Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0181, November 30, 2004 | 7,000 Subscribers...


Dear friends,

I went walking last night after attempting to play along with a CD of some beautiful but complex contemporary music on my guitar. As I was walking, some parallels occurred to me around how I approach my guitar playing and my approach to training and facilitation. The fact that this parallel exists will be no big news to those of us who regularly bear witness to the enduring nature of human patterns. And that a great deal can be learned about oneself by noticing the patterns that show up in one arena often shed light on previously unrecognized behaviors in another. Hence the sudden birth of this week's article, "My Guitar as my Mirror," which explores what I noticed about my approach to facilitation while playing my guitar, and other life lessons. I hope you learn something about yourself while reading this article as well. Perhaps it will remind you to notice some of your favorite, or yet undiscovered mirrors, and what they have to show you.

There's still space left in our new 5-day teleclass, "Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch," that starts next Monday, December 6th. As a first time offering, we've discounted the price to $69 and it includes bonuses worth $48. Please see details at the end of this issue and pass the word to your friends and associates.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: My Guitar as My Mirror

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: The Business of Facilitation

Job Opportunities: New positions at

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


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170 articles and growing
Group Management Skill

My Guitar as my Mirror
What I Noticed About my Approach to Facilitation While
Playing My Guitar, and Other Life Lessons

The Point

I've been playing electric guitar on and off for half of my life. Lately, I've been trying to play along with some inspiring instrumental pieces from what I would consider a "World Music" band called "3rd Force." Throughout my playing career, I've often found clarity around some of my life patterns by looking at how I approach the playing of this instrument.

I first heard of this phenomenon years ago while reading a book by Dave Ellis called, "Becoming a Master Student." Here he described a number of what he called "Power Processes" to personal growth. One called "The Process is Always the Same" has always been one of my favorites. In essence, this process tells us the behavior patterns we exhibit in one endeavor are often the same as those we apply in other arenas. For example, if you're a participant engaged in a group team-building exercise and when things get a little heated, you move off into the corner away from the group, you have just offered the facilitator a great intervention opportunity. She might help you discover that this truly is the way you always respond when tension shows up--you hide. More probing might lead to insights as to why you do this. Perhaps when you were a child, you were punished for expressing disagreement. Awareness of your patterns and their source gives you power to change them if you so choose.

So back to my guitar as mirror into my process as a facilitator. Here's what I noticed about my patterns that some of you may relate to as well.


Are you stuck on technique?

Because I'm not truly a professional guitar player, I sometimes get lost in the technique. I try to play too fast, or I attempt difficult techniques just for the sake of experimentation. I seem to have developed little concern for making mistakes. Now this can be a real asset in some situations. And I do see how this is a strength in many areas of my life, particularly around my creative process. Trying lots of things usually leads to something that works. On the flip side however, sometimes you need to come off as polished. You need to fall back on what you know and know you can do well.

For example, if you're giving an important presentation to a potential client that may make or break a long-term business relationship, this may be a good time to rely on what you know. Or, when you're working with a new group with whom you haven't yet built trust and credibility, and the process toward building that trust is moving well, you may want to refrain from going too far out on the limb just yet to try out a new technique or idea that just struck you.

Where's your passion and conviction?

I noticed a riff in the piece I was trying to emulate the other day and was struggling with it a bit. Until I realized, my goodness, they're playing only two very simple notes that were right in front of me. But the way they were being play was oh so sweet. They were played in a way I hadn't thought to play them before with regard to timing, attack, and sustain. They were played, clearly with great passion, conviction, and intention.

I realize that I'm sometimes too focused on efficient conveyance of information and knowledge. Yet deep down I know that my audience is far more moved by the conveyance of passion and conviction. These qualities are rare and strike so much more powerful chords in our audience and further empower the player. So this reminds me to slow down and clarify the source of my passion in working with groups and to be attuned to expressing myself more often from that place. In other words, the quality of what I present and how it's received is far more important than the quantity of what I present.

Where's your attention?

On rare occasions, I've had the fortunate experience of feeling "played" by the music. In these instances, the instrument becomes such a part of me that it disappears and my function becomes that of a channel allowing music to flow through me,yy rather than my normal stance of producing and delivering content from ego-self. These are beautiful and effortless moments where what does come through is usually the best of which I'm capable.

So as a facilitator or trainer, I see becoming one with the "instrument" involves shifting my attention from a focus on the mechanics of facilitation to a focus on my participants or audience. Really hearing and feeling what's coming out of my participants, even anticipating or listening for what's next, really improves my ability to give them what they need in the way they need it. It puts me in a receptive position to receive their feedback with its subtle nuances that I can use to adjust my approach.

One of the great skills that separates an amateur from a professional musician is their ability to hear the sounds the band is creating as a whole, rather than just the sound of their own instrument. This I believe is just as true for facilitators and group leaders. The reaction of your audience is the sound of your band. They are your feedback as to how you're performing, connecting, and delivering. Is this piece right for this audience. Is your timing off? Do you need to change keys--the perspective from which you're delivering?

When do I improvise?

I just love to improvise. In fact, sometimes I think that I'm so good at it that I think I can skimp on the preparation that those lowly non-improvisers are accustomed to. The fact is, good improvisation comes from relying on a strong base of preparation. Techniques and basic skills first must be mastered or improvisation may sound more like amateur hour. Solidly knowing the elements of the track you're improvising with gives you a solid foundation, a springboard, to take the piece to soaring new heights, always knowing where the net is below you, you can safely return in synch with everyone else.

This is aptly true with facilitation and training as well, particularly if you're working as part of a team. A solid written plan that everyone understands and agrees to keeps you all on the same page. Then when deviation is called for, you can be clear about why you're doing it, how it adds to the specified goals of the session, how much time you have, and how it fits with the rest of the session.


Where are your mirrors and what are they showing you?
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

Pre-recorded interview, featuring Bev Lutz and Cheryl Kartes, Facilitators, Trainers, and Consultants.

Includes detailed class notes and four bonuses, see below...

Thank you for this tele-class. It refreshed several important keys to business and pricing and brought up many others that will help me to be more successful in my business. And the class notes are terrific! --Christopher Haydock, PhD.--

"Just in Time" Learning

Get this pre-recorded 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. Some of the following specific points are discussed...

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.

Four 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.

4. Business Building Resource List. 25 books and websites found useful by Bev and Cheryl for business building from an authentic perspective.

Click here for details and purchase information.

Job Opportunities is looking to fill a couple commission-based volunteer positions. These could be great opportunities for you if you're Internet savy, have a strong network, and work well independently. Please review these positions for your own interest and also feel free to pass them along to any friends or associates whom you think may be interested. Click here to review details of these positions.
In the Spotlight

Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch

5-day teleclass for facilitators, trainers,
and coaches

with Steve Davis and Marion Franklin

First time offering special of $69, includes bonuses worth $48

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

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

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

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...

1. 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
($30 value) and "How to Design Winning Workshops" package ($18 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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