of the Week
Journal | Issue #0126 | November 11, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers
out this core teleclass for Facilitators. Starts November 17th at
1:00 PM EST.
here for details.
Intro to Appreciative Inquiry.
New self-guided Teleclass. Take at your own pace.
here for details.
Got a burning
questions about facilitation? Click
to learn more
about our new Virtual University for Facilitators.
What's a key
skill for competent facilitators? Process "Intervention"
has got to rank high on that list. This week's article,
"Design an Invitation
for Intervention," briefly explores
the three basic skills required for effective group
process intervention and reviews a strategy you can
perform at the start of your groups to greatly simplify
the intervention process for yourself.
I'm really excited about a couple of new offerings we've
developed at FacilitatorU.com to help you improve your
Announcing release of our "Intervene With Confidence"
Facilitator's Guide! We're very excited to
announce the release of our second of many planned Facilitator's
Guides by FacilitatorU.com, entitled "Intervene
With Confidence." These guides provide
"Just in Time Training" to facilitators and
group workers in key skill areas and situations. This
guide fully explores the concept and practice of group
process Intervention. These illustrated guides will
help you to drill down deep in each skill area, enhancing
your mastery in facilitation, one competency at a time.
Please see details below
and consider adding this information-packed guide to
your personal Facilitator's Toolkit.
Appreciative Inquiry Teleclass--Self-Guided
here for details on this 4-hour recorded
now available as a self-guided version complete with
learning guide, 4 hours of real audio, and other resources.
Put this progressive new strategy to work in your groups
and organizations, large and small.
here to view our schedule of teleclasses offered
at FacilitatorU.com. Note that our next Random Acts
of Facilitation class starts next monday and we've got
plenty of room for you if you're interested. Please
pass this word onto your friends and colleagues as well.
If you or your colleagues
are interested in submitting an article for consideration,
your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for your support.
an Invitation for Intervention
Focus your group's awareness on functional behaviors
to make interventions easier.
What do we mean by "Intervention," why is
it important, and how do you do it? These are some questions
we'll explore briefly here today.
Here's my definition of Intervention:
interruption by the facilitator to further the goals
of a group and the health of its process, using as light
a touch as possible.
when, how and why to intervene is an art that takes
skills, courage, finely tuned intuition, and practice.
We can't help you too much today with the last three,
but we can look at the "skill" aspect of the
equation. Three basic skills required for intervention
To know what kind of behaviors on which to intervene.
A facilitator must have some image or model of an effective
group to use as a baseline.
The ability to "diagnose" behaviors that may
require intervention. Often it's necessary to uncover
the motivation for a perceived behavior to decide whether
it's effective or not.
To know effective ways to intervene. Once you've
decided it's best for you to intervene, you need an
effective intervention process to use to "help
those in the system."
Are Effective Behaviors? So how in fact do we recognize
effective groups and effective group behaviors? There's
no simple answer to this one, but in our research, we
came up with the following 12 characteristics that we
feel paint a good picture of a fully functional group:
Basic Needs met.
2. Mutual Trust.
3. Complete Communication.
4. Mutual Respect.
5. Committed to Growth.
6. Consensus Container.
7. Product/Process Balance.
8. Shared Responsibility.
9. Shared Leadership.
10. Consensus Decisions.
11. Shared Vision.
12. Produces Desired Results.
Do We Diagnose" Behaviors? Using the above
model of effective groups, at times it will be obvious
when a group is behaving outside of the ideal. But sometimes
things are not as they appear. Therefore, it's important
to check your perceptions and your group's motivations
to help you determine whether their behaviors are functional
or not. There's a cycle of Intervention that is very
helpful for this that is summarized here:
Observe the group's behavior. Use our model of "Effective
Behaviors" as a guide.
Infer meaning. Understand that the meaning you attach
to the group's behavior is your own and may not be entirely
accurate. As human beings, we can't escape making inferences,
especially when we're attempting to diagnose group process.
Simply be aware that you're making inferences about
any group's behavior and note what they are.
3) Decide Whether to Intervene. There are a number
of factors you can take into account before making the
decision to intervene. These factors include: observing
the behavior enough to make a reliable diagnosis, sufficient
time, group willingness to process an intervention,
your skill level, group purpose, your instincts, etc.
Describe Observation. Here the facilitator simply
describes his or her observation to the group, e.g.
"I've noticed that when some of you begin to explore
the reasons you're having difficulty coming up with
ideas, Pete and Sarah take the conversation in a different
5) Test Inferences. Here you check your inferred
meaning with the group, e.g. "Pete and Sarah, do
you think my perception is correct?"
Help Group Decide Whether and How to Change Behavior.
The cycle of diagnosis and intervention continues
to see how any changes play out.
There's one very effective strategy you can execute
at the beginning of your work with groups that will
simplify your interventions. This has to do with helping
your group define how functional behaviors look and
committing to "containing" their behaviors
within these bounds.
Design Your Invitation to Intervene
you set the stage for your group work can impact heavily
on the ease and effectiveness of your interventions.
Effective interventions begin with the contracting phase
before your first meeting, and setting up the ground
rules when you start your work together. Take the time
to develop, discuss, and get commitments to these rules
prior to beginning your work with them.
a good set of ground rules will describe and contain
the behaviors expected from functional groups and make
your interventions a whole lot easier to spot and to
execute. This is true because you'll simply be reminding
participants about behaviors they've committed to and
asking for recommitment to them. A good set of ground
rules will actually define a good number of your total
interventions and grant you implied consent to do so.
