Facilitator Journal | Issue #0144 | March 16, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...
I love the new "Apprentice" show on NBC every Thursday night.
Co-produced by Mark Burnett of "Survivor" fame, and the billionaire
real estate mogul, Donald Trump, this show has become quite a sensation.
Though I love the business lessons that come across each week, I cringe
at the contestants terrible Facilitation skills. So in this week's article,
Facilitator's "Trump" Card,"
we talk briefly about the show and offer some tips to Project Managers,
present and future, in the show and in the world, who may benefit from
a few reminders about "synergizing" your groups to get the
most out of them and have fun doing it. We hope you enjoy the article.
I'm excited to invite you to our next one-hour tele-seminar with Marg
Wall, M.Ed., Adult
Educator and Learning Specialist in...How to Design Winning
Workshops and Seminars that Inspire and Engage Your Audience, next
Wednesday, March 24th at 4:00 PM EST. We've just added
a couple more great bonuses for registrants too. Please see details
Finally, this is your last chance to register for our next Appreciative
Inquiry teleclass starting tomorrow, March 17th. We still have room
and would love to have you if you feel you could benefit from learning
this compelling new strategy for moving individuals and organizations
forward based on what works best.
If any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation,
group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might
interest our readers, please email
them to us.
a great week!
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Awareness and Management Skill
The Facilitator's "Trump"
a big fan of the new TV show, "The Apprentice," appearing every
Thursday night on NBC. This new show, produced by Mark Burnett, producer
of the incredibly successful "Survivor" reality show, co-produced
this one with billionaire real estate mogul, Donald Trump in Manhattan.
After months of perusing
200,000 applications, Trump chose 16 candidates, then split the group
into two separate teams. Each week, they are presented with a new business
challenge over which they compete as teams. The losing team must come
to the boardroom where one is chosen to be fired and must leave the show
and the competition. Ultimately, one person will survive and become Trump's
Apprentice to run one of his companies at a healthy six-figure salary.
As we viewers watch the slow elimination of applicants, there are many
lessons we can learn about the business world from Trump's obviously successful
perspective. Among these lessons are: know your customer, create good
working relationships, research available data, ask lots of appropriate
questions, preplan with your team before heading out on a group project,
be loyal to your team, keep an upbeat and winning attitude, stand up for
yourself when necessary, and sex appeal sells.
I really love the great business lessons I receive each week from Trump
and his staff, and from observing how the apprentices think through, or
don't think through, as is more often the case, each business problem.
But what I find particularly fascinating is how these groups are truly
clueless with regard to facilitation skills. After several weeks of watching
the show, it appears, thus far, that no one has shown any ability to facilitate
either as a member of a group nor as the appointed project manager.
If the bottom
line is money, you might be able to justify a strong leader that doesn’t
facilitate. But because these teams continue to work together week after
week using the same broken process, I would wager that the group who learned
some basic facilitation skills would move past the other and have fun
So, to the Donald,
the bottom line mogul that you obviously are, we know that you will continue
to address the business and people skills required of your yet to be chosen
apprentice, but we strongly urge you to use this opportunity to educate
the American viewers (and there are many, it is the top rated show presently)
and future applicants, that good facilitation skills can unleash the full
synergy of any group to evolve and maintain a strong team. One that will
stand head and shoulders above the competition in any entrepreneurial
Every Project Manager on the show so far has missed the mark when it comes
to group facilitation skills. Here are some suggestions for future contestants,
for those still in the game, and for you project managers out there who
may benefit from a facilitative tip or two, and want an edge on the competition.
Who are you competing with? Sure this is ultimately an
Individual competition. Only one winner will take the final prize. But
for the majority of the game, until you're down to two or three people,
this is a team competition. Check your egos at the door and get this!
You'll have far less visits to the boardroom if you put the team ahead
of your own self-interests, at least for awhile.
