Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0196, March 22, 2005 | 7,000 Subscribers..

Dear friends,

We've all been in that uneasy place where two or more people are in disagreement or conflict. It's so rare to see these situations resolved where all parties leave feeling complete and enlivened by the experience. This week's article, "What's it take to break through?" takes a look at the two qualities
of perseverance and transparency and their role in moving through discord.

I believe that the inner attitudes of facilitators is the key to their success with groups. However, very few trainings address the development of those inner qualities that can make a good facilitator great. That's why I'm thrilled to be offering our newest 5-day teleclass, "The Improvisational Facilitator." This class where we'll present powerful, practical improv techniques that are actually inner attitudes and practices that you can use to immediately enhance your facilitation, training, and group leadership skills. This class will be very interactive and will use many innovative experiential activities that will surely surprise you. I'm really looking forward to stepping through this process with you and hope to see many of you there. Please see details at the bottom of this issue.

Finally, there's still room in another new 5-day teleclass entitled, "Intervene With Confidence" starting next Monday, March 28th. Join this class and learn effective models, strategies, and practices to intervene on individual and group behaviors to realign, refocus, challenge, and protect group process. Click here for details.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: What's it Take to Break Through?

Expert Tele-Seminars: Check out our growing collection of pre-recorded expert interviews.

New 5-Day Teleclass: The Improvisational Facilitator

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


Starts April 4th
Click here for details

Starts March 28th
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Starts April 25th
Click here for details

Intervention Skill

What's it take to break through?
A brief examination of the power of perseverance and transparency

The Point

We've all been in that uneasy place where two or more people are in disagreement or conflict. It's so rare to see these situations resolved where all parties leave feeling complete and enlivened by the experience. I was in just such a situation on a recent teleclass where myself and a student were moving into a place of dissonance and misunderstanding. We ended up working this through with the help of the others in the class, to a place where we felt it was done and that we could move on with a feeling that we all learned something.

I thought later about how rare this occurrence is and what conditions need to be in place for it to happen. What came to mind were two primary things that need to exist for people to work through the hot spots in their relationships. These are perseverance and transparency. I know this sounds obvious and simple in retrospect, but the more I thought about this, the more I thought how rare it is for people to consistently come together who are willing to exercise these qualities to the end. There are of course other pieces that need to be in place for successful resolution, such as a mutual willingness, mutual respect, clear payoff for resolution, support of the group, etc. But when these supporting elements are in place, I believe that these two qualities of perseverance and transparency are the core determinant of people successfully working through differences. Allow me elaborate a bit more on these qualities.


Transparency. Transparency in the sense of group relations is the willingness of each party to openly express their thoughts, feelings, and motivations around the matter at hand to the best of their ability. Being transparent means that you will seek to uncover those sometimes hidden (even to yourself) assumptions and motivations and express them openly to the group. You do this even if it's uncomfortable or if you think it may make you look "bad." By "bad" I mean less than perfect, possibly wrong (God forbid), or not a "good" person. Full disclosure brings to the forefront what everyone else is sensing anyway. Even when we can't put words to someone's action, most of us intuitively know when something is "off" or incongruent, which increases the fog that creates conflicts and misunderstandings. Being transparent is all about you. It's about sharing your thoughts, feelings, and motivations and no one else's.

Perseverance.The energy around conflicts and misunderstandings can be unpleasant. Sometimes very unpleasant. This is why most people turn tail and run on these occasions. But if you want to work through, or "walk through," the fire of discord, then you must keep walking until you pass through it, even when you can't see through the flames. However, the more transparent you are, the cooler the flames get. Hanging in there until your work is complete will assure that it gets done. So when the heat is on and you are on the stage of discord, be like a mountain. Reveal yourself and do not flee, until you are fully seen and you fully see, all that needs to be said and seen, and all can see clearly that the storm has passed.

In working with groups, it might bode well to enlighten your participants around the value of these two qualities and to encourage them to be adopted in the ground rules as group norms. There are certainly times when these qualities alone won't get you through the storm of conflict. However, when they are embraced by all parties involved, I believe your chances of clean and clear resolution are more possible than ever. It's OK to prove me wrong here too. Please let me know if you disagree!
I don't mind being wrong.


What are your thoughts on transparency, perseverance, and conflict? Where and how can you apply these qualities more effectively in your work with groups and in your relationships?
Please send us your comments.
Expert Tee-Seminars

One-Hour Micro-Skills Tele-Seminars

Check out our growing collection of pre-recorded, one-hour teleclasses with experts discussing key skill areas important to group workers. Each recording is available in either real-audio or CD format, comes with class notes, and several relevant bonuses. Click here for titles and details.

In the Spotlight

The Improvisational Facilitator

5-day Teleclass on the use of improv techniques to enhance your facilitation, training, and group leadership skills

Learning improv techniques to become a more effective facilitator and group leader

The Improvisational Facilitator, 5-Day Teleclass

The inner attitudes of facilitators is the key to their success with groups. However, very few trainings address the development of those inner qualities that can make a good facilitator great. That's why I'm thrilled to be offering this class where we'll present powerful, practical improv techniques that are actually inner attitudes and practicies that you can use to immediately enhance your facilitation, training, and group leadership skills.

This dynamic teleclass, led by master trainer, Sue Walden, is for anyone who facilitates, manages, teaches, mediates, coaches, counsels, directs any group. This highly interactive course provides an experiential approach using very novel exercises to help you build the skills to create an environment for participation; one that encourages openness and risk-taking for you and 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. During each class we will all leave the bridge line for short 8-12 minute periods to give you the opportunity to engage in short exercises with a partner to practice and deepen your skills.
3. You work through a learning guide during the 5 days which accompanies the class as a resource.
4. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject matter with the instructor and your classmates via an online listserve during the course.
5. During the week, you may access the instructor via email for help or situational questions.

5-Day Improvisational Facilitator Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Being present to your natural creativity

  • Overview
  • Introducing the Parking Lot
  • Awareness experience
  • What is your default facilitation skill set?
  • Improv Core Skills that support facilitation
  • Exploring 1st Core Skill: Present Time
  • The "Voice Mirror," a simple and powerful listening tool
  • Facilitation Applications

Building the "muscle" that encourages participation

  • Check in on practice assignment
  • Explore 2nd Core Skill: Openness
  • Experiencing the look and feel of openness
  • Building the openness “muscle”
  • The "Yes and..." approach
  • Facilitation Applications

Making flexibility a way of being

  • Check in about practice assignment
  • Explore 3rd Core Skill: Flexibility
  • Combining Being Present and Open to become more flexible
  • Identify unexpected challenges in facilitating
  • Building the options and possibilities “muscle”
  • Facilitation Applications

Witnessing the magic

  • Check in about practice assignment
  • Introduce “The Observer”
  • Apply Core Skills to self
  • Getting present with self
  • Quiet the inner critic
  • Think on your feet
  • Be aware of your language
  • Facilitation Applications

Further applications and applied Improv

  • Check in about practice assignment
  • Explore other applications of Improv Core Skills
  • Emptying the Parking Lot
  • Q & A with the Applied Improv Process

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day
Improv Training...

1. Get a lot more comfortable being "in the moment" with your groups..
2. Learn simple strategies that will help you to be more open and flexible to the specific and dynamic needs of your groups.
3. Come to enjoy dealing with the "unexpected" in your groups.
4. Gain tools that will help you relax and have a lot more fun with your groups.
5. Discover reservoirs of creativity within you that you didn't know existed.
6. Collaborate and learn from a community of your peers, all passionate about empowering groups.

Also included with your training...
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:
1. Free Learning Guide, ($20 value) to help you drill down deep and master the art of improv for use in facilitation and group work.
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training ($69 value).
3. Free pre-recorded one-hour real audio teleclass, "The Art of Improv in Facilitation, featuring Izzy Gesell, who discusses the use of humor and improvisational theater techniques as facilitation tools.($20 value).
4. Articles and resources around using Improv in leadership and facilitation:
- Collection of humor and improv resources.
__- The Six Paradoxes of Improv. Six paradoxes that will help free you to be a better facilitator
____and trainer.

The full cost of training/access is only $89 including the free items ( worth $109) listed above. Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

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.

Early Registration Special: Sign up by 22 March for only $79!

April 4 - April 8, 2005, 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time), 60 minutes each day.

Please click here to register.

One-Day Live Version

Interested in a one-day "live" version of this class offered to your group? Email us to discuss options.

Your instructors

Sue Walden. Sue Walden is the Founder and Director of ImprovWorks, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building Life Skills through Improvisation. Her experience includes a BA in Education and 26 years of teaching, performing and adapting and widely applying the techniques of improvisation. She approaches improv training as a powerful and joyful way to peel away constraints, restraints and inhibitions, allowing the naturally expressive, collaborative and creative self to emerge.

Sue is a skilled teacher in ImprovWorks' public workshop program, a dynamic corporate facilitator, an engaging speaker, an author (Working with Groups to Enhance Relationships, Whole Person Assoc.), the delightful "Playmeister" of both the public and corporate Recess! programs, the director and a regular performer with San Francisco's longest-running improvisational theater company, "Flash Family". She has been a member of the Specialty Staff for the year-long Co-Active Leadership Program since its inception eight years ago.

Her current passion is training trainers and consulting on how to design powerful experiential workshops. Sue promises that, in any of her programs, while the learning may be challenging, it will also be fun!

Steve Davis. Steve Davis, M.A., M.S., is an Facilitator's Coach, Infoprenuer, and free-lance human, helping facilitators, organizational leaders, educators, trainers, coaches and consultants present themselves confidently, access their creativity, empower their under-performing groups, enhance their facilitation skills, and build their business online and offline.

Steve spends most of his time building and running He also publishes a weekly ezine for facilitators called, the Master Facilitator Journal, continues to write ebooks, design teleclasses, and maintain a part-time coaching practice. His breadth of experience spans business, corporate management, engineering, teaching, spiritual psychology, and wellness, offering a pragmatic yet creative coaching foundation. To learn more about Steve, visit his website at

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. This policy completely removes the buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.

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