Guiding Groups

No Tent Poles, Too Many Flies, Low on TP and Facilitator Adaptability

Remember I told you I was going on a canoe trip this summer? It was my first adaptability test of the summer.  My second one was experiencing two super typhoons in Japan and Hong Kong in September. I’ll tell you about that experience in another blog. The canoe trip reminded me what we take for granted as…

Read More...

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…

Read More...

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…

Read More...

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…

Read More...

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…

Read More...

Spring Clean Your Meetings! The Art of A Fresh Start

This blog contains a series of videos and handouts on how to dramatically enliven your meetings. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is often the time we take to get rid of old, NOT useful things. It is a time to freshen up our day-to-day living space. We call this process “spring…

Read More...

Tips of Wisdom for Teams

These ten tips are from a short article by Cyprian D’Souza (see bio and contact info below) who worked for many many years doing work for the Institute of Cultural Affairs. He has summarized best practices from his vast experience working collaboratively. I found this print version of the article while doing a major overhaul…

Read More...

The Facilitator Role: Shifting Harmful Situations to Healthy Ones

This is a story about a woman who changed everything. She took something that seemed impossible, and turned it into the most amazing project that a whole community got behind. (See her project here: www.washedashore.org) The model of this project could be used anywhere in the world. We, as facilitators can be agents to help…

Read More...

Facilitator Endurance: 4 Stages That Win You the Gold

I’ve been thinking about endurance. The winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea now, are a very big demonstration of endurance. Athletes go through a four stage process more or less of endurance training. What about facilitators? I’d like to talk about the why and what of the four stage process as it relates to our…

Read More...

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…

Read More...