Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0148 | April 13, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

I'm a big fan of Mind Maps. I use them as a tool for facilitating and capturing my creative ideas, finding that they not only capture my ideas as they come, in typically a non-linear fashion, but that they also help to stimulate my creativity in the process.

This week's article, "A Map for Learning," was submitted by one of our readers, David Gibson, with Eureka Accelerated Learning, Ltd. In this article, he shares several great ways to use mind-mapping in facilitation and training. We hope you try them out and find them to stimulate your groups in unexpected ways!

In this Issue: News

Feature Article: A Map for Learning.

The 5 P's of Guided Imagery: Our next one-hour tele-seminar with Ellen Britt happens Thursday, April 29th at 1:00 PM EST.

Resource: Mindjet Visual Thinking Tool: A great software tool that I use myself to create mindmaps for just about every project I start. Random Acts of Facilitation Teleclass. Our popular five-day teleclass returns on May 3rd through 7th.

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.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis

Facilitator News

Micro-skills Tele-seminars on CD.
Our past micro-skills seminars, together with full bonus packages and notes are available on CD. Please click here to view our growing library.

Interested in joining our Group Facilitation Listserve? Share ideas, questions, and advice on group facilitation with your peers. If you'd like to join, please click here and send to subscribe to the list.

New 50% affiliate program feature added for contributors only! Want to be featured in our upcoming ebook profiling successful facilitators? Want to be able to make money referring this product on your site? If so, please send us a blank email to receive details. Deadline is April 15th.

Intervention Skill
A Map for Learning
The Point

As a fellow training facilitator, I am sure you have encountered and used, what Tony Buzan made popular and calls "Mind Mapping." But how many of you actually spend a couple of minutes to pass this skill on to your learners and then have them utilise this as a tool during their workshop? It takes literally 2 - 3 minutes to transfer the skill, learners love it and can be successfully used as:

  • A workshop opening.
  • A note making activity.
  • A review.
  • A workshop close.

Let's take a look at how you might start to use this great technique in your very next workshop.

Though Tony Buzan made this a very popular note making technique, you don't have to be a "purist" mapper. If you prefer the idea of spider grams or pictograms then use them the same way. Here's how I transfer the skill:

Transferring the Skill

  • Working at the flip chart, let learners know that you are going to give them a great technique
    for capturing and summarising masses of information all on one sheet of paper that is fun, colourful and very easy.
  • Ask the group to call out a hobby that interests them.
  • Write this in the centre of the flip chart (e.g. keep fit).
  • Ask the group to shout out something to do with the hobby (e.g. gym).
  • Draw a line coming from the hobby and write the single word on the line.
  • Ask them to shout out words associated with the new word 'gym' (e.g. weights).
  • Branch off gym with the new words.
  • Ask for more on the original topic (keep fit) and keep branching (e.g. running).
  • Ask for a new topic off the original hobby (e.g. aerobics).
  • Ask them to branch off that one.
  • Continue for 3 small branches.

That's enough for learners to get the idea.You might want to suggest that the branches are always drawn long enough to take a single word, that they are always drawn so that text can all be written and read without having to turn the page, and that each main branch off the original word is done in a different colour.

Once learners know how to create a mind map, here are some ways you can get them to use the new skill with great effect during their workshop.

1. Hook into prior knowledge (start of workshop or module). We often work with learners that have a high "entering ability," meaning they have a lot of experience and probably know more than they think they do. Likewise we often get learners that think they know very little about the workshop topic. To really get things off to a flying start, as a facilitator we need to hook into that prior (or entering) knowledge as fast as possible. Then learners immediately have something which to connect the new information, making learning transfer easier.

  • Ask learners to form teams of 3-5 learners.
  • Provide a flip chart and pens.
  • Ask them to put the topic to be uncovered in the centre of the flip chart. For example, for Time
    Management, you could actually use Time Management as the topic.
  • Ask learners to branch off this topic as much as they collectively know.
  • Allow approximately 5 - 10 minutes for this.
  • Ask learners to then form connections between the branches where appropriate.
  • Ask learners to take a look at other teams mind maps and add any additional ideas they see, to their own maps.
  • Put these maps on the wall and congratulate learners on the amount they already know and suggest that you would like help them build on this information and as they already know so much this is going to be easy ...

I find this a great lead into the day.

2. As an Active note making activity. Use this approach if you want to actively present some new information rather than just let learners listen and fall asleep to a passive presentation.

  • Ask learners to take a sheet of paper and turn it landscape.
  • Ensure all learners have coloured pens.
  • Ask learners to put the topic in the middle.
  • Suggest the first branch and offer the information.
  • Learners then start to create their mind maps as you introduce this new information.
  • Suggest the second branch (done in a different colour) and offer the information.
  • Continue for 4-6 branches (15-20 minutes).
  • Allow a couple of minutes (once you have offered all the information) for learners to complete
    their maps.
  • Ask learners to find a partner not at their table.
  • Ask them to talk through their maps with each other and add to their map any additional pieces
    they may have missed.

Example. Christophe has recently been working in France and Belgium with the oil company ATOFINA. They are changing IT systems throughout the organisation and has been working with teams of trainers at each site to help them prepare their end-user workshops. As part of the trainer development, the trainers needed to know the history for the change, the company structure and the IT system structure. Normally this would have been done via 'Death by PowerPoint'. Instead, he uses the method above and has them actively map the information and then discuss it with each other. Result, learners are actively involved, it appeals to several learning styles and most of all, the information is easily and successfully transferred. It never fails to amaze these trainers how much of this background information they are able remember when they need to use it later in the day.

3. A Workshop Review. Mind maps act as a great review technique. They seem to be most successful immediately after lunch or at the start of a second or third day. Use the technique to transfer the skill to your learners and then have them work in teams of 4-5 and map the entire content of the workshop so far. It's a great surprise to learners to actually see how much information they have taken on-board. It therefore, not only acts as an active review but it's also a great motivator. Always encourage each learner to produce a different branch to the map keeping them all involved.Why not tack this to the wall? After all, it's learners work that is most important!

4. A Workshop Close. This is a fantastic closing technique to help celebrate how far learners have journeyed in their development during the workshop. Again, have teams of 4-5 work together to map the entire workshop. When they have finished, have each team (one at a time), hold up their mind maps and have each learner in the team explain their branch to the rest of the group (you might want to limit each learner to 20 seconds each). After each team as presented back, ensure they get a round of applause from the rest of the group.

If teams work together, they can take the maps with them at the end of the day and put them up in their department as a reminder of their great discoveries.

About the Author: David Gibson, with Eureka Accelerated Learning, Ltd. provides trainer development for progressive trainers. He also publishes a free "Tips for Trainers." Register for free at:


Pick a tip above and try it out this week in one of your future presentations or group meetings. Please
email us to tell us how it worked for you.
Facilitation Expert Series

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: "The 5 P's of Guided Imagery," featuring Ellen Britt, Ed.D., speaker, trainer, and founder of co-founder of Primal Waters.

Attend this one-hour tele-seminar on Thursday, April 29th at 1:00 PM EST (NY Time) with Ellen Britt and Steve Davis. During this tele-seminar, you'll receive an introduction to the art of guided imagery that will show you how mastering this valuable skill can provide you with a multifaceted and powerful tool, one that you can use not only with your clients, but with yourself. Some of the points we'll discuss are...

We'll discuss the 5 P's: (1) Pre-session interview, (2) Power, (3) Protection, (4) Permission, and (5) Potency of guided imagery.
We'll actually "take a journey" with one of the class participants, illustrating the five essential components of a successful imagery session.
After the imagery session is complete, we'll do an "After Action" plan, identifying what was successful with the session and what we could have done to make it even better.
We will also discuss how to effectively use guided imagery in group work.
You will walk away with a new appreciation of how effective imagery can add an exciting and dynamic dimension to your training and facilitation skills.
And, we'll answer any questions you bring to the teleclass on this subject.

About Ellen: Ellen Britt, PA-C, Ed.D. is a SUN coach as well as an experienced speaker and workshop presenter. She has practiced as a physician assistant for twenty-two years, specializing in emergency medicine, occupational health and urgent care. Her "Stress Resiliency" workshop clients include: Roadway Corporation, Southern Mills, WinPak Corporation, SCA Tissue and the Georgia Public Health Association.

Ellen is co-founder of Primal Waters, specializing in digital media relaxation products and she produced the company's Telly award winning video, The Fifth Season. She also directs Primal Waters' six month intensive distance learning program, the Stress Resiliency Coach(tm) Certification program. She holds a doctorate in biology from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana and is currently completing degree requirements for a Ph.D. in clinical psychology through the Fielding Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California. Ellen lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.

Four Free Bonuses!

1.The Little Book of Stress Resiliency. 121 Tips for Bringing More Calm, Pleasure and Fulfillment into Your Busy Life."
2. Heart Centering Meditation in MP2 format. A simple meditation designed to open your heart and bring to you a feeling of centeredness and well-being.
3. Four Breathing Meditations and six loving kindness meditations in Real Audio format.
4. Guided meditation exercises in real audio for:
Relaxation and stress-reduction, Posture and body awareness, and Emotional awareness.

Click here for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.


MindJet Visual Thinking Tool

Discover firsthand how MindManager increases productivity during a wide range of daily business activities, including brainstorming, planning, business meetings and day-to-day tasks.

  • Develop innovative ideas more effectively
  • Communicate concepts quickly and clearly
  • Achieve rapid results through efficient meetings
  • Save valuable time in project planning
  • Business edition provides MS Office Integration.
  • Easy to use

Free 21-day trial available. Click here for details and purchase info.

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.

I want to thank you for designing a course that lived up to its advertisement. I found the daily curriculum practical and thought provoking. The ideas developed each day created foundations for the lessons to follow. Many "acts of facilitation" were immediately applicable to my facilitation practice. The tone of each class was a supportive learning environment. Each class ended on a note of high-energy with encouraging words and an opportunity for feedback. --Steven Pyser, J.D., consultant--

Random Acts of Facilitation, 5-Day Teleclass

This class will meet over a telephone bridge line for five consecutive weekdays May 3-7, 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 if you register by April 30th. ($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.

May 3-7, 2004, 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time), 60 minutes each day.

I would recommend to anyone who wants to experience excellent modeling of what good facilitation is, to sign up for this teleclass. --Elain Wylie, Life Coach--


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.

©2008. Powered by All Rights Reserved.