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  Skill of the Week

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0115 | August 26, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers

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picture of Steve Davis, editor of the Master Facilitator Journal.From the Publisher: 

Hello MFJ Readers. 

This week's article, "Speak the Language of Your Audience," submitted by Debra Cannarella, explores using the concept of psychological type, described by Carl Jung and popularized by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI), to better understand and communicate with your groups.

The information in this article is based on the work of
Dr. Dick Thompson, President and CEO of High Performing Systems, Inc., and his CommunicationWheel®, a tool that helps people communicate more effectively.

Note that there is still room in our upcoming "Random Acts of Facilitation" Teleclass to begin September 8th-12th. Further info and registration details are at the end of this issue. Also, with our "Getting Full Participation" Facilitator's Guide being well received, we plan to release our next guide, "Intervene with Confidence" in a few weeks.

If any of you have had interesting experiences with groups as either a participant or as a facilitator, please tell us about it. We may invite you to interview with us to highlight your story as a case study for a future issue.

Thanks for your support!
Steve Davis


Relating Skill

Speak the Language of Your Audience
Lessons from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Point

One of the key aspects of good facilitation is knowing how to connect with your audience so they become engaged in your process. One way to increase your ability to reach your groups is to learn a new language --a new psychological language.

This article explores the four psychological languages and their key characteristics according to the MBTI. Knowing how to recognize the language being used by others and matching your language to theirs will help you increase your ability to communicate effectively.

The four psychological languages of MBTI are: Sensing, iNtuiting, Thinking and Feeling. The abbreviated summaries of each of these languages given below should provide a good overview of the concepts. With a little practice, you can begin speaking in all four languages and maybe be better understood by everyone!


The Sensing language focuses on facts, reality and the present. Those speaking the Sensing language will often present concrete, factual data and will focus on the present situation. They like to get the facts straight and value precision and accuracy of information. The Sensing language sometimes comes across as impatient, easily distracted by physical stimuli and sometimes rambles.

To practice speaking the Sensing language, pick an object close to you and describe the object in precise detail. Do not make any conclusions or judgments about the object; just describe everything you can observe with your senses. Do not generate any ideas or possibilities about uses for the object; focus instead on the present situation and only give facts and details.

The iNtuiting language focuses on concepts, possibilities and the future. People speaking the iNtuiting language like to focus on the future and talk about ideas and possibilities: what can we do next, what's possible? The iNtuiting language prefers abstract concepts instead of details and looks at the big picture. People speaking the iNtuiting language are very creative and may come across as scattered, often jumping from one topic to another.

To practice speaking the iNtuiting language, look at the same object you described earlier. This time, focus on possibilities and new uses for that object. How can your object be used in a new way? Let your imagination run wild--no idea is too far-fetched or impossible! Have fun. Be creative.

The Thinking language focuses on structure, cause and effect and logic. People speaking the Thinking language will often present information in a step-by-step, sequential fashion--they will tell you how to build the clock before giving you the time. This language is very analytical and structured and comes across and serious and businesslike.

To practice speaking the Thinking language, look at the work area in your office. Critique yourself on your workspace. How can it be better and more organized? Be logical and structured; provide an impersonal analysis of how the space could be improved.

The Feeling language focuses on people and personal relationships. People speaking this language tend to focus their conversations about other people, come across as warm and friendly and prefer face-to-face meetings and personal interaction. The Feeling language is also concerned with societal norms (being "nice," polite, e.g., saying "good morning" when you first see someone each day). People speaking this language sometimes have difficulty saying "no" and might "beat around the bush," especially if they think they might hurt your feelings with what they will say.

To practice speaking the Feeling language, visit one of your colleagues in his/her office. Look that person in the eyes and give him/her a sincere compliment about something you've noticed about him/her. Be sure to focus on a personal attribute (not attire, etc.). Try to make a personal connection with the other person.

By understanding the differences in the four languages, we can improve our ability to communicate effectively with others. The key is to listen - try to figure out what language the other person is speaking and talk back in the same language. You will probably notice that some languages are easier for you to hear and speak than others. With a little practice, you can make great strides in no time! Other people might not be able to pinpoint exactly what's different about you but they will notice an improvement in the way you communicate.

Matching languages to improve communication has many applications, including facilitation and training; coaching and counseling; sales; families and couples; and teams and workgroups. Because personality is one of the many factors affecting communication, we should practice using different psychological languages to improve our ability to communicate with others.

About the author: Debra Cannarella is Training Manager of High Performing Systems, Inc. (HPS), a management training and consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations reach high performance. She can be reached at (706) 769-5836 or debra@hpsys.com. You can find out more about HPS on their website, www.hpsys.com.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries. The CommunicationWheel is a registered trademark of High Performing Systems, Inc.


Practice identifying people in your world who tend to speak in each one of the above languages. Then practice speaking to each one in their preferred language. I'd love to hear how this works for you. Please email us your comments.


The leadership, MBTI®, FIRO® and team system for the 21st century! (Train-the-Trainer Workshop)

TeamDynamics qualifies you on FOUR powerful assessment tools to help address the human side of teams, including leadership, more effectively. You will learn advanced, cutting-edge applications of psychological type and systems theory to improve team performance. Many experiential exercises, practical application techniques and case studies will help you understand team dynamics, identify blind spots and design effective interventions.

Graduates will leave this workshop with advanced knowledge and techniques about using various assessments with leaders and teams. This is the next generation of team training.

Who Should Attend

Consultants, trainers, OD specialists and coaches wanting to expand their capabilities to work with leaders and build high performing teams within fast paced organizations.

Workshop will Qualify You to Administer
ABLE®/ABLE-S® (360° Leader Assessment)
FIRO® Element B
TeamWork Questionnaire
Communication Preference Questionnaire

Click here for full details and registration information.


About the Publisher
Steve Davis is "The Facilitator's Coach," helping leaders enhance their effectiveness through the application and perspective of facilitation. Please email or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session, or to share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading!

In the Spotlight

New 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.

Random Acts of Facilitation, 5-Day Teleclass

This class will meet for five consecutive weekdays September 8-12, 2003 at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time) 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 30-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. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject matter with the instructor and your classmates via an online discussion forum during the course.
4. 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. Free access to the participant-only website (lots of resources, forms, etc.).
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.
3. Free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value).

The full cost of training/access is only $79 for MFJ readers ($89 for the general public) including 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.

September 8-12, 2003, 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time), 45-60 minutes each day.

Please click here to register. 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.

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. (Why? Because we are sensitive to the fact that you are buying an e-course/product from us and we feel that if this package isn't EXACTLY what you expected or wanted, that you should be able to get 100% of your money back. This policy completely removes the buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.)

Real Audio Testimonials
Click here for a one-minute audio testimonial from several participants on the final day of the teleclass.


Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal. Look for your next issue on August 26, 2003.


Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved