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  Skill of the Week

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0125 | November 4, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers

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

Dear friends,

This week's article was submitted my friend Tom Heck, the Teach Me Teamwork COACH. His article explores a simple yet effective "Model of Human Experience" that assumes that there are four (and only four) classes of human experience. You can use this model with your groups to help them better assess the choices they make for their own good, as well as for the good of others. Also check out Tom's site, TeachMeTeamWork.com, hosting a collection of team building games online.

Upcoming Teleclasses:

See our schedule of teleclasses being offered by FacilitatorU.com at the end of this issue, including a free 45-minute class this Thursday on the topic of "Intervention.". We're also interested in hearing about which classes interest you and why, so that we can better build our curriculum to serve you.

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for your support.
Steve Davis


Group Skill

The Four Classes of Human Experience
Take your life up a notch.

The Point
There is a model that I first learned of while attending a conference led by Anthony Robbins that assumes that there are four (and only four) classes of human experience. I use this model of "Human Experience" when I set the tone of a training event (before, during and after the event). I also use this model when I debrief (process) a teambuilding activity, especially when individuals in the group choose to exhibit less than Class I behavior.

Here are the four classes:

Class I
Class II
Class III
Class IV
It feels good.
It's good for you.
It's good for others.
It serves the greater good.
It doesn't feel good.
It's good for you.
It's good for others.
It serves the greater good.
It feels good.
It's not good for you.
It's not good for others.
It doesn't serve the greater good.
It doesn't feel good.
It's not good for you.
It's not good for others.
It doesn't serve the greater good.

Example of a Class I experience:
Tom Heck gets a 90-minute massage.

It feels good. Receiving a professional massage feels good to me.
It's good for you A massage helps me relax and makes my muscles feel good. Massage helps release built up toxins and reduces stress.
It's good for others. When I'm relaxed I'm healthier and more fun to be around. When I'm relaxed I'm more inclined to do more for others.
It serves the greater good. When I'm relaxed I'm much more inclined to follow my intuition. My intuition always guides me to an enlightened path where my actions serve the highest possible good for all (even people I've never met!).

The ideal situation is to be living a life full of Class I experiences. When one is living Class I experiences on a daily basis it's very likely that one feels fulfilled as well.

The least desirable experience is a Class IV experience. If one's life is filled with Class IV experiences, it's highly likely one feels unfulfilled, lonely and empty.


Eating healthy food I or II In 1988 I decided to stop eating junk food and begin eating a healthy diet. When I first made this switch, it was definitely a Class II experience because it didn't feel good. I missed the soda pop and eating junk food. Overtime, eating healthy turned into a Class I experience. Now I love to eat a healthy diet and I won't touch junk food because it makes me feel sick. Eating junk food was originally a Class III experience and now it is a Class IV experience.
Running / Exercising I or II When I first started to stretch and exercise each day it was definitely a Class II experience. With time though, exercising has turned into a Class I experience.
Smoking Crack Cocaine III or IV I have a relative who used to take cocaine. I showed him this model and asked him to rate what type of experience it was for him. He reports that it started off as a Class III and then, overtime, became a Class IV. By the time it turned into a Class IV experience he was addicted and he found it nearly impossible to stop. His journey through recovery was a Class II experience. Sometimes, even 10 years later, staying clean is a Class II experience.
Firing an Employee I, II, III or IV How could it be all 4 Classes? Simple. It depends on the mindset of the person who is firing the employee. A CEO of a YMCA once shared with me that he was faced with firing someone ("freeing up their future" as he put it) and he dreaded the day when he had to call this person into his office. As it turned out, the employee thanked him for firing her - - seems she had been wanting to leave for a while but didn't want to leave the YMCA in a bind. For both people involved, this was a Class II experience. Contrast this with a person who is on a power trip and wants to fire someone just for the "fun of it" - - this would be an example of a Class III experience for the person doing the firing.

In the late 90's I delivered several teambuilding programs at a week long Rotary Youth Leadership Camp located in North Carolina. The students attending were all highly motivated and high achieving high school students.

