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  Skill of the Week

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0116 | September 2, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers

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

Dear friends,

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend. And even more, I hope that the "Labors" you engage in, throughout your days, are indeed labors of love.

As facilitators, we can practice bringing heart to all of our work and help others do the same. This week, my dear friend and partner, Susan Smith, has submitted an article on this very idea. In "Be an Inspiration," she explains the power of our role in inspiring others in the work we all do, and tips and how to access this power in our groups.

Times almost up to register 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. With the postive reception for our "Getting Full Participation" Facilitator's Guide, 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


GAME Skill

Be an Inspiration
Use inspiration as a key facilitating skill

The Point

I saw the movie "Seabiscuit" the other night. I heard it was a great movie and I knew it would tell me something about my parent's era. The movie ended up being so good that it made me feel like I was truly
a part of their generation...caught up in their hopes and fears during a time of many trials for the U.S.

The late 20's and 30's and early 40's were, of course, a very tough time in the United States. At times It seems that my parents never really got over the depression. That feeling of losing everything you worked so hard for; dreams that were shattered so quickly and so easily...a whole
nation down and depressed.

It's understandable why a jockey and horse, who both made it against all odds, were able to soothe so many aching souls. People were desperately looking for a slice of hope, a ray of sunshine, a star to hook onto, in other words, they needed INSPIRATION and they got it in the name of a horse, "Seabiscuit."

"If that damn horse, you know the little one with all the quirks and the bad leg; if that crazy jockey, broken and crippled, can come around and beat the odds, then maybe I can too!" The horse's owner wisely positioned this little horse and jockey as a metaphor for America's struggle during the depression. It not only put money in his pocket, but it brought energy, excitement and inspiration to a hurting nation.

Unbelievable, I thought leaving the theater, what a little inspiration can do at just the right time to make a difference in the lives of so many people. Leaving the theater, I continued my thoughts about inspiration and how important it has been to me throughout my life: the inspiration of Martin Luther King, just memorialized again recently at the mall in Washington, D.C.; the inspirational life of Gandhi, "my life is my message"; and looking at the earth from the space camera of the first astronauts.

We are fortunate to have the BIG inspirations, but the little inspirations
are just as important. In my work with groups, and especially as a
facilitator, I recognize the power that I have to inspire, to revive a group's spirit. While I know everyone is ultimately responsible for their own experience, we can all definitely be inspired by another to do our best, to rise to the occasion or challenge of the day. Here are some tips below.



How do you inspire a group?

- Do your best to understand the role of the group leader, the CEO, the director, the dean, etc., to get into their head and see their vision. Work with them to tease out their grand vision that will inspire the group. Then, work with the group (including the official leader) to help them all "catch" this vision, to shape it, make it theirs, and fuel it with their own breath of inspiration. Use humor, compassion, games, physical exercises, stories, quotes...anything that is appropriate for the particular circumstance, to provide inspiration.

- Before you start your work together, give each member of the group some quiet time to independently jot down what would have to happen with their group to inspire them. Have them share with each other in pairs then with the entire group. This is likely to bring some energy and some great ideas into the room.

- Have each person share with one other participant a time in their life when they were most inspired. Get several of them to share with the larger group.

- Have each person share with one other participant the characteristics of the most inspirational figure they have known, whether living or dead. Have them probe each other for the behaviors and attitudes exhibited by their role models and why they were inspired by them. Encourage each person to adopt one of these behaviors or attitudes for the day while doing their work in the group. Get everyone to briefly share their commitment to inspiration with the group.

We are so fortunate, in this field of coaching and facilitating, to have the opportunity to be facilitators of inspiration in others' lives.

About the author: Susan J. Smith is a facilitator, consultant, and a former community college administrator. She has a special knack of delivering hope and inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at susan@livingmastery.com to let her know what you thought of her article.


What is your inspiration commitment this week? I'd love to hear how this works for you. Please email us your comments.


Seabiscuit Movie Site

Check out the seabiscuitmovie.com site for a dose of inspiration. Hey, the last thing I am is a horse-racing fan, but this movie and this site, and to be honest, most things in life, aren't really what they seem. The spirit under the story delivers a universal and timely message that this site captures very well. Click here and see for yourself.


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 September 9, 2003.


Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved