facilitation skills

Can you stand the silence? Why it happens in meetings and what to do

A participant in a recent course asked us this question, “How do you handle ‘dead air’ in meetings?” My immediate inner response was, what is ‘dead air’ in meetings? I imagined the person meant that there was not as much participation or engagement by the meeting participants as they had hoped for. The silence felt…

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Using ORID to Make a Positive Difference During COVID

Sometimes you want to have complex conversations with people you don’t know. Facilitators become masters at this. We help groups have engaging and fascinating discussions even when they don’t know each other and are talking about something that’s controversial. So, we wanted to show you this using the Focused Conversation Method. We talked with a…

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The Sustainable Facilitator: Ensuring Planet-Friendly Work and Life

This may seem like an odd topic and you may be tempted to dismiss it. But I assure you it will have some great tips no matter where you are in your facilitation practice and your relationship with the planet and its care. For over a year we’ve been posting a sustainability and wellness tip…

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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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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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When the Facilitator Must NOT Be Neutral

It’s been a month since we last wrote our blog. The tree embedded in the banner represents some big things the human race is finally speaking about on a global basis – race inequity and other forms of oppression.  In many parts of the world there have been demonstrations about race, specifically triggered by deadly…

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ORID Can Light Your Way Through the Next Phase of COVID-19

The Focused Conversation is the mega method underlying all of the Technology of Participation (ToP) methodologies. It helps the facilitator be very clear on what product or understanding you want the group to have as a result of your conversation. This is called the rational aim (RA). And somewhat unique to most methods, it is…

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The 9 (Inner) Disciplines of the Facilitator

Last week, at an IAF sponsored workshop, my colleagues Jackie Chang from Taiwan, Kevin Xu from China and myself co-designed and delivered our workshop on the “Being of the Facilitator” in Guangzhou, China. One of the resources that we thought would be helpful was called “The Nine Disciplines of a Facilitator” by Jon and Maureen…

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Clear Flowing Agendas – Designing Using Meta Methods

What is a meta method? It is a framework that can be used over and over in many different circumstances.  It is the foundation behind all other tools and techniques. It works marvelously in most situations that require clear thinking.  Are you designing with meta methods?  I will talk about two in this blog and…

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Art of Maintaining a Clear & Focused Facilitator Mind

I just came off a silent meditation retreat. I do these every year to clear my mind. It also helps me set new intentions and practices. I know that as facilitator I need to come to the group with a clear and sharply focused mind. There are many ways to develop a mind free from…

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