Barbara MacKay

Deepening Your Facilitation with Metaphors

As many of you know, I love to use metaphors in my facilitation events, workshops and social media.  Recently, I was invited as a guest facilitator to present a workshop with Jorie Wu and Jackie Chang with the CP Yen Foundation, Taiwan on the power of metaphors in facilitation. They summarized nicely the key points…

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Designing with Audacity – Focus on Big Picture and Finesse the Details

You probably know this already. Designing a facilitated session requires paying attention to both the bigger mission and vision of the session and paying attention to extremely fine details. Designing is, as many of us say, “an art and a science”. In this blog, we’ll talk briefly about some of the tricks that my colleagues…

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Gratitude and Reflections on My Facilitation Career

I guess when one comes close to completing one’s career, for some there can be regrets and disappointments embedded or over shadowing the good aspects. For me, at least now, I have no strong regrets. I accept it as good enough – in fact better than good. A joy! A gift! And an awakening of…

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Facilitation: Relax and Trust the Process

Many of you know my love for the environment and outdoor adventure, and pushing the edges of my physical and psychological limits. In our new Victoria, BC, Canada environment by the sea, I have decided to make the sea my friend and playmate. I am getting to know it as best as I can. Thus,…

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The Art of Mixing and Matching Techniques – What to Do and Not Do

In a recent facilitation, my colleague, Rangineh Azimzadeh Tehrani of Solh Resolutions International and I discussed the design of something fairly complex in a short amount of time. It was a job for Mercy Corps and members temporarily called “Women’s Philanthropy Group”. We had several lofty objectives! In this blog, we talk about what makes a…

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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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Barbara-8-2017

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