Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0277, November 7, 2006 ....
 

Dear friends,

Communicating and facilitating meetings and relationships online has become something many of us are now accustomed to. We spend a great deal of time online these days dealing with email, responding to and making requests, building collaborations, learning new skills, etc.; time that we once had available for other things! It's no wonder that we sometimes use shorthand in our communication with others in this media. But at what price? In this week's article, "Making it Personal, Virtually" we discuss keys of netiquette to facilitate better team relationships in virtual environments.

Expert Tele-seminar, Thursday, Nov 9th: The Mindful Facilitator...
Cultivating Professional Presence Through Mindfulness. Join Doug Silsbee and I in this one-hour interview where we'll discuss practical strategies for recognizing and working with the attachments that pull us away from being fully present and in service to our groups. Check out the details after the article.

Expert Tele-seminar, Thursday, Nov 16th: Nine Views of the World...Bringing the Wisdom of the Enneagram to Facilitation.
Join Valerie Atkin and I in this one-hour interview where we'll discuss the Enneagram's nine different ways of viewing and reacting to the world. Check out the details after the article.

Facilitating at a Distance. This new 5-day teleclass teaches the Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. See details at the end of this issue.


Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher


 
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The Point


Making it Personal, Virtually
Don't short your emotional bank account in the virtual arena

Group-Facilitation Skill

Communicating and facilitating meetings and relationships online has become something many of us are now accustomed to. We spend a great deal of time online these days dealing with email, responding to and making requests, building collaborations, learning new skills, etc.; time that we once had available for other things! It's no wonder that we sometimes use shorthand in our communication with others in this media. But at what price?

Have you ever walked into a room and just started talking to someone with out at least first greeting them with a, "Hi Jill."? Or left a conversation without say goodbye? We wouldn't think of doing this in the person but often do so in our emails with others. Granted, it may be a small point, but notice this when I receive emails like this. I even wonder sometimes, are they talking to me or someone else?


Perhaps we're facilitating a project among a group of peers and just blast off an email to the group when only a fraction of the whole group needs to hear it. This is like being in conversation with someone at a party and yelling out to everyone, "Hey! Let me have your attention please! I want you all to hear about the topic of a lunch meeting Barbara and I are planning."
Huh? Who cares!

As facilitators, we pay particular attention to relationships, processes, and tasks and how best to balance these to our group's benefit. Review the following reminders about bringing our common sense of good relating, communication, and facilitation skills to our virtual environments.

Application


Email Salutation. Start each email with the person's name you are addressing. We all like to hear our names and it helps to know who the message is actually intended for. Though this isn't always successful. Twice this past week, I received emails from people intended for someone else, also named "Steve"!

Email Valediction. How often have had a conversation with someone and just walked away when you're done? Close each email at least with some sign that you're done and preferably, with your name. It's an easy and simple courtesy.

Who really needs to read this email? We all have way too much email to wade through each day. Pause before sending out an email that you're copying to others. Address them only to those they directly concern. By omitting an email to six people in a group for whom the information is irrelevant saves the time spent reading and considering the email times six! Think how much time is wasted by senders not properly filtering content in this way.

Don't use email to resolve conflict or disagreements. Emails are a great means of communication, but when you move into the terrain of conflict or disagreement, they can often do more harm than good. It's just too easy to lose the intended meaning of the writer in this one dimensional media. I've learned the hard way that once emotions get involved, communication via email normally deteriorates with each subsequent message. When you feel disagreement or negative emotion of any kind in response to an email, it's best to just pick up the phone or go visit this person to seek understanding.