Is your process working? It's funny, but week after week,
you keep running the same patterns and I never see you debrief your "process"
so that you might improve it. We humans are programmable. We learn a habit
and stick with it unless we get conscious about it. So you continue to
repeat the same broken approaches. Stop! Your bottom line ...winning the
game...is at the end of a "winning process." That is, you can
evolve the way you work together so that your process
gets better, not worse, over time. Get this and you win, if not the game,
at least a whole new approach to leadership.
Who's good at what? You frequently miss lots of simple
details and things fall through the crack. On every team, each person
has different strengths. Figure out who's good at what and let them run
with that. If you don't ask or notice, you'll continue to screw up and
waste lots of energy. Every team has a creative genius, an accountant,
an integrator, a connector, etc. Get to know your strengths and stick
Project managers don't have to know everything. I often
see the project manager make uninformed or unsupported decisions on behalf
of the group. Come on now, you're not the king, your the catalyst! Lead
your people, not with a bridle but with a vision. Believe in them, challenge
them, reality check them, brainstorm them, and tease out the synergy at
your finger tips!
Validate your people. Each week, you Project Managers
myopically focuses on the task, often forgetting about the relationships
and the tender egos in your charge. I've seen on many occasions undue
criticism of creative ideas in a brainstorming process, or the shutting
out of contributions made by other participants. This irritates people
off and causes them to withdraw, even sabotage your efforts. You don't
need that. Make sure everyone has their due. It doesn't take that much
effort. And sometimes, the last person who you think can offer anything
constructive, just may pop in with a magical little whisper of an idea
that will give your group wings.
Check out your assumptions. Sure, you Apprentice contestants
are young, bright entrepreneurs. But you're also very naive at times.
Like many teenagers, you often make an observation about someone, adopt
it as fact, and hold onto it for dear life. Come on folks, you aren't
gods, outside your own worlds anyway. Open your eyes to the assumptions
beneath your "facts." They're always there. Doing so, and helping
your teammates do the same, will really free up energy that you spend
arguing 90% of the time.
Bottom Line: Project Managers need basic facilitation skills.
To a large degree, a project manager's success has to do with
their ability to balance tasks with relationships and group processes,
i.e. facilitation skills. However, their education is primarily technical.
Whereever you can share this point with leaders you touch, you will benefit
Pick a tip above that you can implement or refine in your groups as project
manager or facilitator. Or, if you watch the show, send in a tip
or perspective we may have missed. Please email
us your comments and thoughts on this topic.
Facilitation Expert Series
Questions Every Facilitator Should Answer Before Designing Their Next
Featuring Marg Wall, M.Ed.
Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with
Marg Wall and Steve
Davis and learn...How
to Design Winning Workshops and Seminars that Inspire and Engage Your
Audience. Wednesday, March
24th at 4:00 PM EST (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss
How to come up with content for your workshops and to decide how much
How to balance content with process in the design of your workshops.
How to manage the timing of content delivery so that you don't have too
much or too little.
The specific preparation you must do with your client as part of the workshop
How to select the most appropriate teaching methods for the content you
plan to deliver.
How to manage the emotional layer in the design of a workshop.
Ways trainers can improve their workshops so that the participants are
The difference between performance outcomes and learning objectives.
Advice on pacing and order of activities and how they integrate with the
Tips on designing workshops with multiple facilitators.
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass.
Instructional Design Checklist.
Workshop Design Proficiencies Self-Assessment.
Article, "Secrets from the Pros: 5 Master Presenters Share
Their Top Techniques." What
do these people know about presenting that you don't? Not much -- yet
each has developed a personal cache of secret strategies and techniques
that have helped them become the successful presenters they are today.
How did they develop these techniques and what can you learn from them?
Training Revolution Lexicon Dictionary. A reference source for
program managers developed by NavAir. Contains dozens of terms associated
with current trends in learning, training, human performance, human systems
integration, and policy.
Training Terms Dictionary. Dictionary containing 400
useful Training Terms.
for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.
