Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0327, January 15, 2008
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This week's article, Moving Beyond Challenges, like last week's article was written by my brilliant new site manager Neerja Bhatia and published by her husband Deepak. They're having fun, most of the time I think, learning the hundreds of details required to run FacilitatorU, which includes the writing and publishing of this ezine.

This article speaks eloquently of four key elements necessary for the long-term success of any major endeavor: passion, courage, love, and vision. We hope you find value in the article and look forward to your comments and feedback. Please send them to Neerja at

Random Acts of Facilitation. Also note that we're offering our popular Random Acts of Facilitation 5-day teleclass starting January 28th. This is a great class for those just starting out in facilitation and offers great validation and insights for intermediate and advanced facilitators as well. See details at the bottom of this issue.


Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of

FacilitatorU membership

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This Meeting Sux
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Random Acts of Facilitation

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The Point

Moving beyond challenges
With Vision, Passion, Love & Courage

Group Management Skill

It is easy to lose sight of what is important when we become caught up in the day to day challenges of work and life. How can we as leaders create a ‘compelling way of being’ that becomes a guiding force to pull us through when the going gets tough?

Imagine how Gandhi felt when his people were dying in front of his eyes. Did the word ‘impossible’ cross his mind? Was he overwhelmed with challenges? Did doubt and fear begin to break his confidence? Gandhi experienced all of the above and probably more, however, he stood for what he believed in. He proved his vision, passion, love and courage to be more powerful than an entire army with weaponry.

Gandhi knew how to tap into his greatness.

To him each challenge was a stepping stone that brought him closer to his vision. What kept him moving against all odds was the love he had for his people and his enduring vision to free India.

How do we as leaders tap into our greatness in the face of challenges?
The answer lies in creating a compelling vision fueled with passion, love and courage. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A compelling vision has the power to transform challenges into opportunities.


Passion in action!
Passion is an intense desire potent enough to move mountains. The intensity of passion empowers us to action. However, Passion without vision breeds frustration. It is like having the energy of a rocket and now knowing what to do with it. Vision becomes the guiding force to direct this raw energy.

For instance, I am so passionate about writing that sometimes I forget to simplify concepts and ideas. When my editor provides constructive feedback, my blind passion perceives it as an attack to my ego and spells it as absolute criticism. However, when my attention shifts to the bigger vision of helping individuals transform lives, it becomes easy to move from criticism to acceptance.

Courage in action!
Courage is the ability to confront fear in the face of uncertainty. When we continue to take action in the face of fear, we build courage and gain wisdom.

Fifteen years back, when I first had a vision to become a motivational speaker, I joined toastmasters. I still remember the first few talks, being in front of people was nerve-racking. I thought I had invested plenty of time in preparation and thus I imagined a great outcome. I didn’t’ think my imagination was far-fetched because to my logic mind, I had a powerful opening, related sub topics that flowed nicely and a thought provoking closing. The day arrived and in spite of feeling nervous, I began the speech and the opening was great. I was moving along nicely till I noticed a couple of people in the audience having a side bar conversation. In that moment of distraction I froze and lost my train of thought. I took it personally thinking my speech was not captivating enough. I excused myself and could barely keep the tears rolling down my eyes.

Now when I look back, I am glad I did not give up in the face of fear. I went back the following week and in spite of my fear gave an astounding speech. Today, I would not be where I am if I did not keep standing in the face of uncertainty and self doubt.

Love in action!
Like passion love is perhaps one of the most intense emotions. Language fails to describe the power of love. One has to experience it to know it.

Remember when you first fell in love, you were on cloud nine because love has wings, it can make you fly. When we fall in love, a greater emotion overtakes our sense of being, and the wings help us leap beyond fear. Love has the quality of unification, connection and it finds ways to make the impossible possible. When we love we are able to ride the waves of challenges with ease. We become willing to move beyond the mundane.
Love is what Gandhi felt for his country, Michelangelo for art, Beethoven for music, and Martin Luther king Jr. for equality.

In today’s business world the most expressed emotion is frustration and the least expressed emotion is love. What can we do as leaders to induce love into the world of business?
Love without passion, vision and courage becomes an unfulfilled dream.

Vision in Action!
Vision is an intelligent foresight generating great possibilities for the future. Is your vision compelling enough to move you to meaningful action? Do you believe in your vision? Does it move you? Vision is something you hold with all your might, belief, and passion. Gandhi’s vision was held in his heart and soul. He stood for what he believed in and his actions were aligned with his vision.

It is easy to become side tracked without a compelling vision. Vision can become a guiding force that brings us back to ‘what is important’ when we become overwhelmed.
There are always plenty of opportunities and possibilities around us; however, when we know what we stand for, we are able to decide on the most appropriate and aligned opportunity with our vision.

Vision without passion, courage and love becomes a pie in the sky.


