Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0225, October 11, 2005 | 7,000 Subscribers....

Dear friends,

With this week's issue, I commemorate and grieve the loss of my father, Steven Davis, who passed away at his home yesterday, October 10, 2005. He was 90 years old. I dedicate this issue to him.

He succumb to cancer diagnosed a little over a year ago. He had done very well and even took on total care of my mother who started slipping a couple of months back. This took a toll on him and he became unable to care for himself during the past 3-4 weeks. At which time my mother began to spring back. He chose to call in hospice and pass on at home. He didn't receive help very well though and made up his mind to pass quickly a couple of weeks ago. It was a blessing to be with him in his final days, though he was in much pain and was frustrated by the time it took to die.

He was a very hard worker and a pragmatic individual. He was raised during the depression and had a strong work ethic, working in a wide variety of industries which included jobs with Solo Cup Company, Pullman Train Company, Ford Aircraft, and completed his corporate career with Aerojet General Corporation as a Quality Control Inspector. He then went into business for himself purchasing a Mobile Home Resort on the shores of Clearlake, California, before retiring and moving to be near me in Ridgecrest, CA.

Steve enjoyed working with his hands building and repairing as he could fix and restore just about anything. He also had a green thumb that he loved to put to work planting, growing, and nurturing his outdoor environment. He was always full of colorful stories collected from a life that spanned nearly a
century. He particularly loved to talk about his time in Chicago where he spent a good portion of his younger years during the 30's, 40's, and 50's..

I'm putting together a small memorial service for close friends that we'll hold this Friday at his residence near his backyard shop where he loved to spend much of his time. We'll also bury his ashes under a young pear tree planted there.


Steve Davis


Click here for detail

Click here for details

Click here for details

The Point

Getting Closure 
 Our growth is facilitated by getting complete with the past

Self-Facilitatoin Skill

We all know the importance of proper closure of our groups. As people congregate to do any significant work together, they often require some sort of process to be complete with the experience and with each other. A little grieving may even need to occur depending on the length and depth of the work that was done.

Sometimes this closure can be accomplished through simple closing exercises or rituals offering participants the opportunity to say what wasn't said earlier or to express gratitude and reflection around what they gained from the work.


Use rituals when closing groups that have been meeting long enough to have completed major projects. Length and depth of rituals will vary depending on depth and breadth of connections and accomplishments of the group. Use your own judgment with regard to scope of closing ritual.

Here's an example ritual that will help your group tie up loose ends and come to completion.
You'll probably need to program about five minutes per person to do a complete job with this process. Make sure to watch for body language and other cues that indicate unfinished business that should be addressed.

Ask each person in turn the following questions:

" What do you need to say to complete your involvement in this group?"

Or, "What do you need to say to be complete?"

Releasing Baggage

"Is there anything else? Any thoughts, feelings, unmet expectations, requests, promises, acknowledgments?" (Make any suggestions you deem appropriate.)

"If there is anything that you might say to someone after the group is over, I request you say it now."


"Are there any acknowledgments that anyone would like to make of themselves or others?"

The only response required from those acknowledged is a simple "Thank you."

Post Meeting Closure

Though my relationship with my father was not one where deep emotional connection was easily expressed in words, we did show each other our love in non-verbal ways. Before he passed however, I began to recall memories of the many things he did for me that I hadn't adequately thanked him for. So I became compelled to write him a letter of closure where I expressed my gratitude for many specific things he had done for me, for who he was for me, and how he positively impacted my life. I also spoke of my understanding of death and dying, urging him to trust that we would take care of things from now on, and that he could feel free to go whenever he felt the time was right. Writing that letter was a healing experience for me. I gave it to him the last time I saw him coherent and left it for him to read. I like to think it was as healing for him as it was for me and that it may even have helped facilitate his passing.

Either way, this kind of closure can be done by anyone at anytime. Sitting down to put our thoughts and feelings in writing has a way of helping us let go and move on. Offer this method as an invitation to your participants when you suspect there may be more work available to them after the group adjourns.

Are there any adjustments you'd like to make around group closure? Is there something you'd like to get complete about that might be facilitated via a simple letter? We'd love to hear your perspective and processes around group closure. Please email us your comments.

Reader Survey

cartoon image of a man releasing creative thoughts 
Workshop and Seminar Handouts

This week, we're looking for your favorite workshop or seminar handouts that you've developed and used in prior workshops. These can be on any subject. Examples include: time management, project management, communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, change, etc. Click here for an example handout to help you understand what we're looking for. If you submit your handout, we'll send you copies of all those we collect. Please email your responses to us. Thanks!
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

November 14th-18, 2005, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), 75 minutes each day.

A week after the course I have found myself talking about and actually using the techniques taught! The experiential based learning really worked for me and I learnt whilst having fun – always a good way to retain new learnings. The course has provided me with a toolkit of great techniques to improve my own facilitation, as well as some enjoyable exercises to use with delegates. I have nothing but praise for both Sue and Steve, who walked their talk with their own facilitation skills – they simply flowed through the course with grace and intelligence. The content, the materials and the facilitators is 5 star stuff and I highly recommend it to any facilitator.
--Amanda Alexander, Coach and Founder of

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.

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.

The sessions were very complimentary to the skills that I have gained over a number of years. As well as practical exercises the trainers provided useful insight to support their theory. It was enlightening to hear everybody participate and be engaged in the subject. An excellent class that I highly recommend. --Chris Whitehead ,Managing Director of Facilitating Change--

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 October 15th 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--


November 14-18 (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.

©2008. Powered by All Rights Reserved.