Apprentice TV Series
This site provides information and updates about the show, the contestants,
producers, weekly dossier of business assignments, videos, episode recaps,
and more. Check it out and let us know what you think of the contestants
And if you're interested, they're taking applications now for next season!
A Provocative Proposal
for Unleashing the Power of What Works...
Join us for this 4-week TeleClass
with AI experts, Patricia Clason and Bert Stitt starting
March 17th, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
four session series on Appreciative Inquiry, is 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 in the group/organizational change process.
These one-hour sessions will be interactive and we will encourage
discussion of specific situations in which Appreciate Inquiry
might be applied.
Eight Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry,
Explore the nature of assumptions in an organization/group.
We will define and discuss the base assumptions of AI, how they
affect the change process and how we may have experienced them
already in our facilitation practice.
Six Core Principles of Appreciative Inquiry,
the DNA of Appreciative Inquiry gives us a foundation upon which
we can build the infrastructure of a change process that works.
Five Steps to Appreciative Inquiry,
designing an appreciative question to creating a provocative
proposal and manifesting a destiny, each step is crucial to
the process of Appreciative Inquiry. We get to incorporate the
"buzzwords" of the last decade, Innovation, Empowerment,
Continuous Leaning, Partnership, and Making A Difference, into
a process of change that is FUN! Imagine the possibilities!
and Opportunities (one month after the first three classes),
This session will be a celebration of learning about what worked
and what didn't work for class participants as they applied
the concepts of AI in their practice with clients and organizations,
as well as discussion on further opportunities for implementing
and integrating Appreciative Inquiry.
included with your training...
In addition to the 4-Week training described above, you
Free access to the RealAudio version of this training.
2. A Bibliography of leading works on AI.
3. A number of web resources to support your work in this field.
4. Summary notes of each class session.
5. List of class participants.
to you of participating 4-Week Training...
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of Appreciative
Inquiry to add to your toolbox as a facilitator, team leader,
coach, or leader.
2. Learn to employ a change process that works.
3. Learn how to come from a positive, "what works"
perspective when working with individuals and groups.
here to register now!
Stitt operates a home-based consultancy from
Madison, Wisconsin. He provides facilitation services, public
engagement consultation, and organizational development for
community-building projects, coaching for non-governmental organizations,
mediation and facilitation for governmental agencies, and strategic
planning processes for associations, foundations, and small
businesses. Appreciative Inquiry is a relatively recent tool
that Bert is finding very useful as he reaches into the toolbox
while helping to build the organizations he works with.
Clason has traveled across the continent doing
speeches, workshops and media appearances as a professional
speaker, trainer, consultant and writer, giving over 3,000 presentations
for corporations, associations, government agencies and nonprofit
organizations. Now the Director of the Center for Creative Learning
which offers programs for personal and professional development
and has written many articles, training programs and personal
growth seminars and is a sought-after guest for radio and television.
Patricia likes to focus on alternative methods of teaching and
learning, addressing the psychological perspectives and principles
behind the practical tools that she teaches. As a result, audiences
are often entranced with her and excited about using these new
Fee and Registration.
The full cost of training is only $64.95 for MFJ readers ($79.95
for the general public). Everything you read about above is
included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.
The class will meet for one hour on the following four Wednesdays
at 2:00 PM EST (NY Time), March 17th, March 24th, March 31st,
and April 7th.
here and you'll be taken to the teleclass registration
page. Register there and you'll see your discount computed and
applied as you check out. Immediately upon completion of your
registration, you will receive an email with instructions to
access the course. This course
is limited to 20 individuals, first come, first served.
here to register for this "live" teleclass now!
Real Audio Version. If
you'd like to learn this material at your own pace and on
your own schedule, you can purchase the real audio version
of this teleclass complete with all the resources outlined
above. You'll be provided with access to the recorded offerings
of the four-hour teleclass that you can listen to online and
follow along in the notes used in the live class.
here to purchase Real Audio Version for $59
the satisfaction guarantee
If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this course,
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.)