Barbara MacKay

Using ORID to Make a Positive Difference During COVID

Sometimes you want to have complex conversations with people you don’t know. Facilitators become masters at this. We help groups have engaging and fascinating discussions even when they don’t know each other and are talking about something that’s controversial. So, we wanted to show you this using the Focused Conversation Method. We talked with a…

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The Sustainable Facilitator: Ensuring Planet-Friendly Work and Life

This may seem like an odd topic and you may be tempted to dismiss it. But I assure you it will have some great tips no matter where you are in your facilitation practice and your relationship with the planet and its care. For over a year we’ve been posting a sustainability and wellness tip…

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Dealing with Conflict During COVID (or any other time)

Featuring guest blogger: Gabriel Begin (our son) Last week, our son led part of our family in a structured discussion so that we could have some quality sharing together. We haven’t seen each other in almost a year. The older adults present had all been vaccinated. I did not realize until today, that he was…

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How to Build a Successful Virtual Facilitation Team

I just participated in one of the most profound and interesting team experiences of my life! It took place in just under two years.  The project came out of a client request to train 25 healthcare leaders (later called the Enable learning cohort) in Saudi Arabia in the art and science of process facilitation.  The…

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So You Want to Become a Facilitator Consultant?

We have two gifts for you today! The first is from one of our associates, a beautiful caring woman, Eileen Pippins. She works as an organizational (OD) consultant and trainer in Social Justice areas. She talks about some of the joys and challenges of being a consultant/facilitator and what she’s learned (especially during the pandemic)….

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The Art and Science of Facilitator Patience

Several colleagues who are relatively new to facilitation are having me reflect on the concept of patience and compassion. I’ve also been thinking a lot about a term “art and science” I learned from the ICA Associates Canada course called, The Art and Science of Participation. Patience is an art and science. In my own…

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Oops…When the Facilitator Does Not Get the Product the Group Needs

Everyone has bad facilitator days when the group did not get the outcomes or specific product they needed. No worries. It happens to me all the time. Well, more rarely these days but a lot in the early days…So what are you to do about it? My mentor, Bill Staples of ICA Associates, Canada helped me…

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Move Out of the Boxes in Virtual Meetings

We’ve been in virtual meetings for 8 months or more depending on when you started your virtual meeting journey. Most of us are still sitting in Zoom boxes or Microsoft Teams meetings without having the delightful experience of what the technology is offering us. This blog hopes to remind you that we can take the…

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Facilitation and Democracy – Can they inform each other?

Recently with all that is going on with the pandemic, racial protests and federal presidential elections (November 3, 2020) in the US, I’ve been thinking deeply about what democracy means to me. How is facilitation related to democracy? Is there an essence of facilitation that might give me solace when democracy seems to be seriously…

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Powerfully Resilient Virtual Teams – Lessons from Global IAF Leaders

Over the last 2.5 years, an international team of 15+ IAF facilitators including graphic/visual practitioners from five continents and 8 time zones have been co-designing a book called The Power of Facilitation. I wanted to share the incredible process that we went through together as an example of facilitators working together as a powerfully resilient…

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