facilitator ezine logo
  Skill of the Week

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0133 | December 30, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers

Learn to be a better facilitator over the telephone? Next teleclass starts January 19th at 2PM EST. Click here for details.


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

Dear friends,

I hope your Christmas holiday was joyful and that your new year meets you at the intersection of your deepest desires and your highest good.

This time of year, many contemplate making serious life changes. Considering that possibility, this week's article attempts to convert those prone to making rampant New Year's Resolutions to creating thoughtful and conscious goals instead. "Start a Resolution Revolution" is excerpted from "
Great Start 2004," a three-step approach to achieving your (formerly known as!) New Year’s resolution by my dear friends and fellow coaches, Rob Berkley and Debbie Phillips. Elements of this program come from some of the exercises they use in their Vision Day programs where people create a strategic plan for an entire year of their life.

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.

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

Happy New Year!

Steve Davis


Relating Skill

Start a Resolution Revolution
Give up resolutions and get serious about your goals

The Point

To us, New Year’s resolutions are a thing of the past. They have become meaningless, sometimes even depressing, and rarely achieved or accomplished. More often than not, we joke about failed New Year’s resolutions rather than celebrate successful ones.

When was the last time you met the goal of any of your New Year’s resolutions? Good for you, if you did! Many of us, however, set our resolutions on January 1 and by January 11, we barely even remember them. And, if we do, it’s usually because we are punishing ourselves for breaking them.

Here’s why New Year’s resolutions fail:

1. We are not clear about what we want.
2. We are trying to avoid something. (i.e., “I don’t want to spend another holiday alone so I guess I'll start dating”…)
3. Our goal is half-hearted. It is something we feel we should do rather than something we really want. (i.e., “I’ll start exercising so the doctor won’t nag me, again.”)
4. We bite off too big of a chunk at once. (i.e., “I have no clue but I want to find work I have a passion for.”)
5. We don’t put enough support around our goal to succeed.

Instead, how would it feel to actually accomplish your dream and goals this year?

Great Start 2004 is a three-step approach to achieving your goals.
Using this simple technique, you will:

  • Review and learn from the previous year in an exercise called Timeline.
  • Learn how to set solid, achievable and supported goals.
  • Create an inspiring Theme to live your life in the upcoming year.

Ready to get started toward success? We thought so!


Step 1 - Create a Timeline. This exercise can be done alone or with another person or even your entire family or work team, if appropriate.

First, pull out your calendar from 2003. Scan through it and write down all significant events, personal and professional, that occurred for you throughout the year. These are events that have meaning for you.

Include anything from adopting a new kitten, to a backpacking trip with friends, a death in the family or a promotion at work. Anything that stands out for you as special and important is appropriate for this list.

Once your list is composed, take a minute to absorb the breadth and depth of all that you experienced in 2003.

And, then write down your answers to these 10 questions:

1. What was remarkable about the year?
2. Who came into my life this year?
3. Who left it?
4. What were my best accomplishments/achievements?
5. Favorite times/moments?
6. Biggest disappointment?
7. Best surprise?
8. When I look back on the year, I could never have imagined (fill in the blank).
9. What was the single most significant event of the year?
10. How do I want next year to be different?

Step 2 - Setting Great Goals. Writing a great goal is an art, and it is also a craft that anyone can do. The simple process we outline below is derived from our Goal-Meter program that we have been using for many years to help people set comprehensive goals for their lives and work.

Here are 5 key elements to setting effective goals. Notice, they all have to do with becoming very clear about what you want. When well-defined, your great goals will be:

1. Written down.
2. Stated in positive language – what you desire rather than what you want to avoid.
3. Under your control.
4. Measurable in some way (you can count it, weigh it, see it, etc.).
5. Written as if it has already happened or is happening>

Ready to make your goals come alive? Using the above format, take each of your goals, dreams or desires you wrote at the conclusion of the Timeline exercise, and put them in Great Goal form.

Here are some additional tips you might find useful.

Set goals that you can achieve relatively easily. If you have a large goal, break it into smaller ones that can be more easily handled. For example: if your goal is to save $10,000, rather than wrestling with that as your goal you may wish to start with a more manageable goal of saving $200 a week. By breaking big goals into smaller, more doable ones overwhelm is avoided and motivation remains high.

Find a goal-buddy or create a goal support group who you can check in with and get encouragement from. Make a game of it and celebrate your successes!

Envision on a regular basis what it will feel like to have your goal completed. And, also imagine what it will feel like next year at this time if you had stopped working on your goal. Which one do you find more motivating? Use the more motivating approach to spur you on!

Regularly read your goals. (Choose whatever time interval keeps you in touch with your goal and motivated.) Keep your goals handy for easy access.

Who or what might interfere with your goal? Take a moment (or longer) to explore potential blocks. How can you adjust your goal to make it complimentary to others or so that the impediment is avoided or dealt with?

Many goals require multiple small goals to become fully realized. The smaller steps can be accomplished in sequence, or simultaneously.

Examples of Great Goals that people have used on their way to larger goals are as follows:

I walk vigorously for 20 minutes a day 5 days a week down a road or path that I love. (Overall goal: to lose weight.)

Every week I deposit $120 into a special savings account. (Overall goal: to have enough money in one year to fully pay for a life-long dream vacation with cash.)

I write down at least 3 new ideas every day about how I can improve my business (Overall goal: to increase the income of the business substantially. At the end of each week, the individual reviewed the ideas and then implemented the best ones.)

I carefully take a moment each day to tell my life partner something I truly appreciate about them. (Overall goal: to deepen the relationship and move it to a new level.)

Each week I complete a chapter or section of my book. (Overall goal: to create a first draft of a book within 3 months.)

Every week, I call one of my current customers and ask them how well we are serving them as a business partner. (Overall goal: to build customer satisfaction and to learn new ways to provide value to clients.)

Step 3: Creating a Theme for your great year. After you have established your Timeline and set your Great Goals, it is time to choose a Theme.

A Theme helps you focus. It sets the tone for the year, and it gives you an easy way to make decisions about where to invest your time and energy. Once your Theme is set then all you need to do to use it is to ask yourself one of the following questions:

Does this action I am about to take support my Theme?

Will this help me have more of my Theme in my life?

Will this action limit my chances of fully bringing this Theme into my life?

Below are a few real-life examples of Themes, created by our clients and in some instances, ones we have used ourselves.

In most cases, they are broad topics that impact many life areas.

As you glance again at your Timeline and Great Goals, what emerges for you? What patterns do you see in what you seek? What underlying thought is swimming just below the surface of your desires?

Some sample Themes:

Year of Quiet.
Year of Hope.
Year of Adventure.
Year of Building Reserves of Energy and Money.
Year of Creating Home.
Year To Build Foundation.
My Year To Re-emerge.
Year to Simplify.
Year of Growing Closer (in relationship).
Year of Discovery.
Year of Learning

What Theme would you like to express in your life this year?

Take a moment to think of all the possible Themes you might choose. Which one is most inspiring and encompassing? Write it down!

Conclusion. We hope you have enjoyed these exercises and we wish you fun and fantastic success with this program. Please feel free to share your questions, insights or goals with us. We’d love to hear how you are doing! Write us at GreatStart2004@groupmv.com.

About the Authors. This article was written by Debbie Phillips and Rob Berkley, the principles in the international executive and life coaching firm GroupMV, based on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Click here for the complete text of this article and for more info about their programs.


Follow the three-step approach above to completing this year and getting a great start on the next. Do this exercise with yourself or a group. We'd love to hear how it works for you. Please email us your comments.

Customized Newsletter Services

Providing customized newsletters for business consultants, trainers, and executive coaches. PDF, HTML & text: use our articles as your own with full reprint rights. Special discount this month on any featured article, click here. Subscribe to Newsletter Matters and get a free report, The ROI for Coaching: Article summaries, marketing tips. Just click here and send us a blank email to subscribe. Contact: Patsi Krakoff, 888-800-6397 & (011-52-376-) 766-4803 & 766-1135, patsi@CustomizedNewsletters.com.

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

Teleclass for facilitators and change agents.

Discrete skills and attitudes for the new and experienced facilitator 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 January 6, 2004.


Copyright ©2003. All Rights Reserved