Facilitator Journal | Issue #0274, October 17, 2006 ....
facilitators, particularly when you're training, have you ever felt
compelled to speak fast and spill out the goods in order to keep
people interested and engaged? In a world where the McDonald's paradigm
often infiltrates our better intentions, how often do you let quantity
trump quality and speed overcome depth? I know I've done this before.
I get caught up in the moment, loose myself...and the group, in
my frantic desire to deliver the agenda...my agenda! If as a trainer,
you tend to show like a broadband dataport, check out this week's
article, "Beware of the McDonalds Approach to Group Leadership,"
for some tips on becoming more of a catalyst for group understanding.
Skills Solve Facilitator's Greatest Fears!
A strong statement? Perhaps. And I've found the improv skills taught
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Facilitator," to be life changing whether you apply them to
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Beware of the McDonalds Approach to Group Leadership
your natural rhythm to stay connected
with yourself and your group.
particularly when you're training, have you ever felt compelled to speak
fast and spill out the goods in order to keep people interested and engaged?
In a world where the McDonalds paradigm often infiltrates our better intentions,
do you let quantity trump quality and speed overcome depth? I know I've
done this before. I get caught up in the moment, loose myself...and the
group, in my frantic desire to deliver the agenda...my agenda!
Most of us already suffer from information obesity and we're starving
for quality, depth, and connection. And though we're conditioned to respond
to high speed, broadband relationships, I believe we all yearn for a taste
of thoughtful sincerity that touches our souls.
How do we deal with this pervasive expectation to deliver a lot of information
quickly, keep it compelling, and still connect with our audience and their
down. When we're spilling out information in broadband mode, we're
in our heads and it's difficult to connect with ourselves, much less
our audience. When you slow down and connect with yourself, you have
access to your intuition and to your senses. These tools allow you to
tune in to your audience and sense the nuances of their energy and behavior,
giving you clues as to whether they're really interested in what you're
sharing and how well their connecting with it. Slowing down also gives
them space to interact with you so that you can respond to what they
want to know in the moment.
is more. These days, information is cheap and incredibly easy to
get. Don't waste your time and that of your participants downloading
information. Assume that all of your participants can read and deliver
necessary information in an email before or after your meeting. Spend
your time instead co-creating knowledge that is first, desired by your
participants, and second, practical enough for them to put into immediate
action. Just enough knowledge, that's readily useable, is of increasing
a facilitator of experience and understanding. When we focus on
"learning" instead of "training," we have to work
at stepping into our client's perspective. Much of this point of view
won't be available until we're in the room with them. That means improvising
is a given. I find that the more I practice the scales on my guitar,
the better improvisor I become. This goes for group work as well. It's
paradoxical but true that the better prepared you are with a clear plan,
that includes contingencies to deal with what's likely to happen, the
better prepared you'll be to flex your agenda and respond to your group's
needs in the moment.
not all about you. How would you feel if you could stand in a group
you are training or facilitating for five minutes or more without doing
a thing or saying a word? You're not doing or saying anything because
your group is self-facilitating a discussion that is right on track.
Could you live with that? I find this happens often in my groups and
requires setting up a context, and operating with the attitude that
I'm at times a catalyst rather than a performer. In a bright group of
individuals, it's not you who will always have all the right information,
energy, ideas, or support that everyone needs. No one can possibly be
that person. But if you build a context for connection, listening, and
dialogue, everyone will hear one another and they'll be space for people
to meet each other's needs for information and relationship in real
about facilitating learning experiences with our "Becoming a Learning
Facilitator" self-guided telecourse and/or learning guide. Click
here to learn more.
can you become more of a catalyst with groups? Please click reply and share
your comments. I'd love to hear from you.
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easier than you think...your
life is already an improv!
improv techniques to become a more effective
facilitator, trainer, and group leader
you encounter any of these problems when working with
1. Do you take your work with groups way too seriously?
So seriously that sometimes you get uptight and
afraid about what might happen. In this class, you'll
learn and practice tools that will help you relax
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2. Are you afraid of encountering the unexpected?
Learn simple strategies that will help you to be
more open and flexible to the specific and dynamic needs
of your groups.
Are you bothered when participants try to take the group
off on a tangent? Be
able to connect whatever people share to the group purpose
4. Do you have a tough time being "present"
with your groups, trying to juggle all that needs to
be done? Learn and practice strategies that will
let you take a breath and get comfortable being "in
the moment" with your groups..
5. Do you ever fear that you'll "lose your place"
in your workshop? In this class, you'll learn exactly
what to do in that circumstance.
6. Is "speaker's block" a problem?
You'll learn a tool so that you never have speaker's
7. Do you sometimes question your creative abilities?
Discover reservoirs of creativity within you that
you didn't know existed.
8. Do you often feel like you're doing this group
leadership think all alone? Come collaborate and
learn from a community of your peers, all passionate
about empowering groups.
you answered "yes" to any of these questions,
then read on. You'll find help overcoming these issues
and more in this dynamic 5-day teleclass.
October 23rd-27th, 2006, 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.
Alexander, Coach and Founder of CoachingMums.com--
here for details and registration