Clarity and focus are crucial to keep the vision, passion, love and courage alive. There are many ways to gain clarity. What I find effective is scheduling two to three breaks, where I spend fifteen to twenty minutes relaxing to quiet the mind.

The mind becomes overwhelmed with internal and external noise. Relaxation induces clarity and a crystal clear mind sees great possibilities.

A great tool to bring possibilities to fruition is called mind mapping. It is a tool that promotes a visual map bringing together life giving components of who we are and what we stand for. Following is a glimpse of the mind map:

  1. Vision as the destination point;
  2. Passion as the fuel;
  3. Love as the wings and
  4. Courage as the wind between the wings…

Following is an example of my mind map:

  1. Vision: Helping individuals discover inner greatness through Self Awareness
  2. Passion: Writing and connecting the dots
  3. Love: Learning and teaching
  4. Courage: In the face of feeling doubt, frustration and fear, keep moving towards a meaningful life.

A visual mind map that can be viewed and reviewed on a regular basis provides focused attention and direction to keep moving in the face of minor and major challenges. The visual mind map bypasses the conditioned doubts and fears, moving beyond no possibilities to great possibilities.

Life will continue to bring challenges; however, being intimate with our vision, passion and love and moving forward with courage will ensure victory over life challenges.

Coming soon Mind Map Workbooks and coaching programs.


Note to Publishers
Would you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are f$ree to do so providing you follow these guidelines.

We grow by recommendation only when you find our material of use! If you enjoyed this issue, we'd love it if you'd spread the word. Click here to use our interactive form to tell your friends about MFJ, and as a thank you, you will receive our f$ree Facilitator's Self Assessment.

In the Spotlight

5-day Teleclass
for new facilitators and change agents.

Skills and attitudes for the new facilitator or group member who wants to get their group into serious motion.

25 Actions You Can Take to Empower Any Group

This class will meet for five consecutive weekdays January 28th - February 1st, 2008 to cover 25+ facilitative actions you can take to empower and move groups forward. This course is for beginning facilitators or group members that simply want to know more about facilitation so that they can make the groups they are a part of more effective.

How the 5-Day Format/Training works...
1. You dial into your class every day for 5 days (Mon-Fri) for a 60-minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. You work a 25-point checklist during the 5 days (about an hour a day of study and field work) which you complete by Friday afternoon, or sooner if you wish.
3. During the week, you may access the instructor via email for help or situational questions.

5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Introduction to the Facilitation and Self Facilitation Skills.

1. Create the Ambience.
2. Share the Dream.
3. Get Facilitation
4. Juggling.
5. Me First.

Relating with compassion and understanding.

6. Be Ignorant.
7. Make Smiles Happen.
8. Hold 'em High.
9. Acknowledge the Elephant.
10. Turn on Your Crap-Detector.

Group Dynamics and Facilitation

11. Build the Container.
12. Build trust.
13. Mine the Unexpected.
14. Evolve Your Team.
15. Honor the Process.
16. Facilitate Full Participation

Organizing and Presenting yourself confidently, professionally, and authentically. 

17. Prepare for Success.
18. Get Real.
19. Make Experiences, Not Speeches
20. Watch the Body Talk.
21. Be your message

Intervening to shift group energy

22. Tame the Tormentors.
23. CareFront.
24. Use the Struggle.
25. Break through barriers.
26. Facilitate from Within.
27. Embrace Facilitation as a Master's Path

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation Training...
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of facilitation skills if you are contemplating becoming a facilitator, team leader, board member, manager, mediator, etc.
2. Never waste another minute in an ineffective meeting again.
3. Learn how to challenge and empower every group you come in contact with.
4. Learn skills to help groups make quantum leaps in their effectiveness.
5. Be a catalyst for positive change in your community.

Also included with your training...
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:
1. Access to the participant-only website (lots of resources, forms, etc.).
2. Access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.
3. F$ree copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value).

Pricing and Dates...
The full cost of training/access is only $99, which includes a free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee. Class meets at 1:00-2:00pm Eastern daily, January 28 - February 1, 2008.

Please click here and you'll be taken to the teleclass registration page. Register there and you'll see your discount computed and applied as you check out. Immediately upon completion of your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access the course and free article bank. This course is limited to 20 individuals, first come, first served.

Self-Guided Versions of the course...

The Real Audio version
comes with all of the self-guided features listed above, together with real audio links you'll receive by mail that you can listen to at your leisure.


Click here to purchase the
Real Audio Version for $79

The Compact Disk (CD) version comes with all of the self-guided features listed above, together with 5 CD's you'll receive by mail that you can listen to anywhere you have access to a CD player.


Click here to purchase the CD Version for $89
plus $4 Shipping and Handling Membership Option

Become a member of premium member and receive this self-guided teleclass at half price in addition to a host of other items and benefits. An exceptional value. Click here for details.

About the satisfaction guarantee

If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this package, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case.

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