Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0263, July 11, 2006 ....

Dear friends,

There were a few inaccuracies in the article we published last week on the Global Facilitators Service Corps that we'd like to correct. Please click here to view the corrected article that clarifies the roles and functions of this organization.

Much of our language patterns and vocabulary are automatic, and they affect the responses we get to a large degree. Being more conscious of the keys to effective facilitative language can help us to help our groups get the results they intend. This week's article, "Refining the Language of Facilita
tion, offers tips we may often overlook in using this tool of words. News membership converts to Lifetime Membership! FacilitatorU membership is now a "Lifetime" membership with the same features previously included in the yearly membership. We're doing this to offer access to our materials to a greater number of people worldwide, to simplify administration, and increase value to you. Click here for details and please pass the word on to your friends and colleagues!

New 5-day Teleclass: Transforming Conflict in the Workplace. Remove the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations in this 5-day teleclass series led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman. See details after the article.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


Click here for detail

Facilitator Training Workshop
Disaster, Crisis & Trauma Intervention
7-8 August, 2006

Click here for details

Click here for details

The Point

Refining the Language of Facilitation
Facilitative language is part of the group leaders tool set.

Group Management Skill

Your group had just spent the last half hour in small group discussions and now it's time for them to report back to the larger group. Casually, maybe even naively, you ask, “could you tell me your ideas.” The group looks stunned. You sense that there was something wrong with this language. It just didn’t feel right. Rephrasing it, you try again with “I’d like to invite you to share your ideas…” The group’s composure appears to change from winter to spring, and ideas and discussion flow effortlessly.

What's going on here? Can language make that big of a difference in the responses we get? Apparently so. Much of our response to language is hardwired. This makes perfect sense when we consider the fact that our ability to speak and understand language is hardwired in the form of memory and habitual patterns of speech. Further, language is as much an art as a science, where sensitivity to how language is received and your willingness to experiment in the face of feedback, like in the example above, can help us hone this tool to everyone's benefit.


Language Keys for Facilitative Leaders

- Speak in ways that facilitate dialogue, clarity, and understanding. This can be facilitated by asking questions. For example, "What was your experience of that event?" will encourage dialogue more than, "I heard that was a bad experience for you."

Bringing others into the conversation with a question like, "What do others think," is more expansive, not to mention more accurate, than asking the group, "What you think."

- Help your group find its own language. Sometimes groups, in the height of conflict or chaos lose touch with what's really going on for them. Helping them to clarify and tell their collective story can be very empowering and bonding. A shared story is one of the pillars of a coherent group culture. Being rich in metaphor, stories can reveal new insights about the state or stage of a group and what may be next for them. Click here for an article on helping your group discover its story.

- Explore new contexts. The language we use and just as important, the "context" of that language hold important keys for facilitators and group leaders. By context I mean discussions about the language of group process. As facilitators, we can safely engage groups in discussions and offer feedback around how they communicate and work together. This is a quantum leap for most groups who may consider it unusual to talk about the process of communication itself, and therefore tend to avoid these discussions.

- Be Pragmatic. Language "pragmatics" concerns how language is used. For example, "Could you tell me your ideas?" Could either be a polite request or a question about your ability to express yourself. If we don't get the response we're after, consider that your pragmatics may be off and rephrase it accordingly.

- Be conscious of body language. Your body language is a tool you can use to facilitate openness and participation, or have the opposite effect. Body posture, position, gestures, hand motions, etc. are tools at your disposal. Click here for an article that says more about body language and includes cues for positive and negative body language.

- Choose the right questions. The six question words, "who, what, when, where, why, and how" have a great impact on the flow of a discussion. "Who, what, and why" tend to limit communication to specific answers or can make people defensive. "When and where" tend to inspire more imagery and hence more open, spatial responses. An exception here is when helping conflicting parties to uncover their personal interests in competing desires. In this case, asking "Why do you want this?" can help reveal one's personal interests under a competing position.

What is your experience with regard to use of language in facilitation? Click reply and email your comments to me. I'll love to hear your insights in this area..
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In the Spotlight


Facilitator Training Workshop
Disaster, Crisis & Trauma Intervention:

Building Community Resilience and Self-Reliance
Facilitating Psycho-Social Reconstruction

7-8 August, 2006

Eastmont Town Center
7200 Bancroft Avenue, Ste. 202 (free parking)
Oakland, CA 94605

Is your community prepared for the psycho-social aftermath of a major crisis or disaster? Are you?

The survivors of Katrina, especially the children, are still trying to heal their emotional scars and do not have adequate resources to help! When natural or man-made disasters strike and after the major rubble is cleared, who will provide this much-needed community support in your area?

You can!

The GFSC Disaster & Crisis Intervention Facilitator Training Workshop prepares experienced facilitators to:

Train and mentor other professionals working in direct recuperation efforts
design and deliver a DCI workshop to address the needs of a local population in affected areas.

If you are a professional engaged in the day-to-day work with the survivors of disasters, or if you are working with organizations, communities or agencies that have responsibilities in disaster or crisis recovery now or in the future, you may be an excellent candidate to learn and use these DCI facilitation skills on the front lines or in preparation for future crises.

Upon completion of this two-day workshop participants will be able to:

· Describe a grief cycle; identify productive and non-productive processes of handling grief in one's self and others, for individuals and groups; use four specific, effective tools for facilitating group processes of proactive grief management.

· Identify and apply Resilience Strategies to support the four stages of group and individual resilience.

· Assist others who work with disaster survivors to maintain a healthy balance between their work and their own personal well-being (caring for the care-giver).

· Develop a proactive curriculum for working with organizations/professionals responsible for supporting communities impacted by natural/engineered disasters.

· Train and mentor other professionals working in direct recuperation efforts in areas impacted by disaster or crisis.

Click on to register

Registration limited so apply now.

Transforming Conflict in the Workplace...

Would you be a more effective facilitator or leader with a more solid base of conflict resolution skills under your belt? 

All organizations and relationships encounter conflict. It's what we do with it that makes all the difference in the world.

Remove the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations in this 5-day teleclass series: Transforming Conflict in the Workplace, led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman.

o Did you know that everyone has a unique style and response to conflict? Knowing your styles and response is critical to effective conflict resolution.

o Do you feel comfortable modeling effective conflict resolution skills as a facilitator? This is one of the best ways to prevent conflict from escalating.

o Did you know that 80% of effective conflict management consists of effective interpersonal communication? Knowing how to facilitate this kind of communication is key to mining the positive energy of conflict.

o Do you know what it takes to establish conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations? This knowledge is in growing demand for facilitators, coaches, and consultants.

In this class you will learn conflict resolution skills for facilitative leaders by exploring and evaluating your own styles and personal responses conflict, learning and practicing conflict resolution strategies in the context of group facilitation, and exploring how you can implement conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations.

By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Know your own conflict resolution style and response to conflict.
  • Be able to employ effective conflict resolution strategies with any group.
  • Understand how to deal with impasse in groups.
  • Be able to recognize others conflict styles and responses.
    Have more confidence in dealing with conflict in groups and organizations.
  • Know the keys to implementing conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations.
  • And much more..

July 17th-21st, 2006, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time), one hour each day.

Click here for complete details and registration

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