Barbara MacKay

How to ‘Hang’ with the Client…and Still Get the Job!

Are you in your stride, i.e. relaxed, friendly, laughing, having fun, with every new or prospective client? Are you able to “hang” with any potential client? “Hang” is a slang expression in English that means you are in a very informal, relaxed setting, and you are just enjoying the people you are with, typically friends.…

Read More...

No Tent Poles, Too Many Flies, Low on TP and Facilitator Adaptability

Remember I told you I was going on a canoe trip this summer? It was my first adaptability test of the summer.  My second one was experiencing two super typhoons in Japan and Hong Kong in September. I’ll tell you about that experience in another blog. The canoe trip reminded me what we take for granted as…

Read More...

How to Overcome Your Fear of Co-Facilitation

Just back from Osaka, Japan (Typhoon occurred just before I arrived shutting the Osaka airport down for a week+ and knocking out electricity at our Bed and Breakfast for a day!) and Hong Kong (Super Typhoon while I was there delaying my flight home by a day).  I share this because I was jointly facilitating 6…

Read More...

3 Key Areas to Dramatically Improve Your Facilitation Practice

This blog asks some provocative questions and gives you starter answers and example stories to help dramatically improve your facilitation business or practice. It has application to both in-house and external facilitators. It is meant to inspire you to make your facilitation practice more rewarding, balanced and joyous.  We’ll briefly look at specific ways to…

Read More...

Roadtrip! Explore Our New Facilitation Website

Ok – four months of work and our new website launched today! This was the easiest project I’ve done in years and we have a very comprehensive website so this was not a small task.  Perhaps it helps to be a facilitator! Our job was to create an easy-to-navigate, resource-rich website that made facilitation understandable…

Read More...

Facilitation Can Change the World – An Interview with Barbara MacKay

Joshua Voon, of our International Facilitation Cohort (2018-2019) interviewed me in July 2018 with what he calls meta questions. I thought his questions were wonderful and would perhaps be of interest to those who have or are starting a facilitation practice. Here are his questions and my answers. Q: What got you interested in facilitation?…

Read More...

Energizer: Positively Connecting the Group

True to my word, we are keeping the blog very short and sweet for the next little while. Here is a quick energizer I’ve used in various formats for many years. I learned and adapted it from my Portland colleague Paula Manley! It is also based on the “flow” concept of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It works…

Read More...

Making Your Job Easier as Facilitator – The Art of Preparation

Today, we’re going to talk about how our team usually prepares for a facilitation event. It is a little bit like preparing a picnic! You want to get all of your dishes figured out ahead of time, know which dishes go together and decide how you are going to arrange them in the agenda. We’re…

Read More...

Short But Powerfully Participatory Meetings

The Diagnosis You have 20 to 30 minutes to hold your regular team meeting. You’ve fallen into the bad practice of just having people report out. It has become an informational meeting where there’s not very much interaction. Some people may be paying attention for part of it but probably not all of it! You…

Read More...

What Can A Facilitator Do to Honour Life’s Milestones?

Since 1995, when I first learned the Technology of Participation methods from The Institute of Cultural Affairs, I have been impressed with the tool I have heard them use on staff and collegial special events, good-byes and birthdays. However, the way I’ve been using it over the decades, is to conduct a conversation with my…

Read More...