Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0170 September 14, 2004 | 7,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

In this week's article, "Creating Shared Mind Space," we explore the problem of one-way communication that predominates many group meetings. We look at a variety of ways to break through this barrier to create shared understanding.

Also, in order to help support the expense of producing and administering this journal, we've begun charging for yearly access to our growing archive collection of past issues, now at 170. We hope you'll consider supporting our continued efforts by purchasing access. Click on the banner below for details.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: Creating Shared Mind Space

Resource: No More Teams

Teleclass: Random Acts of Facilitation, October 11-15th

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 send them to us.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


Teleclass Oct 11-15th

170 articles and growing
Group Management Skill

Creating Shared Mind Space
Creating shared space to create shared understanding

The Point

There are many reasons we seek to communicate with others--to express ourselves, to be understood, to hear the sound of our own voices, to share a common experience with others, to appear that we know something, etc. One of the negative communication habits participants tend to act out in meetings and working groups is "one-way messaging." In other words, participants often prefer one-way transmittals of information in which egospeak predominates. The emphasis is more on “notice me. Here’s what I have to say, than “How can I be assured you understand the precise meaning I’m trying to convey?

Collaboration, says Michael Schrage of MIT, “is the process of shared creation: two or more individuals with complementary skills interacting to create a shared understanding that none had previously possessed or could have come to on their own. But without really knowing it, participants struggle to make a discovery—the Aha! of a shared understanding—simply by exchanging stories of their own individual experiences. It’s inefficient. And it rarely works. It takes shared space to create shared understandings."


So how does one create shared space?

Go back to the drawing board. Gather around a table covered in butcher paper (shared space) and together, create an image (which can include words) of your problem, situation, solution, etc. Provide the group with a variety of drawing instruments, pens, crayons, markers, etc. Instruct the group to carefully observe and consider the emerging image while making additions to it. The idea here is that the group is afforded an environment that encourages and builds on collective thinking.

Revamp your projections. Use an overhead transparency to illustrate a point. Then allow people to go up and mark on it using different colors to illustrate their new ideas and alternations. Or overlay blanks onto the original and mark them up. A second projector can even be used to explore and contrast different approaches or points of view.

Stimulate Pictorially. Have people break into small groups and sketch out their solution to a problem at hand. Small groups then share their results with the large group and see how they can blend these into a single image. If no solution arises within the scheduled time, make copies for everyone to take away and consider until the next meeting or the next day. Our minds have a way of working on images unconsciously, often to our benefit.

Finding the right words. If a colleague is having trouble finding the words to explain something, have someone draw what they hear her saying. Let the speaker recommend changes until it represents what she's thinking. This not only helps a speaker clarify the description of a complex problem, it also is rendered in a form in which everyone can understand and take away with them.


Try one of the above methods of creating shared space at your next meeting with the intention of creating an environment of shared understanding. Please
send us your questions and comments.


No More Teams, by Michael Schrage

For organizations that care about innovation, individual creativity isn't enough anymore -- people need to be in creative, collaborative relationships. But without the knowledge and tools for building these relationships, innovation expert Michael Schrage argues, one will not be successful in the offices of today and even less so in the "virtual" offices of tomorrow. No More Teams gives readers the tools and techniques to go beyond the lazy cliches of "teamwork" to the practical benefits of collaboration. When Schrage studied the world's greatest collaborations -- including Wozniak and Jobs, Picasso and Braque, Watson and Crick -- he found that instead of relying on charisma, they all created "shared spaces" where they could play with their ideas. By effectively using technological tools available in most workplaces -- anything from a felt tip pen and a napkin to specialized computer software - -you can literally map your discussion as it is happening, making it possible to keep all the good ideas, cope with every objection, handle conflicts as they arise, and, ultimately, master the unknown
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 October 11-15, 2004 at 10:00 AM PDT, 1:00 PM EDT (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. Set the Stage.
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 September 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.

October 11-15, 2004, 10:00 AM PDT, 1:00 PM EDT (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

Self-Guided 5-Day Real Audio Version
You'll be provided with access to three separate recorded offerings of the five-hour teleclass (15 hours total) that you can listen to online and follow along in the learning guide is used in the live class. Click here to purchase for $69. We will also include a free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value) with your purchase. We offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.


Please click here to purchase.

Self-Guided 5-Day CD Version
The Compact Disk (CD) version comes with all of the self-guided features listed above, together with 5 CD's you'll receive by mail that you can listen to anywhere you have access to a CD player.


Click here to purchase the CD Version for $79
plus $4 Shipping and Handling

About the satisfaction guarantee
If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this training, 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.

Real Audio Testimonials
Click here for a one-minute audio testimonial from several participants on the final day of the teleclass.

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