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Barbara MacKay

Increasing the Meta Impact of Your Energizers

At the IAF Asia conference last week, Grace Tan from Singapore and I co-facilitated a session on meaningful energizers. We were trying to urge facilitators to choose their energizers and ice breakers wisely, not just because it was a favorite thing to do. We recommend you do not use energizers as a “filler” or simply…

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Three Ideas to Help Your Facilitation Blossom

Facilitation training, certification and attending an International Association of Facilitators (IAF) conference are three of the best ways to make your facilitation profession blossom. In today’s blog, I’ve decided to share photos of my journey to Singapore where I spent four days doing ToP facilitation training, mostly advanced.  Have you considered any of the facilitation…

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Create Inspiring, Captivating Mission and Values

When employees and volunteers connect to the organization’s mission, values or guiding principles in a personal way, they become more motivated, committed and fulfilled. This connection occurs by engaging people in the development of these foundational statements. Facilitators help groups do this through thoughtful dialogue and creative processes. Here is a short, pithy overview of…

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The Being of the Facilitator, What Does It Look Like?

The “being of the facilitator” keeps coming up recently as a phrase amongst my colleagues around the world.  Someone even invited me to do a workshop on this topic. I thought it would be helpful to write about this as a way to gather my thoughts.  My Netherlands colleague, Mireille Beumer, joins me today as…

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Why Your Meetings May Not Get Results

People complain a lot about nothing happens after the meeting.  That means that people do not follow up to actions assigned to them.  Or worse, no actions are assigned to anyone.  I am guilty of not getting to next steps often in meetings also. I am going to address it from two angles: 1. How can…

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Staying Calm When the Group Hates Your Facilitator Process!

Or you, the participant hate the process! Some people profess to not like process. I guarantee that at times in meetings, it might be as high as 75%+ of the group who are not enjoying the process. If you could hear people think out loud it might sound like this, “Why can’t everyone just think…

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What About Facilitation Makes a Good Leader?

In our Technology of Participation courses, we always start out talking about styles of leadership. There are hierarchical styles and facilitation styles. Neither one is better than the other but in my profession of facilitation, we are obviously focused on the facilitative leader framework. In this blog we’ll talk about some of the key ways…

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How to Unplug & Recharge – Facilitator Self Care Practices

A colleague recently shared an article with me about creating “white space” in your life.  The article was about intentionally scheduling “do nothing” days (posted in resources section below). Thanks to Lyn Wong in Singapore for sending me this.  The reason I think this is important to pay attention to as facilitators and leaders is…

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Is Strategic Visioning a Waste of Time? 6 Ways to Overcome Resistance To It

Your group needs strategic planning. But they either refuse or are very resistant to doing the visioning part of strategic planning. YOU may know that visioning is essential as a foundational piece of strategic planning. So you are doing the group a disservice if you “give in” to their resistance to it. So what can…

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When Dot Voting is Unfair and Ineffective – What to Do Instead

I think everyone I know who has heard about facilitation or practices it, also knows about dot voting. It may be one of the most popular yet misused tools I’ve ever encountered in the field. I feel so strongly about it’s misuse that I’ve probably only used it twice in my entire career. Those two…

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