During one of the training events, one of the camp leaders asked me to observe one of the students (I'll call him John). It seems John was acting the part of class clown at camp and it was starting to get on the nerves of the camp leaders. John was masterful at walking the fine line between being funny and being annoying and rude. To top it off, he was a nice kid, which made it more difficult for the camp leaders to talk to him about his behavior.

I agreed to watch his behavior during the teambuilding program - and sure enough, John pushed the limits of being the class clown.

After the program, I asked to speak with John and showed him the Four Classes of Human Experience model. I then gave him some feedback about his class clown behavior and told him how it made me feel as a presenter (it didn't make me feel good). I asked John what "Class" of experience he was having acting like the class clown. He quickly recognized that it wasn't a Class I experience because I was not happy with his behavior and neither were the camp organizers and even the other students were beginning to get annoyed with him because he was so disruptive.

John started to get a little stressed because he thought I was asking him to drop the humor all together. I told him that wasn't the case at all. I found him to be very funny. What I challenged him to do was to figure out a way to be humorous AND make it a Class I experience (his current approach was creating a Class III experience).

John later shared that our conversation created a major shift for him. He appreciated the fact that I was not being judgmental or laying down a "cease and desist" order. He said looking at the Four Classes challenged him to grow as a person.

Other Thoughts and Applications

I use the Four Classes of Human Experience to quickly communicate to a group I'm working with the standard I expect ("The goal is to make this event a Class I experience for all involved").

While working with a group I might show them the model and ask them what type of experience they are having currently (especially if they're going through a tough time) and what type they choose to have. I'll then ask them what it will take, both personally and as a team, to make their choice a reality.

About the Author: Tom Heck is the Teach Me Teamwork COACH. He is a team-building facilitator, trainer, and speaker. You can learn more about him by visiting his website at TeachMeTeamWork.com or email him at tom@teachmeteamwork.com.


What class of experiences are you having in your life right now? Pick a Class 2-4 experience and ask yourself what it would take to make it a "Class 1" experience. We'd love to hear what happens for you. Please
email us your comments.

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About the Publisher
Steve Davis helps facilitators, coaches, consultants and leaders who are struggling to
present themselves confidently, empower their groups, enhance their facilitation skills,
and build their businesses on and off line. 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. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. If you'd like to reprint this article in another publication, you are free to do so providing you follow the guidelines here. Thanks for reading!

In the Spotlight

Micro-Skills Teleclass for Group Workers

Group "Intervention" is one of the most challenging skills to develop as a facilitator. Join us this Thursday, November 6th, from 7:00 - 7:45 PM EST when we'll review our approaches for Intervention and answer any questions you have about applying it to your groups.

This is another of many teleclasses we plan to focus on a specific aspect or situation for facilitators and group workers. It will be recorded and included in an upcoming Facilitator Guide on Intervention.

To register for this free teleclass, please send a blank email to:

Class size is limited so please register now if you're interested. I look forward to seeing you there!

Teleclasses at Facilitator U

Most of the following teleclasses are still in development. Click on the classes with colored titles to view details on those currently offered.

Have another course in mind? We're always creating new ones and we're on the look out for what you need. Please let us know! Send an email to newcourse@facilitatoru.com and tell us what you're after.

Random Acts of Facilitation. This class covers 25 discrete facilitative actions you can take to empower and move groups forward. This course is for facilitators at any level 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. Being discrete acts of facilitation, they also lend themselves to being taught to your group members who desire to become more self-facilitative.

Nov. 17-21,20 03
1:00-2:00PM EST

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From Teacher to Learning Facilitator. Make a shift from teaching to "Learning Facilitation." This course will explore how to make the leap from conventional teaching approaches to a new perspective based on the learner and incorporating facilitation skills and philosophy into the learning environment.

Dec. 8-12, 03
1:00-2:00PM EST

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Appreciative Inquiry. This class covers a facilitation strategy for intentional change that identifies the best of "what is" in order to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be." Within these classes we will explore the four dynamics of AI: Discovery, Dream, Design and Delivery. Plan to bring with you the challenges you have encountered or are experiencing as we will encourage discussion of specific situations in which Appreciate Inquiry might be applied.

Jan. 7-28, 03
2:00-3:00PM EST
(4 Wednesdays)

Register Here

More classes coming to FacilitatorU.com...


Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal. Look for your next issue on November 11, 2003.


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