Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0324, November 27, 2007
 
 

Dear friends,
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With this week's issue, I commemorate and grieve the loss of my mother, Naomi Davis, who passed away at her home yesterday, November 26, 2007. She was 85 years old. I dedicate this issue to her, which is a repeat of an issue I dedicated to my father who passed on just a little over two years ago.

I came home to visit her for a week and to see about getting someone to come in a assist her as her short-term memory was going and with it came growing frustration and confusion. After returning from a thirty minute errand Monday morning, I found her collapsed on the floor in front of her pet parrot's cage. She had walked over to open the cage and while the bird didn't fly aware, apparently her spirit did. Though shocked at the suddenness of her passing, we're also relieved in that the road ahead for her wasn't looking good. It seems that Spirit's timing is always impeccable though it may not feel that way at times.

She was a devoted homemaker who loved to cook and care for her family and was active in her Church. We're conducting a memorial service there for close friends this Friday and bury her ashes under a pear tree home to the ashes of my father as well.

In addition to spending a couple of days and a few final meals with her, I was also happy to be able to share a paperback proof of my new book with her on Friday when I arrived at her home. Though she didn't understand what I was doing all that well, as always, she was proud of her son's accomplishment.


Blessings,

Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com



 
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The Point


Getting Closure 
 Our growth is facilitated by getting complete with the past


Group Process Skill


We all know the importance of proper closure of our groups. As people congregate to do any significant work together, they often require some sort of process to be complete with the experience and with each other. A little grieving may even need to occur depending on the length and depth of the work that was done.

Sometimes this closure can be accomplished through simple closing exercises or rituals offering participants the opportunity to say what wasn't said earlier or to express gratitude and reflection around what they gained from the work.



Application


Use rituals when closing groups that have been meeting long enough to have completed major projects. Length and depth of rituals will vary depending on depth and breadth of connections and accomplishments of the group. Use your own judgment with regard to scope of closing ritual.

Here's an example ritual that will help your group tie up loose ends and come to completion. You'll probably need to program about five minutes per person to do a complete job with this process. Make sure to watch for body language and other cues that indicate unfinished business that should be addressed.

Ask each person in turn the following questions:


" What do you need to say to complete your involvement in this group?"

Or, "What do you need to say to be complete?"

Releasing Baggage

"Is there anything else? Any thoughts, feelings, unmet expectations, requests, promises, acknowledgments?" (Make any suggestions you deem appropriate.)

"If there is anything that you might say to someone after the group is over, I request you say it now."

Acknowledgments

"Are there any acknowledgments that anyone would like to make of themselves or others?"

The only response required from those acknowledged is a simple "Thank you."

Post Meeting Closure

Though my relationship with my father was not one where deep emotional connection was easily expressed in words, we did show each other our love in non-verbal ways. Before he passed however, I began to recall memories of the many things he did for me that I hadn't adequately thanked him for. So I became compelled to write him a letter of closure where I expressed my gratitude for many specific things he had done for me, for who he was for me, and how he positively impacted my life. I also spoke of my understanding of death and dying, urging him to trust that we would take care of things from now on, and that he could feel free to go whenever he felt the time was right. Writing that letter was a healing experience for me. I gave it to him the last time I saw him coherent and left it for him to read. I like to think it was as healing for him as it was for me and that it may even have helped facilitate his passing.

Either way, this kind of closure can be done by anyone at anytime. Sitting down to put our thoughts and feelings in writing has a way of helping us let go and move on. Offer this method as an invitation to your participants when you suspect there may be more work available to them after the group adjourns.



Action
 

Are there any adjustments you'd like to make around group closure? Is there something you'd like to get complete about that might be facilitated via a simple letter? Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.


Resource



This Meeting SuxThis Meeting Sux. 12 Acts of Courage to Change Meetings for Good
(Instantly Downloadable Ebook or paperback)
http://www.thismeetingsux.com

You’ve said it, heard it, thought it, or felt it, perhaps all too often. You may have tried to initiate improvements in meetings but you gave up because it was too much work, or you felt alone in your efforts. Maybe you decided that running meetings is the meeting leader’s responsibility and is not up to you. Or perhaps you were overcome with frustration, and simply unequipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to do anything. Yes, this meeting sux. And, this presents you with an opportunity to transform meetings, and in the process, your group and your life.

But what can you do if you’re not in charge?
This is the first book written to specifically answer this question. This is the first practical guide that contains the knowledge, skills, and action steps that you, as a meeting participant, can use to change meetings for good.

   Quick but effective action steps you can take immediately to change the course of your next meeting, whether you're the designated leader or not!

  Strategies to shift your attitude so that your communication has greater impact.

   Tools you need to become an empowered participant to pave the way for advancing your career.

 

Note to Publishers
 
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In the Spotlight


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