Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0384, Mar 10, 2009

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This week’s article was written by our former manager of FacilitatorU, Neerja Bhatia. after her experience attending the five day Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration last summer. With another offering of this workshop coming this June, we offer a review of the integrally informed model of this experience from her point of view.

We are also offering a Free Webinar on Integrally Informed Facilitation next Wednesday, March 18th at 11am Pacific where we'll present an overview of the Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration Model…an Integral Approach to Facilitation and Leadership. Click here for more details and registration.

Expert Interview Topic on Body Language: This Thursday, March 12th, we interview Michael Grinder author of The Illusive Obvious, on the fine points of non-verbal communication. Click here for further info and registration.

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.



journey of collaboration

The Point
An Integral Approach to Group Facilitation
How to be a well rounded facilitator

Relating Skill

When I was invited to attend the 5-day workshop, I knew it was going to be a great experience; however, I had no idea the workshop was going to provide such a profound breakthrough for everyone present. Our facilitators created a safe space to realize unforgettable wisdom through exploration, learning, practice and more exploration. The biggest take away for most of us was how to be a well rounded facilitator. It was a journey about tying it all together from the perspective of the self, group, plan and process. From intending to preparing; planning to implementing; creating to facilitating; allowing to intervening; synchronizing to being, and last and not least, deepening to presence, all weaved together as pearls of wisdom in five rich days.

The well thought out design created great learning moments with invigorating activities with a perfect flow from one topic to the next. The experience was a great learning model with a life of its own.

The biggest takeaway for me was looking at each aspect of facilitation through the four quadrants of the integral approach. The intentionality for each quadrant whether we are preparing, designing, creating, presenting, giving feedback, following up or facilitating brought the missing pieces to create an outstanding practice of becoming a facilitative leader.

Following is a miniature version of the Integral approach with four quadrants from my perspective: Each quadrant is like the glue that holds the group together.

Grounded Approach

Preparing the Self through Presence, Personal Responsibility, Purpose and Intention:

As a facilitator the more presence we bring to the group the more aware we are of underlying group dynamics, currents, themes, gestures, etc.

A good place to start is why are we here? How do we want to show up?

Consultive Approach

Creating the ideal tools, activities, content and space for the group:

What are the goal(s) and expectations for this effort?

What tools will we use to accomplish the goals?

Collaborative Approach

What is the existing culture of the group?

How can we model and live the practice to create an ideal culture through listening, engaging, being curious, understanding and empathizing.

How do we want to work together?

Facilitative Approach

Facilitating the ideal processes to create the outcome we are looking for.

How will we gain full participation?

How will we intervene and facilitate conflict?

How do we get there?


The real transformation for me is still unfolding as the integral perspective is seeping through every aspect of my life. As an individual, I hang out mostly in the upper left (Self-Awareness) quadrant jumping into the other quadrants when needed, then returning to the comfort zone of the self. My primary strength has been self-awareness and the lens I saw my world through has been the upper left quadrant. Very aware of my inner state of being and the group’s state of being gave me enough information to follow my instincts. So far I had been relying on my instincts and at times found it difficult to explain my instinctive actions. When asked, my answer would be, "Because it felt right."

The integral perspective has opened doors to the other three quadrants and as I am beginning to understand, the results are powerful. For example, while conducting a workshop, I used the integral approach to facilitate a dialogue. We were coming up with possible solutions for the group and instead of focusing on preparing the self through personal responsibility and attitude, I was prepared to navigate the dialogue to the specifics of minute details on plans and processes from breaking through the rigid ways of being to creating newness… and the results were wonderful. I am recognizing and realizing when intuition is backed with a clear plan, intention and understanding, it leaves no place for doubt. Chance meets preparedness! When this happens, we make the most of our potential.

Whether you are planning your day, being with your family or facilitating large groups, one thing is for sure that there is always a sense of self, connection, plan and a desire for an outcome. The integral approach can be brought to any part of your life to create an amazing kaleidoscope, to join all aspects of your extended self. The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. By consciously working through each quadrant, we begin to see the greatness of the whole in action. The view through the window of the integral approach leaves no gaps.

applying the integral approach yourself for an upcoming meeting or event. Set an agenda with the four perspectives in mind and after planning stay conscious of each perspective. The conscious attention on the self, task/plan, culture and outcome will take your meetings to a new level. I'd love to hear from you. Send me your experiences and ideas by replying to this email.

This Week's Offer

This week, we're offering a special to our MFJ readers. Purchase any two MP3 versions of our Self-Guided Pre-Recorded Teleclasses
for only $99 (regular price is $158). Select desired MP3 products then enter the coupon code "March" in the shopping cart.

Expert Interview on Body Language this week...


The Elusive Obvious
Mastering the Non-Verbals of Communication

An interview with Michael Grinder, trainer, author, and expert in non-verbal communication "

Thursday March 12, 2009, 1pm Eastern

2 Sign up for this interview teleclass and we'll email you the link to the MP3 recording of the seminar to listen to at your leisure

1 You'll also receive access to written notes summarizing the highlights of the class for future reference.

Click here for full details and registration

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