Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0321, November 6, 2007
 
 

Dear friends,
RSS Subscribe

I just returned from an incredible week delivering our first "Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration" Workshop at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The event was a resounding success that impacted the lives of 23 participants and 3 facilitators. One thing that the group appeared to have achieved from our perspective, was a brief experience of true community or group mind. This is something we didn't design into the event, nor did we expect to unfold, and we're exceedingly grateful that it did.

This feels like a very important topic explore and we do so in this week's article, Accessing Group Mind for Enlightened Decisions. As always, I look forward to hearing your perspectives, insights, and experiences in this realm.


This Meeting Sux! 12 Acts of Courage to Change Meetings for Good. At long last, I've completed a book that answers a call I received over three years ago. That call is to fill the void in the hearts and minds of meeting participants, imprisoned in meetings they have to attend and but don't enjoy. I believe that this book offers of simple insights, tips, and actions that will contribute to a change in meeting culture and hence multiply the positive results we can achieve together on all fronts in business, community, and world affairs. The ebook version is now available, along with a couple special bonuses. Please click here to pick up a copy and please pass the word to the next person you hear complaining about meetings!

Facilitating at a Distance. This 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. Includes a Virtual Collaboration Software Experience! See details at the end of this issue.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com



 
Advertisements
       
 
FacilitatorU membership

Click here for detail
s

This Meeting Sux
Click here for detail
s

Teleclass Facilitation Workbook
Click here for details

d
The Point


Accessing Group Mind for Enlightened Decisions
Create the space for groups
to exceed themselves.


Intervention Skill


While facilitating our recent 5-day Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration Workshop, our facilitation team discussed on several occasions the appearance that the group was not experiencing the proverbial "dip"--that excursion into the dark side of group consciousness, necessary to ascend to a higher order. This stage is referred to in many different ways, such as the stages of chaos or emptiness, the forming/norming stages, or the groan zone. The group was now entering it's forth consecutive day together and everyone was still acting polite. Something was wrong with this picture. Was this gifted group of facilitators going to skip this stage all together? Is that even possible? We wondered.

Then on the afternoon of day 4 and into the morning of day 5, it began to happen. The tension of being nice began to get the better of us. We began to get real, one person at a time. Some people shifted from silence to making requests. Others directly shared their frustrations and put down the mask they had been wearing for much of the week. As day 4 ended, we realized that it was time to rework the morning of day 5. It had to be "their" morning, not ours, and we, as facilitators, needed to get more real with this group as well.

Long story short, during the morning of day 5, the group began touching to cusp of what I would call group mind. They began operating as a seamless organism. They became quieter but more energized. They spoke less and said more. Their interventions began to focus on the greater good of the group rather than on their individual needs. Each participant began to self-facilitate themselves and the group. It was a rare and beautiful thing to behold.

Then we wondered, "What if groups in business, industry, and education could experience and tap into this level of functioning at will, and use this incredibly focused energy to expand and overflow this capacity into their institutions and into the world? For this to happen, I believe that a basic level of facilitation skill and desire to collaborate needs to permeate all levels of organizations. Practice and modeling of facilitation skills is what we were teaching in this workshop, whose grassroots application I'm suggesting in my new book.

As individuals, what can we do to facilitate and cultivate the emergence of group mind? I've included some suggestions below.



Application


How do you attune yourself to group mind and support its unfolding in groups? Here are some suggestions.

  • Hold the vision for your group. See your group operating as an integrated, high functioning organism. Even if they aren't functioning as such now, see the potential in them to do so and keep challenging them from this vantage.

  • Be present to and respond to promptings from group mind. Insights from group mind are available to you while facilitating groups. They tend to be subtle clues that come from below the surface of everyday awareness, arriving in the form of images, gut feelings, visions, or a deep and calm sense of knowing.  The regular practice of meditation or reflection is helpful in learning to tune in to the nuances of group mind.

  • Detach from judgments and biases. Judgments of right and wrong, and good and bad, are exclusively the language of the ego. The ego is the barrier to group mind. When you’re aware that you’re making judgments, don’t fight them. Simply notice them and let them go. This practice cultivates the internal space necessary to access group mind.

  • Loosen the hold on your agenda. Group mind is a living presence. There is no way to respond to it now by following plans you laid out yesterday. While good preparation is essential for good facilitation, be willing to flex and change your plans based on the greater sense of what your group needs and/or what they're asking for.

  • Be fully committed and don’t give a damn. Having passion and commitment for the goals of your group is essential to your group’s success. The trick is to retain this passion while at the same time being perfectly all right if your efforts fail. An impossible position you say? Difficult, but not impossible. Often what group mind has to share will be at odds with your ego mind. This attitude gives you the internal freedom to hear the insights of group mind without reacting to them.

  • Slow down and breathe. We’ve all heard the expression, “Don’t get ahead of yourself.” This means don’t let your ego, your little self, get ahead of your higher self. It’s easier to stay in contact with group mind when you slow down and remain aware of your breath and your senses.

  • Be a witness. Group mind works through us. To experience this ourselves, we have to maintain the perspective of an observer or witness while being involved in the action.

Action
 

What is your experience of group mind either as a facilitator or participant? Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.


Resource




Teleclass Facilitation Workbook
Facilitating at a Distance Workbook: The Core Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation
(Instantly Downloadable Ebook)

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 the workbook that accompanies the 5-day teleclass series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. Click here for more details and purchase information.

 

Note to Publishers
 
Would you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are f$ree to do so providing you follow these guidelines.

We grow by recommendation only when you find our material of use! If you enjoyed this issue, we'd love it if you'd spread the word. Click here to use our interactive form to tell your friends about MFJ, and as a thank you, you will receive our f$ree Facilitator's Self Assessment.



In the Spotlight


Facilitating at a Distance Teleclass: 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 3rd-7th, 2007, 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..

Plus Virtual Collaboration Software Experience!

An optional component of this teleclass will include participant interaction on a new collaborative software tool between teleclass sessions. This innovative new tool allows facilitators and trainers to expand their expertise and effectiveness in managing group complexity. It's design preserves the best of human behavior for the purposes of group collaboration and aligns with how people function.

Click here for full details and registration
.

FacilitatorU.com Membership Option

Become a member of FacilitatorU.com 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.


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. This policy completely removes the buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.




©2007. Powered by FacilitatorU.com. All Rights Reserved.