Dialogue

A Simple Design to Facilitate Climate Change Action

This blog is going to focus on a climate change action workshop in Hong Kong I was co-leading in the midst of a super typhoon coming towards Hong Kong.  Hong Kong had never experienced this high level (9) typhoon in its history.  Here is a photo of a tiny sample of the after math in…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Facilitating From the Side – There’s Hope for Bad Meetings

I worry a lot about people who attend meetings. I worry because many tell me how bad they are. I am totally spoiled. I simply don’t attend others’ meetings unless I know they will be well run. Most of the time, I am facilitating them or facilitating from the side without permission. What about those…

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Tinkering with Open Space!

A number of colleagues and I occasionally debate whether it’s ok to modify a well known, well established, outstanding framework. In the course of a recent conversation, a few of us came up with a modification to one of the steps in the Open Space Technology (OST) framework. For me, OST has always been a…

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When the Facilitator Knows Nothing or Everything About the Subject

A client asked me recently, “How do you facilitate when you know nothing about the subject?” I had to gulp and pause because it was actually true of what I was about to facilitate for that client. So I took a deep breath and, well…I’ll get back to that! Or, what about the opposite situation?…

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Facilitator Succinctness

SUCCINCT! I’ve always loved that word. So my question to everyone of us who facilitates meetings and workshops is: Are you succinct enough? In our recent concurrent session at IAF Asia, several people noted that we needed to be clearer in our instructions with the big group. This is an example of where we were…

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Finding Joy in Facilitation

I realized that for several blogs in a row, I have written about fairly heavy topics. And my mood is lighter these days. How about we talk about finding joy in facilitation? Hummingbirds are messengers of joy thus the art piece in the banner above. My friend, Julie, another facilitator among many other talents, gave…

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Eight Ways to Process a Tragedy

Note: I am making a few changes to this blog as more accurate news emerges and I gain more perspective from wise colleagues. A terrorist, racist hate crime happened in my city just before the long Memorial day weekend, and at the start of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection for Muslims around…

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