Group Participation, Facilitator tools, meeting dynamics,

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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Seven Facilitator Tips to Make Your Training MUCH More Engaging

You have your training plan ready and you realize you want it to be more engaging. Typical training is about passing on learning and content, in small or large blocks. It provides theory, information, and ideally activities to help retain the information. But the emphasis is on a hierarchical model where the trainer is the…

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Facilitating When Senior Leaders Are in the Meeting

We’ve all been in meetings where our direct boss is attending or there are very senior leaders in the room. That’s a real facilitator dilemma. You the facilitator should have full control of the group, but you may not feel you can do this with senior leaders in the room. This is a common question…

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Treat Your Groups to 6 Energizers From Our Menu

Here are a few really cool meeting energizers from colleagues whom I deeply respect or whose processes I have used and found to work extremely well. Please read also our earlier blog on why I normally disapprove of energizers just to energize or have fun!  These energizers are relevant, fun and produce an outcome. The…

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Finding the Silver Lining… for that Facilitated Event Gone Wrong!

What do you do when you have a facilitated an event that has gone badly? It might just be one moment in the whole event that you keep dwelling on after the fact. You realize you made a mistake. And you don’t exactly know what you could’ve done differently. This blog is about many stories…

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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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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…

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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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Challenging Participant Behaviors – An 8 Step Survivor’s Guide

Imagine you are presenting at a pre-conference workshop where everyone wants to be there. People have signed up and paid to be there. There was no possibility that someone could show up at the facilitators conference, pay a good amount of money and not want to be there. Right? Not so! This is what happened…

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