Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0179, November 16, 2004 | 7,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

This week we look at a facilitation model called "The Interaction Method." This is a great process to use in meetings and groups where the leader needs collaboration but is afraid of losing control in the outcome. Using this method, the boss continues to hold the power of decision, while the Facilitator manages the process, maintaining neutrality for impartial freedom of speech for all participants. If you're a group leader and you have an issue you want dealt with collaboratively, you may find this simple method very useful.

Also, please check out our next expert interview with Bev Lutz and Cheryl Kartes this Thursday, November 18th at 1:00 PM EST, where we'll discuss the Business of Facilitation and go into detail about marketing and pricing for facilitation. Please see details below.

Be sure to visit our new Facilitator's Forum to ask questions or make comments on various aspects of facilitation. We hope you'll use this forum to you advantage and please let us know what you think of it.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: Getting the Boss Onboard

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: The Business of Facilitation. Keys to marketing and pricing facilitation services and outcomes while living a balanced life

How to Make Meetings Work

New 5-day Teleclass: Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch

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


Click here for details

170 articles and growing
Group Management Skill

Getting the Boss Onboard
Showing leaders how they can facilitate better solutions
and decisions without losing control of their groups.

The Point

How often have you been in a meeting or a facilitated group only to see your collective progress thwarted by the group's formal leader or manager? This is a common dilemma given that the manager is responsible for the product of his/her group and is therefore compelled to be integrally involved in what the group does and how they do it. Leaders impede creative solutions even further when they simply can't remain in a neutral facilitative role given the pressure of their accountability on the decisions made.

So is there any way around this dilemma? In my studies of group process, I recently came upon a simple facilitation strategy called "The Interaction Method," that seems to address this issue very nicely.

What is the Interaction Method?

Authors Michael Doyle and David Straus of "How to Make Meetings Work," summarize their method in this way. "The Interaction Method rests on four well-defined roles and responsibilities which together form a self-correcting system of checks and balances. All four roles are equally important. Each contributes to the health and productivity of the group. No one person is in the traditional leadership role of having to 'save' the group. Instead, everybody has a stake in the outcome and is equally responsible for the group's successes and failures."


How Does the Interaction Method Work?

The Interaction Method requires that four roles be occupied and executed: Facilitator, Group Members, Manager/Chairperson, and Recorder.

  • The Facilitator makes sure Group Members work together effectively and protects them and the Manager from personal attack.
  • Group Members and the manager keep the facilitator from manipulating the group in any way.
  • The Manager/Chairperson keeps the group members focused on the agenda, and sets realistic time limits and to be clear about organizational constraints.
  • The Recorder maintains the group's short-term memory to provide a common physical focus for group, freeing up energy to move on versus holding on to information.

Facilitators know that the quality of group decisions and problem-solving made by well-facilitated groups are higher than those made alone. And better solutions and decisions by definition mean higher profits. Further, people leaving a well facilitated meeting feel better going back to work, working harder toward group goals and not requiring recovery from lousy meetings. This information should provide useful clues about the benefits of facilitation to leaders of less than optimal teams.

Consensus Decision Philosophy.

So how does a leader let go of the process enough to engage in a consensus decision-making process? Using the Interaction Method for consensus decision-making, the leader temporarily steps out of the top of the hierarchy and assumes a position in a horizontal group. As a participant, the leader will be happy with a consensus decision because, by definition a consensus decision means all participants are happy with it. Since the leader is a participant, his/her satisfaction in the decision is a given. If consensus canít be reached, the leader makes the decision. This can still motivate the group since they are part of the process and have the opportunity to make a consensus decision. Even if consensus isnít reached, they tend to buy in to decision anyway since they were involved in process.

How the Boss Stays the Boss?

As we implied earlier, meetings often go awry because managers try to play too many roles. It's hard to play the ďheavyĒ decision-maker and still run an open meeting. According to the Interaction Method, as a leader, you canít be neutral, so why try? Besides, you have the big picture and need to contribute all you know about the problem. You can turn the running of your meeting over to a facilitator but still be in command. You decide on the agenda items, the process for managing them, who should attend, and how much participation you want from your staff. Ultimately, you get better input to make better decisions using this approach.

During the meeting and at all times you retain power to stop whatís happening and change the format. You canít give away your power and responsibility even if you want to, so donít pretend to. But if you want help from your group, be realistic about providing enough time and acceptance of what they bring to the table. Lay out constraints at the beginning then participate as a regular group member. Donít be neutral, just express your ideas and share your ideas and knowledge. Support the facilitator encouraging him to play his role understanding itís hard to treat you as an equal. So reinforce him for calling you on things. Try to talk less and listen more. Donít let the facilitator go on to the next agenda item until enough is done and you feel closure on the present one.

In summary, using the Interaction Method, the boss continues to hold the power of decision, while the Facilitator manages the process, maintaining neutrality for impartial freedom of speech for all participants. This solves a common problem with managers taking up the air time, and creating less than trusting atmosphere where all that should be said may not be said. Assign a facilitator who doesnít influence meeting content and if they do, have them removed as the facilitator. If you're a group leader and you have an issue
you want dealt with collaboratively, step down as facilitator and into your role as manager and let someone else facilitate.


How might you use the Interaction Method as a group leader? What group leaders or managers do you know with whom you might share this method? Please send us your comments.

Facilitation Expert Series

The Business of Facilitation

Keys to marketing and pricing facilitation services and outcomes while living a balanced life

Featuring Bev Lutz and Cheryl Kartes, Facilitators,
Trainers, and Consultants

"Just in Time" Learning

Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Bev Lutz, Cheryl Kartes, and Steve Davis and learn keys to marketing and pricing facilitation services, tips on selling outcomes versus activities, and ways to make a good life and a good living. Join us on Thursday, November 18th at 1:00 PM EST (NY Time) where we'll explore some of the following specific points...

What it takes for a Facilitator to be successful in private practice.
The 3 keys for successfully marketing Facilitation?
The typical angles facilitators employ in their marketing.
The 8 biggest mistakes Facilitators make in trying to sell themselves.
What common marketing and promotional wisdom works best for building your business as a facilitator?
8 tips on the pricing of facilitation services.
"Value-Based Pricing" and how it differs from typical pricing strategies.
Ways facilitators can use to form strategic alliances to increase their chances of success.
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass.

Three Free Bonuses!

1.Benchmarks of Facilitator Success. Article by Cheryl Kartes that speaks to expanded definitions of success and includes summarized results of a survey conducted with 116 facilitators looking at their practices in terms of variables such as income, hourly rates, leisure time, work hours, professional training, satisfaction, work/life balance, etc..

2. Business of Facilitation Survey. View the results of the survey mentioned above--answers to 15 questions asked by Bev and Cheryl's of 116 facilitators about their business and lifestyle, including 97 ideas they provided for improving their ratings.

3.Strategic Marketing For Professionals ($15 value). This collection of five articles provides an overview of marketing for professionals who provides intangible services. These articles offer ideas that help you design the strategy for your business. Use them to lay a foundation for your marketing effort, to provide an infusion of ideas and energy, or to get a few new hints that will provide a big payoff.

About Bev and Cheryl.

Bev Lutz, MCC, MBA, CPCC is the cofounder of three businesses: The Legacy Center: preserving stories, values and meaning; Lighthouse Group and Associates; and the new -- Two Heads are Better(tm) - helping bright people with just-in-time unsticking when their natural creativity is stuck. A Master Certified Coach, member of the International Association of Facilitators, the International Coach Federation, former steering committee member of the Minnesota Facilitators Network, and volunteer for the Peace Foundation, Bev also co-leads the Professional Development Team of the Minnesota Coaches Association. She's been privileged to co-facilitate sessions of The Business of Facilitation at four international conferences and several local showcases. And she's grateful for the wisdom and growth garnered from relationships with organizations such as Honeywell, the American Academy of Neurologists, Kroll/Ontrack, ACA International, numerous impassioned individuals and four very wise cats.

Cheryl Kartes, through Kartes & Associates provides facilitation, graphic recording, consulting, training, and mediation services. She has specialized in the human side of teamwork, using creative, participatory and experiential methods. Clients include nonprofit, government and business sectors, locally and nationally. Since 1994, she has been associated with the Institute of Cultural Affairs as a trainer of Technology of Participation® courses, currently as a "mentor" trainer. Kartes is a co-founding member of the Minnesota Facilitators Network and was co-chair, IAF Conference 2001 Minnesota.

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


How to Make Meetings Work, by Michael Doyle

Although at first glance I was skeptical, this book provided great insight into running a meeting that participants will actually enjoy and get something out of. It was not just a repeat of the things I already knew. After reading this book and implementing some of the ideas, people noticed the improvements from clear agendas which stated the purpose, to the approach used during the meeting to make sure we were all aligned and in agreement on what we were to achieve. I highly recommend this book.
--Anonymous Reader.

In the Spotlight

Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch

5-day teleclass for facilitators, trainers,
and coaches

with Steve Davis and Marion Franklin

Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch, 5-Day Teleclass

This class will meet over a telephone bridge line for five consecutive weekdays December 6-10, 2004 at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time) to cover all the elements of workshop design using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach.
This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups.

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 workbook 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 that will lead you through the design of your own workshop (optional).
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 specific help.

Course Outline...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Introduction to Workshop Design and Framing Your Message

  • Choosing a Great Topic, whether it's chosen for you or not.
  • Designing a Fresh, Memorable Title
  • Developing an Overriding Message
  • Design your own workshop week

Being Prepared: 10 Critical Behind the Scenes Strategies

  • Know Your Audience
  • Resolve Introduction Issues
  • Room Arrangements
  • Presentation Equipment/Accessories
  • Handouts
  • Workshop highlights
  • Practice your presentation
  • Dress professionally
  • Wear your own nametag
  • Eliminate Gaps

Knitting it All Together

  • Managing the three stages of a workshop
  • "The Beginning"
    - Building Trust and Rapport
    - Setting the Stage and Tone
    - Clarifying Objectives and Ground rules
    - Introductions
    - Icebreakers
  • "The Middle"
    - Delivering the content
    - Delivering your overriding message
    - Delivering experiences
    - Leaving them with inspired curiosity
  • "The End"
    - Reinforce learning and overriding message.
    - Clarify additional resources
    - Short promo about your services
  • JIT Coaching

Experiential Exercises and Just-In-Time Coaching. 

  • Creating Experiential Exercises
    - Reflect on your experiences
    - Read about and reflect on the topic
    - Consult Exercise sources
    - Gather supporting material
    - Generalize Observations
  • Delivering Experiential Exercises
    - The Kolb Learning Cycle
    - Adjusting to group specific needs
    - Managing emotional elements
  • JIT Coaching
    - Permission
    - Observe, question, comment

Icing on the Cake

  • 7 Tips to polish your workshop
    - Be yourself
    - Marketing Tips
    - Client relationship building
    - Extended relationships with participants.
    - Join Online Training Networks
    - Manage your time wisely
    - Handle difficult participants
  • Individual Coaching and Q&A

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch Training...

Remove the fear and uncertainty in workshop design.
Complete the design of your own workshop this week following Marion's 7-step approach.
3. Learn to create new revenue streams and sources of new clients for your professional practice.

5 Free bonuses included with your training...
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:

1. Free copy of the
7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops ($30 value)

2. Free access to audio interview with instructional design expert, Marg Wall for yet another perspective on workshop design in this one-hour session,
"How to Design Winning Workshops and Seminars that Inspire and Engage Your Audience." ($18 value) This comes with 3 additional bonuses.See details here.

3. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.

4. Participation on the class listserve to share questions and opportunities with your peers.

5. Access to Steve and Marion for virtual coaching on this subject throughout the week.

Our introductory price for our first offering of this class is only $69 ($89 for the general public) including a free copy of the
7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops ($29 value). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

December 6-10, 2004, 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time), 60 minutes each day.

"You gave us such great tips on how to organize and run a workshop. I now feel more confident and can't wait to schedule my next workshop."


Immediately upon completion of your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access the phone bridge, listserve, and teleclass workbook.

Click here to register now

About Marion

Marion Franklin is a Professional Certified Life Coach who coaches individuals and groups regarding personal and professional change, focus, human relations, and conflict management. Marion has coached managers at major corporations including PepsiCo, ToysíRíUs, and Readerís Digest. She conducts and helps clients design workshops and presentations, has been a featured presenter at meetings, retreats, and an ongoing Womenís Workshop Series, has been cited in The Journal News and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on local Cable Television.


Listen to what others have said about previous classes on workshop design with Marion Franklin...

"The class was packed! I loved it! It was so helpful and moved at a nice clip. I have created workshops for 10 years and this gave me some information that I had missed!! Well delivered and engaging. I learned a lot. It is definitely an art."

"Excellent class. I am in the process of developing two different workshops and this class helped me get over a hump with both of them!"

Here are what people are saying about Marion's book, "7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops" which comes with this course...

"7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops is a fabulous resource. I have avoided putting a workshop together for over two years, for fear of how to begin, how to put it together, how to be sure it lasts long enough, what to say, and how to not make a complete fool out of myself. After reading this ebook, I feel like I could put together a workshop that I would be proud of by this afternoon."

7 Simple Secrets To Successful Workshops makes it easy for coaches, trainers and facilitators who are new to developing and delivering workshops. I wish this material had been available when I began my own workshops, but this eBook reminds me to stick to the basics when developing new workshops."

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.

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