Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0365, Oct 20, 2008
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This week’s article is by Thomas Crum, the president of Aiki Works, Inc. Thomas has developed the Magic of Conflict approach, an in-depth technology to turn conflict into opportunity and one's life of work into a work of art

Last week we had a insightful teleclass to introduce the Jan 2009 Journey Of Collaboration workshop with Darin J. Harris and Harry Webne-Behrman. Darin and Harry shared their insights on ‘Integral Facilitation’, stages of group development, introduction to archetypes and the course organization. Click here to hear the fr*ee audio transcript.

bullet Earlier this month we conducted the expert series interview Staying Healthy in Sick Organizations with Kathleen Paris, Ph.D. Kathleen asserts that a large percentage of modern workplaces are unhealthy places. In spite of this, she says, people can find peace of mind and reduced stress following The Clover Practice™. Click here to purchase the recording and the notes.

bullet We still have room in our upcoming Women's Weekend Retreat, Journey to Resilience, Creating Enlightened Leaders at the Blue Mountain Retreat Center, Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2. Click here to listen to the fr*ee audio of last week's introductory session, and to register for the retreat.

We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community. Please continue to send the wonderful feedback.

Site Manager,


The Point
Operating from Center as a Facilitator
A centered state of being is the facilitator's best ally

Intervention Skill

We are all basically ordinary. None of us has more than one brain, is free of the need to take time to eat and breathe, or goes through life without any conflicts. Einstein flunked math, the Wright Brothers were simple bicycle mechanics, and Mark Twain never took a high school English Course. What is extraordinary about each of these people is that they chose to respond to life's ordinary conflicts from an extraordinary state of vision and action. I call this extraordinary state "center" and it is essential for a great facilitator.

What is Center? Center is a state of being. You are centered when you are moving on purpose, without irritation or frustration. You are centered when you are open to discovery, no matter what the circumstances, when you are willing to learn and to change based on what you learn. All vital traits for a successful facilitator.

Center is a mind/body state. Your body pulsates, free of tension, able to move gracefully and appropriately. Your mind is alert - with a heightened awareness of surroundings and an uncanny ability to focus on essentials. You are able to focus upon the needs of your group and draw upon your many resources.

Center is magical. It makes it possible to live without struggle. It is a place of peak performance and personal satisfaction. You are entirely present in the moment and you are of greatest service to others. You are manifesting integrity, compassion, and joy. Centering is a gift - to you and to those around you. 

How often are you centered? You have been there hundreds, maybe thousands, of times in your lifetime, but you probably are most aware of when you're uncentered. Those times when you felt you could have done a better job facilitating.



Stop for a moment and visualize a time when living was effortless, when everything flowed. Examples might be when you hugged your newborn child, received a degree, or scored a winning goal. At that moment, you were centered. As you visualize that centered moment, notice your state of being so that you can recreate it again and again whenever you choose.

Train to Center. Once you recognize center, you can begin to train in it. At first this requires trust. Do not expect major breakthroughs to happen daily. Let go of attachment to measurable outcomes. Persist in your training. Appreciate your moments of centeredness. Take in everything about your world at these times, and persist in your training. With time, centeredness will become akin to a familiar hearth where you can rest your weary bones and revitalize yourself.

There are many ways to train in centering. Here are some concrete examples on how to incorporate centering training into your life:

bullet Recreate the image or feeling you experienced in the centering visualization above periodically throughout the day.
bullet Breathing is natural - for everyone! Begin to use your breath as a means to center. Breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen whenever you are aware of tension in your body. 
bullet Choose two or three daily activities that you can use as reminders to center. For example, when the phone rings, center on the first ring, answer on the second. Other centering checks might be turning on your computer, opening the door to your office, at red lights.
bullet Pasqual said, "All of man's troubles stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone." Set aside 10 - 20 minutes each day for quiet reflection, introspection, and meditation.
bullet Unless we know where we want to go, we are unlikely to get there. Know your purpose in life, why you are involved in the activities that occupy your time. Be crystal clear on this and in times of stress reflect on that purpose before you take action in a conflict.
bullet Simply and regularly ask, "What's the highest level of me that can show up right now?"
bullet Develop a network of people, programs, and literature that brings you back to center. Our strength is in connection, not in isolation.


This week, practice at least one of the centering exercises described in the article above. We'd love to hear about your experiences.

Please send us your questions and comments.

This Week's Offer



Journey to Resilience
Creating Enlightened Leaders

Weekend retreat
with Neerja Arora Bhatia & Linda Kolstee-Ozkaynak

Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2, 2008

We invite you to join us in creating experiences which will evoke transformation through reaching the heart, mind, spirit and body. We will meet in a beautiful, natural setting at the Blue Mountain Retreat Center (Greater Washington DC)

As women leaders, facilitators and coaches, our core strength determines our ability to leave a lasting impact on the lives we touch. We owe it to ourselves and those we impact to make our core unshakable.

Upon completion gain inner wisdom to practice the following:
bullet From comparisons to unique self expression
bullet From avoidance to acceptance
bullet From holding on to letting go
bullet From conquering and competing to collaborating
bullet From problem solving to creative resolution
bullet From beating ourselves to lifting ourselves
bullet From being stuck to flying

Click here to listen to the audio introduction and to register

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