Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0237, January 3, 2006 ....

Dear friends,

I hope you had a great holiday and enter this new year rested and ready to create your best year ever. Personally, I could have used a little more time off. It seems as things continue to speed up out there, more is expected of us and our vacation and holiday time seems to be shrinking or speeding up as well.
One response to this situation is to find ways to be more efficient and effective. That is, to do more in less time and to work smarter in the time we do work. As a group leaders kicking off a new year, it feels like a good time to assess where I am and how I can be more effective this year. To support you in doing the same, this week we introduce a facilitator self-assessment to help you see where you are and where you might want to enhance your skills.

To support your skill-building efforts, we're offering a new teleclass this month with authors and trainers Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb of
Great Meetings! Inc. Details of their new 5-day teleclass, "Putting Out Brush Fires," are included at the end of this week's article. Please join us for this new offering to kick of the new year with new perspectives on handling those most difficult situations you face in groups.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


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The Point

Assessing your skills
Refine your skills and increase your effectiveness.

Self-Facilitation Skill

As group leaders, regular attention to our own ongoing development is essential to keep us sharp and growing. Use the following simple assessment to assess where you are and where you can enhance your skills as a group leader.


Master Facilitator Competency Self-Assessment


Please rate your skill level in each area below by adding the appropriate number in each box for each of the following questions.

Legend: 5 = Usually, 4 = Sometimes, 3 = Unsure, 2 = Seldom, 1 = Never.

Print pdf version here.

Self-Mastery Skills (How you facilitate yourself)

Master Facilitator's facilitate their inner process so that they can be present with those they're facilitating. They maintain a learning orientation to life, remaining open to new ideas and input. They are committed to their own self-care to maintain the high energy and awareness required of a facilitative leader, and as a model for others.

I accept myself as I am and seek to be "real" with others.
I practice "being here now," in the present moment.
I manage my internal world, quickly recovering from emotional imbalance.
I maintain personal integrity, fulfilling my needs while being honest with others.
  I am open to feedback, learning, and coaching.
I maintain my role as facilitator effectively distinguishing content from process.
I care for and prepare myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to maintain peak performance.
I adapt to changing situations.
I maintain my objectivity as a facilitator or share my biases when I can't.
I share responsibility for the group's journey.

Presence and Presenting Skills (How you present yourself)

Master Facilitators present themselves confidently, professionally, and authentically. They have a strong presence that gently but firmly commands the attention of others. They are adept at using presentation tools and media and maintain a clear focus on objectives and schedule.

 I read my audience, adjust my presentation accordingly, and am sensitive to cultural and gender differences.
I prepare thoroughly, knowing and understanding my material before I present.
I effectively use presentation tools such as Flip Charts, Projectors, Chalk, Markers, Microphones, etc.
I take command of my voice and use it as an effective tool.
I use my body language to connect with and engage participants.
I demonstrate professionalism, self-confidence, and authenticity.
I trust my intuition and share it when appropriate.
I use humor when appropriate to maintain lightness, aliveness, and creativity.
I help my groups establish and achieve clear, manageable objectives.
I manage available time by balancing schedule with objectives.

Relating Skills (How you facilitate others)

Master Facilitators are expert communicators. They listen deeply, hearing and feeling all that is said and not said, and they respond compassionately for the highest good of all concerned.

I listen to what they're saying, not saying, and how they 're saying it.
I empower others to solve their own problems and process their own issues.
I interpret body language to take appropriate action to enhance connection.
I practice the use of reflective listening so that everyone is heard and understood.
I practice the use of silence as a tool to enrich the process.
I challenge what I hear if it sounds incongruent.
I'm empathic. I can put myself in other's shoes.
I acknowledge, support, and validate others as appropriate.
I clarify and reveal assumptions to remove barriers to clear communication.
I cultivate trust to create and maintain an environment of discovery.

Group Awareness, Management, and Exploration (GAME) Skills
(How you facilitate a team)

Master Facilitators create and maintain a safe environment to facilitate the emergence and use of group synergy. They understand group process, are sensitive to the energy of the group, and are comfortable coaching participants as necessary to create expanded awareness and positive shifts in their performance. Master facilitators are great leaders AND great followers.

I effectively facilitate development of ground rules and enforce them.
I effectively build trust-get the group connected and comfortable with itself.
I effectively maintain a safe space-physically and emotionally.
I understand team evolution and group dynamics.
I use "problems" as learning opportunities.
I am sensitive to group energy and how to manage it.
I effectively read the underlying dynamics of a group.
I effectively evoke participation and creativity.
I honor my group's wisdom and ability to do their own work.
I let the group own their process and don't compete for their attention.

Intervention Skills (How you shift a group)

Master Facilitators know how and when to intervene into group process. They are comfortable using a number of tools to keep the process healthy and moving forward.

I effectively facilitate completion and closure of group activities.
I know the five levels of intervention and how to intervene on each one.
I effectively exercise the cycle of diagnosis and intervention.
I effectively identify and disarm "group think."
I effectively check out assumptions and hidden agendas.
I effectively keep groups on task.
I effectively encourage and acknowledge others.

Logistic Skills (How you facilitate your environment)

Master Facilitators plan and prepare their presentations to best meet the unique needs and purposes of their audience. They assemble and manage the resources necessary to effectively conduct their meetings and perform follow-up activities as necessary to keep their group on track. Master Facilitators weave the thread of continuity between one meeting and the next.

I plan and prepare for my audience.
I develop effective meeting agendas.
I plan and prepare a physical environment appropriate to the event
I can distinguish "Task Force" meetings from "regular" meetings.
I follow-up with my groups as appropriate.
I effectively solicit evaluation of the meetings I facilitate.
I use time and space intentionally.


252-280 = Congratulations! You are a Master Facilitator.
224-251 = You're a good facilitator and mastery is right around the corner!
196-223 = You're doing well and have the potential to really improve your facilitation!
168-195 = You have the opportunity to really improve as a facilitator! Below 168 = Hey, maybe you're new at this and ready to learn something new!


Take the assessment above and pick at least one thing you'd like to work on and improve this week. Let me know what happens, I'd love to hear from you.

Note to Publishers

Would you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are free to do so providing you follow these guidelines.


Want to make a change in your meetings?

If you're often part of poorly run meetings for which you aren't the official leader and would like to do something about it, have a look at this free report I've put together to support participants from leading from within. Click here to download, "This Meeting Sucks, I'm Taking Over...With Conscious Acts of Leadership. I'm forming working groups to help empower group participants to exercise their leadership skills from any position and am looking for enthusiastic candidates. So if you have any clients who might benefit from this perspective, please send them this link as well.
In the Spotlight

Putting Out Brush Fires...

How to intervene in
difficult group situations

Learn how to effectively
intervene when things
heat up in your groups

January 23rd - 27th, 2006, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time),
one hour each day.

The Teleclass...

Do non-stop talkers, silent groups or dramatic conflicts ever knock your meetings off track? These meeting situations take a toll on a group’s ability to work together and cost time and money. This 5 hour teleclass, taught by Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb, authors of Great Meetings! Great Results, will increase your ability to know when and how to intervene effectively in difficult situations to get your meetings back on track. You will find the course Putting out Brush Fires: Intervening in Difficult Situations to be highly interactive. Each class includes a short content presentation, discussion, demonstration, participant exercise, debrief, and discussion of application. This course if for anyone who facilitates, manages, teaches, mediates, coaches, counsels, directs any group.

Benefits to you for participating in this Training...

Increase your ability to know when and how to intervene in difficult situations.
2. Get practice and coaching on your intervention skills to internalize your ability to intervene.
3. Gain confidence to manage challenges with ease so your meetings will be more productive and more fun.
4. A chance to work through the specific kinds of issues you face with the experts
5. 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 60 minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. 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 your classmates via a listserve during the course.
5. You have access to the instructors via email for help on specific situations.

Putting Out Brushfires Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the course...

Day one: Introduction to each other and the course

  • What is a “brush fire”?
  • Why does intervention matter?
  • What are our values for framing interventions?

Day two: Know yourself and assess the situation

  • Staying grounded in the face of difficult situations
    • Gaining insight into your personal reactions to brush fires
    • Knowing how to get and stay grounded
  • Assessing the situation
    • Introduction of the Great Meetings! Intervention model
    • What to look for when considering an intervention
    • What questions to ask to determine if an intervention is needed

Day three: Step into the situation: interrupting

  • Different ways to intervene
  • Interrupting as one key tool
    • Cultural and personal frames on interrupting
    • The Art of interrupting
  • Application of the technique to your own situations

Day Four: Step into the situation: other intervention options

  • Review of Intervention model
  • Examples of other interventions
  • Choosing the right intervention
  • Choosing the right level of intervention
  • Application of the techniques to your own situations

Day Five: Help the group move on and prepare to prevent difficulties

  • Moving on from the intervention
    • Understanding what the group needs
    • Choosing tools
  • Good preparation: essential to preventing difficulties
  • Parking lot issues
  • Questions and answers
  • Wrap up and final evaluation

Also included with your training...
In addition to the training described above, you also receive:
1. A downloadable version of the book, Great Meetings! ($25 value) and a 20-page workbook to serve as resources in the future ($15 value)
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the training ($69 value).
3. Articles and resources around using Improv in leadership and facilitation:

- Steps for negotiating conflict in a group.
- Meeting Assessment checklist: Questions to ask during the client interview.

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.


January 23-27, 2006, One hour each day, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time).

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.

Early registration discount.
Register by January 15th for only $89

Click here to register 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

About Dee Kelsey. Dee has been facilitating groups since her teenage years. She turned her early interests into more formal work both as a trainer and personnel representative at Hewlett Packard and as a mediator and trainer of mediators for the city of Palo Alto, California. In addition to her work with Great Meetings! Inc, she has been principal of Dee Kelsey and Associates since 1985. She has worked nationally to provide organizational development, facilitation, process consultation, mediation, and training services to hundreds of clients ranging from small work groups to large corporations.

About Pam Plumb.
Pam discovered during her years as a City Councilor and Mayor of Portland that effective meeting planning and facilitation made a big difference in meeting outcomes In 1991, she created Pamela Plumb & Associates which serves a wide range of non-profit organizations, businesses and government organizations with process design, facilitation, training and organizational development. She is known internationally for her process work and training in municipal governance.

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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