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  Skill of the Week

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0131 | December 16, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers

Learn to be a better facilitator over the telephone? Next teleclass starts January 19th at 1PM EST. Click here for details.

Intro to Appreciative Inquiry Teleclass.
Jan. 8th, 2 PM EST.
New self-guided Teleclass also available.
Click here for details

Becoming a Learning Facilitator. Teleclass for teachers, trainers, and facilitators. Starts Feb. 9th at 1:00 pm EST.
Click here for details


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

Dear friends,

As we move into the close of yet another year, it seems appropriate to talk about how we bring our groups to a close as facilitators. So this week we'll talk about "Closers." The purpose, value, and elements of processes to bring our groups to a healthy conclusion.

FacilitatorU News

Random Acts of Facilitation. Teleclass starting Monday, January 19th. This class meets daily through Friday the 23rd, from 1:00-2:00 PM EDT (NY Time). This class, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for beginning facilitators, group leaders, or group members who simply want to know more about facilitation so that they can make their groups more effective. These "discrete" acts of facilitation also lend themselves to being taught to your group members who desire to become more self-facilitative. Please see details below.

. Other Teleclasses. Please click here to view our schedule of teleclasses offered at FacilitatorU.com.

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas.

How are we doing with this ezine? We'd love to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas.

Have a great week!
Steve Davis


Relating Skill

Seek Complete Closure
Know how to gracefully bring your groups to completion.

The Point

As facilitators and group leaders, we know the importance of starting a group out on the right foot. We clarify objectives, develop ground rules, set the tone and the mood for the work to follow, etc. This is all very important stuff. But effectively closing a group is often just as important.

The work is done, let's move on...

Why bother you ask? Certainly there's no need to dally when your work is complete, but sometimes great pieces of work come at the last minute, providing there's a space created to capture it. Also, loose ends left hanging, particularly those of the interpersonal variety, may be carried over to work done in future groups. Let's have a look at some benefits of effective group closure:

Group closure offers an opportunity to:

  • Check that desired outcomes have been achieved.
  • Assure that all actions have been taken that need to be taken.
  • See that all the learning from the group has been voiced or documented.
  • Handle any unfinished business between individuals.
  • Assure that everyone is complete and freed up to move on to the next project.
  • To acknowledge a job well done and the importance of the relationships that enabled success.

We've included a short "Closing Ritual" below that you may use or adapt to fit your group's needs.


Closing Ritual

Use rituals such as this when closing groups that has been meeting long enough to have completed major projects. Length and depth of rituals will vary depending on depth and breadth of connections and accomplishments of the group. Use your own judgment with regard to scope of closing ritual.

Here's an example ritual that will help your group tie up loose ends and come to completion.
You'll probably need to program about five minutes per person to do a complete job with this process. Make sure to watch for body language and other cues that indicate unfinished business that should be addressed.

Ask each person in turn the following questions:

" What do you need to say to complete your involvement in this group?"

Or, "What do you need to say to be complete?"

Releasing Baggage

"Is there anything else? Any thoughts, feelings, unmet expectations, requests, promises, acknowledgments?" (Make any suggestions you deem appropriate.)

"If there is anything that you might say to someone after the group is over, I request you say it now."


"Are there any acknowledgments that anyone would like to make of themselves or others?"

The only response required from those acknowledged is a simple "Thank you."


What kinds of rituals and processes do you use to close your groups? Are there any adjustments you'd like to make around group closure? We'd love to hear your perspective and processes around group closure. Please email us your comments.

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Virtual team building games workshop online. Learn fun new teamwork activities now and lead them today. You'll find just what you're looking for with instant and easy access to our large and diverse selection of team building exercises. Learn fast in our unique online learning environment complete with video clips, photos, audio, complete activity write-ups, teleclasses and free coaching. Free e-book containing team building games.
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to check it out!
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

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 over a telephone bridge line for five consecutive weekdays January 19-23, 2004 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, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for beginning facilitators, group leaders, or group members who simply want to know more about facilitation so that they can make their groups more effective. These "discrete" acts of facilitation also lend themselves to being taught to your group members who desire to become more self-facilitative.

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. 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. Comprehensive 15-page Student Learning Guide.
Free access to the participant-only website (lots of resources, forms, etc.).
3. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.
4. 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.

January 19-23, 2004, 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time), 60 minutes each day.


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.

Click here to register now

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 December 23, 2003.


Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved