Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0218, August 23, 2005 | 7,000 Subscribers....

Dear friends,

Facilitation and leadership have many things in common. One is the fact that as a facilitator, much of the time you're in front of a room commanding the attention of your group
. Since most of us are conditioned to look at the person in front of the room as the expert "in charge," simply holding the position as the facilitator can be inherently disempowering to your participants. This is even more likely if you happen to be a particularly charismatic facilitator. One tactic we can use to empower leadership from within our groups is to "be ignorant" with regard to the content in which the group is engaged and continue to turn attention back to the group. This takes experience and finesse and expertise in group process, the one place where you don't want to be ignorant. Read this week's article for a reminder about the facilitator's role as group catalyst and consider how this idea can be applied to your leadership position either as the designated facilitator or as a manager.

The Improvisational Facilitator Teleclass Returns

Sue Walden and I will be leading another session of the 5-day teleclass, "The Improvisational Facilitator," the week of September 12th. I'm always thrilled to be offering this class where we'll present powerful, practical improv techniques you can use to immediately enhance your facilitation, training, and group leadership skills. This class is very interactive and uses 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. Register by August 31st for a $10 discount. Click here for details.

Strategic Alliance with IAF plus bonuses! has just finalized a strategic alliance with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) to provide members with a 30% discount on their yearly membership. Please click here to check out this wonderful organization, to which I've belonged for the past three years. In addition, we also have three offers the next few members can choose from as a bonus for joining Click here for details on these bonuses for the next few new members.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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Starts Sept 12th
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Miracle Meetings Ebook
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The Point

Be Ignorant
Empower others to solve their own problems and process their own issues.


Self-Facilitation Skill

As facilitators, it's not our job to "fix" anyone or to have the solutions. Our job is to help our participants expand the horizons of their awareness, and to facilitate them taking responsibility for their actions, past, present, and future. Yet when we're in front of the room facilitating a group or leading a workshop or teleconference, it's sometimes difficult to remember that just because we're leading, it doesn't mean that we have to be an "authority" on the subject. In fact, the amount of brilliance unleashed in your participants may depend on how well you let go of your need to have all the answers.

The way most of us were raised and schooled, we were conditioned to shut up and listen to the wisdom of the "expert" on the podium. But if we consistently approach our facilitation from the perspective that the wisdom in the "room" is far more potent than the "sage" in front of the room, you'll see your participants more engaged, having more fun, and achieving greater results. It will also take a huge burden off of you as the facilitator, because now you won't need to know everything, or anything for that matter. 


Imagine yourself facilitating a group of people focused on a relationship challenges. One member of the group throws an impossible situation at you. You have no idea how to solve the problem presented. You're truly stumped and you don't know how to respond.

If you begin thinking, "Wow, I'm supposed to be the "expert" on relationships and I'm clueless here. I need to come up with something brilliant, or change the subject pronto!" Then you'll probably get real uptight and offer little value to your participants. If you decide instead to simply admit what's going on with you and say for instance, "Hey. You've really stumped me with this one. I really don't know what to say. What does this bring up for the rest of you in the group?" You will have actually increased your level of credibility in the group by being honest. You will have empowered the group by seeking their wisdom and insights on the issue. Further, you'll quite possibly get a more balanced perspective on the issue by drawing on everyone's life experience.

Being ignorant of content as a facilitator frees you to be the expert on group process, empowering your group to solve their own problems and inspiring others to lead as they are so moved and so equipped based on each particular situation.


The next time you're facilitating a group or even in a discussion with someone where your advice is sought, focus on drawing from them their own wisdom and experience on the subject. Notice how this changes the dynamic of the discussion. I'm interested in hearing about your experience. Please emailus your comments.

In the Spotlight

The Improvisational Facilitator

It's easier than you think...your life is already an improv!

Learn improv techniques to become a more effective facilitator, trainer, and group leader


September 12th-16, 2005, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), 75 minutes/day.

I've been to lots of teleclasses but have never done offline partner exercises like this and they worked great, they really heightened the learning. Excellent resource book too!

The Improvisational Facilitator Teleclass...

The inner attitudes of facilitators, trainers, and leaders is the key to their success with groups. However, very few trainings address the development of those inner qualities that can make a good leader 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 practices 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.

Benefits to you of participating from this Improv Training...

1. Gain tools that will help you relax and have a lot more fun 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.
. Be able to connect whatever people share to the group purpose or theme.
4. Get a lot more comfortable being "in the moment" with your groups..
5. You won't panic when you "lose your place."
6. Come to enjoy dealing with the "unexpected" in your groups.
7. Never have speaker's block again.
8. Discover reservoirs of creativity within you that you didn't know existed.
9. Collaborate and learn from a community of your peers, all passionate about empowering groups.

How the Training works...
1. You dial into your class every day for a 75-90 minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. Several times we will 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/resource workbook which accompanies the class including practice assignments after each session.
4. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject matter with the instructors and your classmates via an online listserve during the course.
5. During the course, you may access the instructors via email for help or situational questions.

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

Also included with your training...
In addition to the training described above, you also receive:
1. Free Learning/Resource Workbook ($20 value) to help you drill down deep and master the art of improv for use in facilitation, training, leadership, and group work.
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 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.
__- Leadership Through Improv. Article on how Improv techniques can be applied to leadership.

The full cost of training/access is only $99 including the free items ( worth $109) listed above. Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

Early registration discount. Register by August 31 for only $89.

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 on a first come basis.

I really enjoyed the Improv class. Great material, excellent delivery including the opportunities to "try it out" in partner settings. --Sandy Brown, Facilitator, Intel Corporation--


September 12-16 (M-F), 2005, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), 75 minutes each day.

Please click here to register.

Self-Guided Real Audio Version
If you'd like to learn this material at your own pace and on your own schedule, you can purchase the real audio version of this teleclass complete with the learning guide. You'll be provided with access to recorded offerings of the five-hour teleclass (5 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.

(Real Audio Only)

Click here to purchase the
Real Audio Version for $69

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 for $79.

(CD's and Real Audio Only)

Click here to purchase the CD Version for $79

plus $4 Shipping and Handling Membership Option

Become a member of premium member and register for this teleclass at half price in addition to a host of other items and benefits. An exceptional value. Click here for details.


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.

Comments or Questions?

Please click here to submit them. Thanks for your interest!

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