Encourage online contributions. Online groups like listserves and electronic forums are used to enhance group learning, cohesion, and collaboration, and are used by coaches, trainers, managers, and other group leaders. When facilitating online groups, acknowledge and respond to all the posts you can until the group begins to take off on its own. Just as in live groups, more leadership, encouragement, and acknowledgment is required up front to get people self-facilitating.
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Be responsive.
How often have you sent an email asking for a response from a friend or colleague and not heard anything back for days or weeks? Perhaps some people feel they can't respond until they have time to complete the task inherent in the email. But this leaves the sender wondering what happened. It takes little time to reply to an email within a day or two letting the sender know that their message was received and when they can expect a response. With all the spam today, it's easy to miss important emails. This courtesy of acknowledgment helps assure lines of online communication stay open.

Action
 
How can you improve your virtual facilitation? Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Micro Skills Tele-Seminar

The Mindful Facilitator...

Cultivating Professional Presence Through Mindfulness

Featuring Doug Silsbee,
Executive Coach, Consultant, and Author

Doug Silsbee is a master teacher and author of The Mindful Coach: Seven Roles for Helping People Grow. In this interview, we'll emphasize practical strategies for recognizing and working with the attachments that pull us away from being fully present and in service to our groups. Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Doug Silsbee and Steve Davis Thursday, November 9th at 1:00 PM EST (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss are...

What does mindfulness mean to me as a facilitator?
What mental habits create conflicts of interest?
How do mental habits subvert the work that I do?
How does professional presence benefit me as a facilitator/coach?
How does my professional presence benefit my clients?
How can I recognize when I'm attached, or in the grip of a habit?
What practical tools can help me name and work with the habits that pull us off center?
How can I integrate mindfulness into our own professional development?
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass.

Click here for registration and full details


Nine Views of the World....

Bringing the Wisdom of the Enneagram to Facilitation

Attend this one-hour interview featuring Valerie Atkin,
founder of Wells Street Consulting


During this one-hour call, we'll discuss how t
he Enneagram defines the nine different ways of viewing and reacting to the world. While it can be studied for a lifetime, even an overview has much to offer facilitators about their own behavior and that of their groups. Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Valerie Atkin and Steve Davis Thursday, November 16th at 1:00 PM EST (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss are...

What is the enneagram and where did it come from?
What are the differences between the Enneagram and other instruments like the MBTI, DISC, etc.?
What are the advantages of learning the Enneagram?
What are the strengths of the Enneagram's as an assessment tool?
What does the Enneagram bring to facilitation?
What are the strengths and possible pitfalls of each Enneagram Style when facilitating?
What are the strengths of the Enneagram's as a process for growth?
What are the implications of Enneagram style and our ability to respond to the group versus our own agenda, manage process, respond to group conflict, etc.
What can the enneagram teach us about participant styles that will help us facilitate more effectively?
How to use the Enneagram to continue growing.
Any questions you bring to the call.

Click here for registration and full details

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In the Spotlight


Facilitating at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation


Have you considered offering a teleclass as a more efficient way to deliver training, enhance group learning and generate more income for your business? 

Or, are you working with a distributed team that requires you to design and facilitate virtual meetings?

When done right, Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings (T/VM) are very effective and inexpensive ways to train, collaborate, and problem-solve. But if they aren't effectively facilitated, T/VM's can be a boring waste of time!

Remove the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting design and facilitation with this 5-day teleclass series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation, led by Steve Davis, Founder of FacilitatorU.com, December 4th-8th, 2006, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time),
60 minutes each day.


This class covers all the elements of T/VM facilitation using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach. This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups using a simple, proven formula that's easy to apply to any workshop topic.

Learn how to design and run a T/VM that will maximize the use of your group's time and energy. By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Have learned the key skills needed to effectively facilitate a Teleclass/Virtual Meeting.
  • Know how to balance interactivity with meeting purpose.  
  • Have a an experience of the 10 modes of delivering learning and information in a virtual environment.
  • Know mistakes to avoid when facilitating your T/VM.
  • Know the 8 Critical Strategies to make your T/VM come alive.
  • Learn the 7 Keys to the Inner Game of T/VM Facilitation.
  • And much more..



Click here for further details and registration.


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