the most complex problem solving sessions that require people to fire up their brains in different ways. We describe the what, when and how of each: Six Thinking Hats, Reverse Problem Solving…

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Self-Reflection Using the ToP Focused Conversation Method (ORID)

Many of you have been working with the Focused Conversation method or ORID for short. The acronym ORID as you may recall stand for the four levels of thinking that a facilitator can use to help the group track together. By tracking, I mean creating a sense of flow, alignment and focus for a group…

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Meeting the Impossible Strategic Planning Request

In this blog, I meet with two esteemed colleagues, Leah Hopton from Vancouver, Canada, and Teck Kwang Loh from Singapore. We discuss the various ways that we’ve approached strategic planning. I introduce the typical ToP Strategic Planning model and talk about where it’s different from most planning frameworks.   Part 1: Strategic Planning Introduction  …

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The Facilitator: Sage on the Stage or Guide on the Side?

In one of our recent public courses to teach facilitation skills, someone used the phrase “sage on the stage or guide on the side”. I think they were having an aha moment about the job of the process facilitator. It is not to be a lecturer or the wise knowledgeable expert, but a person who…

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Life is Horrid Without ORID: 3 Tips for the ToP Focused Conversation

Today we are going to focus on various ways to use the Focused Conversation or ORID. I’ve been watching jellyfish lately on my adventure retreats and I think of the beauty of a jellyfish as similar to the beauty of an ORID. As our ToP colleague, Dennis Jennings says, “Life would be horrid without an…

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Can you stand the silence? Why it happens in meetings and what to do

A participant in a recent course asked us this question, “How do you handle ‘dead air’ in meetings?” My immediate inner response was, what is ‘dead air’ in meetings? I imagined the person meant that there was not as much participation or engagement by the meeting participants as they had hoped for. The silence felt…

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From simple to sophisticated… virtual facilitation tools and tips you must try!

Contributors: Dr. Manal Alnaimi, Saudi Arabia Mireille Beumer, Netherlands Grace Tan, Singapore Today’s blog is going to have a lot of links. My purpose is to inspire you to get outside of your comfort zone and try new things. If you are “stuck” in this in-between world of in-person and virtual, perhaps you need some…

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Barbara-8-2017

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