What Are Your Learners Doing?

WAIT-As interesting as most people think their lectures and presentations are, most folks remember very little of what they hear, especially if there is no immediate need to apply the information. Even with stories, metaphors, analogies and humour, listening isn’t learning.

Quiz: What Are Your Learners Doing?

Estimate the rough % of time spent:

__ Reading the text, handouts, slides, manual
__ Listening to you
__ Watching visuals on slides, TV, or computer screens
__ Discussing concepts or practicing skills
__ Teaching, and learning, from each other
100% of total
Learning dramatically increases with discussion of concepts and practice, and the single most powerful way for adults to learn is to teach others/learn socially. Research has shown that adult learners already know almost 70% of the information they will learn in a program; yet almost 67% of the time, they are being told rather than engaged to discover/remember existing knowledge.
So, the next time you or somebody in your facilitated session is considering the option to lecture or present, remember to WAIT (stands for Why Am “I” Talking?), and challenge yourself to design a more engaging and interactive piece.

Your Success = Your Mindset

reachforDo you believe that your success is the result of external forces beyond your control, or of internal attitudes that you can change? 

According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, your mindset is the primary determinant of your success. In his recent article, The One Thing You Need to Succeed, this co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 shares the findings of TalentSmart:  90% of top performers rate high on the Emotional Intelligence scale.

Here is a quick summary from his article of the successful mindset to adopt in the face of challenges and events:

  1. Don’t Hold Back Because of Fear. The worst thing that can happen to you is allowing yourself to die inside while you’re still alive.
  2. Remember: Age is Just a Number. Successful people follow their hearts and allow their passion – not the body they’re living in – to be their guide.
  3. Live in the Present Moment. Make peace with the past; accept the uncertainty of the future.
  4. Let Go of Things You Can’t Control. Focus your effort on doing what you can every single day to improve your own life and the world around you.
  5. What Others Think Isn’t Necessarily So. No matter what other people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or as bad as they say you are.
  6. Don’t Inhale Others’ Negativity.  If the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling their second-hand smoke?
  7. Focus on Solutions Not What’s Wrong.  Find the best solution, tackle the problem, and move on.

For leaders and professionals, an important contributor to their success is the ability to enable others to act and succeed.  If you’d like to develop your confidence and ability to facilitate productive, positive and successful group work in sessions, meetings and workshops, check out our learning programs at the Masterful Facilitation Institute.

Five Easy Strategies to Facilitate A Roomful of Extraverts and Introverts

Great facilitators adopt group processes that help introverts and extroverts to shine!

Insights Image Image. Also see HBR: Introverts and Extroverts and Complexities of Team Dynamics

Over the past twenty-five years of facilitating group work, I have found that consciously working with this human dynamic, more than any other – has a dramatically positive impact on the outcomes and interactions of collaborative group work. Here  are five relatively easy strategies to engage both introvert and extroverts in your sessions and meetings: Continue reading “Five Easy Strategies to Facilitate A Roomful of Extraverts and Introverts”

Grow People for Inspired Change

grow-people“What if the act of believing in others was part of the trajectory, the catalyst even, to fuel others to live the best version of themselves?” —Ted Egly, in Believing In Others.

As a leader, supervisor, coach, facilitator, team lead, or change agent, your role is to help “grow” people to be the best they can be. One practical framework to help you do just that is Appreciative Inquiry (AI*);  it is a strength-based approach to growing people for inspired change.

Starting from an AI stance, people, teams, organizations and communities are not viewed as “problems to be solved”, but rather as complex systems whose positive core is to be embraced and amplified.

Facilitate these four powerful questions, and you will succeed as a leader in focusing your people on their strengths, and in helping to lift them to the best version of themselves. Continue reading “Grow People for Inspired Change”

The facilitator’s prayer – humourous

facilitator's prayerI recently came across this humourous and all too real facilitator’s prayer from our friends at the IIFAC.  These extracted stanzas in particular made me laugh out loud in recognition.  If you’d like to download the full version, see the link at the end.

“Give me the faith to trust The Process.   Grant me the love to trust The Group.”  (refrain)

“Keep me safe from the Blowhards, the Know-It-Alls, the Forked-Tongued Devils, the Passive-Aggressives, the Aggressive Aggressives, the Pussy-Footers, the FlipFloppers, the Intellectualizers, the Bullies, the Drama Queens, the Victims, the Victimizers, the Martyrs, the Eye-Rollers, the Pontificators, the We’ve-Never-Done-ItLike-That-Before-Ers, the Bureaucrats, the Elephants, the Mice, the Divas and the Shoulder-Shrugging-I-Don’t-Know-Ers.”

“And if it’s not too much to ask, grant me:
-Plentiful wall space
-Natural light
-Table seating of 6-8 rounds
-Fresh coffee
And markers that never run dry.”

Download full version from IIFAC


CPR for Meeting Dynamics

CPR is a helpful acronym to remind us of strategies to minimize and prevent group dynamics: “C” is for Conceive a pro-active, thoughtful meeting design; “P” is for ongoing Pulse-scans to monitor emergent dynamics; and “R” is for appropriate & timely Response.


If the prospect of group dysfunction and other meeting dynamics fills you with dread, consider these two courses to gain strategies and confidence in these situations: