So You Want to be a Facilitator…?

 Image® by Avril Orloff
Image® by Avril Orloff

So you want to be a facilitator?  This humourous graphic illustrates the attributes of an inspired facilitator:

  • Large Ears– to listen to all things said and “spoken between the lines”.
  • Sharp Eyes –  to read body language and visual cues in a single scan.
  • Tiny Mouth –  to hold onto personal opinions, while speaking with integrity and neutrality.
  • Warm Heart – to treat everyone with respect and compassion.
  • Open Hands  – to manage process effectively with methods/questions that invite full participation.
  • Solid Feet – to be a stable force in the face of complexity, dynamics and emergence.
  • Unifying Spirit – to serve the health and well-being of the whole.

Bring our empowering facilitation courses in-house. Contact us for your discovery call.

What A Great Meeting!

People meet for all sorts of reasons.greatmtg Organizations bring people together to accomplish all sorts of outcomes. But, not all of those meetings would be dubbed productive nor would all the participants proclaim, “Wow! What a great meeting.” In fact, it’s probably quite the opposite.

Great meetings take work. The mistake most of us make is we assume we can just ‘wing it’. Not so. The more seemingly effortless, easy and natural the meeting; the more likely a good deal of preparation happened beforehand to achieve that. Continue reading “What A Great Meeting!”

How Do We Get There?

strategic planning VancouverTranslating Vision and Strategy into Action

(This blog follows previous Strategic Planning newsletter topics.)

Sound familiar? “Our team had an incredible strategic planning retreat. Everyone got excited and aligned around a vision and the clear strategic results we all wanted to achieve. Now we’re back to “reality”, with poor follow-through, so chances are very little will actually change.”

Many strategic planning processes fall short at this stage. Continue reading “How Do We Get There?”

Where Do We Want To Be?

Articulating A Bold Consensus Vision of the Desired Future

vision.path2As often attributed to Cat and Alice in Lewis Carroll’s novel, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

The visioning phase of strategic planning is about becoming crystal clear on your destination – the vivid images of what you’ll see when you get there. This creative, aspirational, and visionary stage is usually the one that your participants are looking forward to. Continue reading “Where Do We Want To Be?”

Dysfunctional Meeting Characters

Participants Bring Both Their Good and Bad Sides to Meetings

good and badEver meet any of these dysfunctional characters below in your meetings? And if so, are you equipped with facilitative strategies to pro-actively prevent or intervene in the moment, so the meeting is not disrupted? Continue reading “Dysfunctional Meeting Characters”

Compelling Focus Question

You’ve got a complex workshop or longer group session coming up that you’ve been asked to facilitate. Compared to short, straightforward meetings, your success as a facilitator requires that you devote much more time scoping and design before participants ever walk into the room.

A compelling Focus Question as part of the meeting invitation will bring the attention of the group to the topic, subject or work, and invite creative responses. You may find it helpful to think through the Focus Question with ANSWER:

A – What is the aim of the work, or overall purpose?
N – What is the name or subject, to be discussed?
S – Who cares about this purpose and subject, i.e., who has a stake in this?
W – Who will be participating, and are they the right people for the work?
E – What experience do you want participants to have during/after the session?
R – What relevant factors and constraints are important?


Just starting out? These courses will enhance your facilitation confidence and empower you with solid foundational skills: The Confident Facilitator; The Skillful Facilitator.