Facilitator Development

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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The Honest Truth About My Facilitation Footprint

Today, I want to tell you how my facilitation practice has evolved over 25-30 years. What are the footsteps I have taken and what are the footprints I’ve left behind? How have I evolved in this time? This is a question that the IAF (International Association of Facilitators) has been asking us to answer for…

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Preparing to Facilitate – Are You Ready (Enough)?

The photos we use in the banner and narrative for this revised 2011 blog are from my current trip in Vancouver Island off the west coast of Canada. There are magnificent coastal views of course being on a spectacular island with much rain forest – albeit much of it has been logged. I was thinking…

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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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Facilitation Tools – Do’s and Don’ts!

Everyone seems to want to know more facilitation tools. Every course we teach, we hear participants say, “I want more tools for my facilitation toolkit”. We’d like to remind you that a facilitation tool is worth nothing if you don’t know how to do it correctly and you don’t have the right tone and stance…

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6 Facilitator Styles That Will Keep You Out of Trouble!

In this blog we will talk about our facilitator style and presence. These are the things you need to cultivate in yourself to effectively solicit meaningful participation or group engagement. Personally, as I look back over 20 or more years of facilitating, I think my style has been one of the most important aspects of…

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Four Steps to Elegant Meeting Design

Recently I have been thinking a lot about designing. For months, I’ve been designing a three-part series for people who want to learn the essence of elegant meeting facilitation. There is nothing more satisfying to me than designing an agenda, or a curriculum. It is a creative and logical process that uses every once (gram!)…

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When You and the Group Are in the “Abyss”: What to Do About It

Otto Scharmer and his team have been exploring a model called Theory U for several decades. More and more I find myself drawn to it as a metaphor for the journey I go on with a group. The Theory U team speak of a great divide, a chasm which we must cross with a group…

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Little or BIG Impact – Which do you want?

Everything is in place. Your client has chosen you as the facilitator because your style and experience appeal to them. Jointly, you have collaborated on the agenda and activities to use and the pre-work information participants will receive. Are you intentional about what your impact will be or is has it been left to chance?…

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Are Learning Styles Really Going Out of Style?

It all started when I read an article re-posted by my Australian colleague that was titled, “The concept of different “learning styles” is one of the greatest neuroscience myths”. Like many of my colleagues, I have been a proponent of using a variety of participation formats in all my meetings. And, I have no doubt…

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