Examples. Common ground rules include: no side-talking,
showing up and returning from breaks on time, completing
all assignments, maintaining confidentiality, and to
share what is true for you in the present moment. (Click
here for a short article on setting up ground
Once your work in the group is underway, it's now your
job to enforce these rules. Don't
beat up, punish, or embarrass people who break them,
simply intervene to remind and bring awareness to their
For example, "Joe, I notice that you're talking
over others quite a bit. Would you be willing to recommit
to your rule about letting one person speak at a time?"
Or, "Team, I notice that several of you are coming
back from the breaks late. Is this a ground rule that
you're still committed to or should we discuss changing
If your groundrules are well-defined, they will prompt
most of your interventions. You can even set up groundrules
around mutual respect if you are concerned about agitators;
rules around seeing to it that everyone gets a chance
to participate if you are concerned about dominators;
and rules about transparency if you are concerned about
people withholding. Now of course the groundrules won't
necessarily fix these problems, but they get people
thinking about stretching beyond their normal behavior
patterns in a healthier direction and relieve you of
being the bad guy or gal when you call people's attention
Check out our new Facilitator's Guide, "Intervene
With Confidence," below where we delve
more deeply into this subject and other models and strategies
How can you use these ideas and tips to help you in
your group interventions? We'd love to hear what you
have to say about this. Please email
us your comments.
hear from people regularly who are thinking of making
a career transition into facilitation, or who are wanting
to know things to help them be more successful in the
field. In response to this need, we're writing an ebook
containing the profiles of 50+ successful facilitators
They will tell us their story answering questions about
how they made the transition in to this field, what
made them successful, how they market their services,
etc. We will also conduct and record short audio interviews
with each contributor to include with the book.
you are working as a facilitator and meet the criteria
below, We'd love to include you. Just email this autoresponder
for a questionnaire that will get you started:
Must be a practicing Facilitator making $60K/yr. or
You can be internal or external to a corporation. However,
Internal facilitators should be engaged in the practice
of facilitation at least half-time.
It's OK to be practicing facilitation in a training
capacity. In other words, if you are a trainer who considers
him/herself to be facilitator by virtue of the way you
train, i.e. learning facilitator, then we're interested
in your profile.
You should be passionate about facilitation and the
work you're doing.
You Have a Question About Facilitation?
Just type it in the space below, and click Submit
My Question!" We'll respond within 24 hours.
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!
Releases Facilitator's Guide for Intervention!
to our readers, and in our own experience, Group "Intervention"
is one of the most challenging skills to develop as a facilitator.
So, we are especially
pleased to finally announce the release of our second of many
planned Facilitator Guides, "Intervene
Here are some
reasons you'll want this guide:
Just in Time Training"
to facilitators and group workers in the crucial skill area
Process Intervention, more succinctly
and completely than any other document we've seen before.
fluff! This guide is practical, easy to read,
with models, tips, and strategies you can use right away.
an audio portion that
answers real world problems around Intervention.
models that will help you decide when
and when not to Intervene,
how deep to Intervene, and
how to Intervene gracefully.
33-page guide will help you to drill
down deep and master the art of Intervention
in any situation.
information-packed guide is a must to include in your personal
is this guide most useful for? This
guide is for anyone who plays a facilitative or leadership
role in a group. It explores practical ways to effectively
intervene on individual and group behaviors to realign, refocus,
challenge, or protect group process. In particular, it is
useful for group facilitators, trainers, life coaches, teachers,
business and community leaders, and managers, whatever level
of skill they have in group facilitation.
Here's an overview
of the contents of this information-rich guide:
What is an Intervention?
Our guide is built on the following definition of Intervention:
Any interruption by the facilitator
to further the goals of a group and the health of its process,
using as light a touch as possible.
of Interventions. Why do we intervene?
What kinds of things are we after in an intervention? The
reasons are many. Learn about the five
key "types" of Interventions.
Core Values of Intervention. Learn
values Facilitators can draw
upon to inform their decisions to intervene and their approaches
for doing so.
Intervention Skills. Learn the three
basic skills required by a facilitator to effectively
Intervene in groups.
What are Effective Behaviors? Learn
the 12 Characteristics of Functional Groups recently
developed by FacilitatorU. They build upon each other in a
functional hierarchy that moves from inwardly
to outwardly focused behaviors, which each one building upon
the next. This model will give you the Snapshot
of a Functional Group--critical as a foundation from which
A Model for Diagnosis and Intervention. Learn
a simple 6-step model for diagnosis and intervention
that will make Intervention a whole lot easier.
Guidelines and Strategies for Intervention. Learn
10 practical guidelines and strategies that show you
when and how to intervene.
When Not to Intervene. Learn to
recognize the situations where Intervention is not appropriate.
Raising the Bar. Learn 6 keys
to continuously building your capacity to Intervene Effectively.
Facilitator's Intervention Checklist.
A 10-part checklist to help you
decide when an intervention is appropriate.
to collect your own ideas, resources, and actions to employ
what you learn from the guide.
RealAudio of the 50-minute TeleClass. Contains
a lively real-audio recording of a recent teleclass exploring
the application of Intervention models and strategies to
participant's real-life problems.
Cost of this Guide: $17.95
here to order now.
Order this guide and our previous guide, "Getting
Full Participation," for only $24.95 if you order
by this Friday. A savings of over $10.
here to take advantage of this special offer.
100% Money-Back Guarantee. If
for any reason, you are not satisfied with this product, simply
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-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
you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal. Look
for your next issue on November 18, 2003.
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