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Facilitator Development

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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Will Online Meetings Become a Whole New Offshoot of Facilitation?

All of us have experienced a new norm of online meetings. Like the split tree photo in this banner, I believe online facilitation will become as important and as normal as face-to-face meetings. Maybe even more so. Thus, our mission is to become as skillful facilitating in the online as the in-person environment. And, if…

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Why Facilitators Need to Talk About Race

This month I’m continuing on the topic of race (a social construct which has complex origins and often, harmful consequences) and facilitation.  In full disclosure, I am not a full-time facilitator of racial dialogues. I have had many occasions to hold these conversations in groups because it comes up in strategic planning, or team-building/conflict interventions….

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Uncovering Opportunities – A Facilitator’s Early Response to a Global Shutdown

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, some of us are finding lots of opportunities to offer our skills and services as process facilitators.  And others are not. I want to acknowledge that both are true right now.  And neither is better than the other. It just is. Nonetheless, I also want to emphasize that there are…

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Celebrating Black Female Facilitators

In the U.S., February is African American history month. It began as a celebration of contributions by African Americans at a time when those contributions were not remotely recognized.  This month is meant to be a tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity and oppression in achieving full citizenship in American…

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The Importance of Pauses in Process Work

I rarely pause in my life. My family would attest to this fact. Yet life goes better with pauses. I have learned this the hard way.  In process facilitation, pauses are an incredibly important part of the entire agenda. If you don’t pause at the right moments, you miss the opportunity for such things as…

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Facilitator Math – When You Need to Use Numbers to Get Better Results

Most facilitators are not really into math, but you may need to be. I keep discovering how important it is to watch numbers and patterns (the underlying structure of math) when you are conducting a facilitated session.  Here are two quick tips to get really good results.   One is something all facilitators seem to get…

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