Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0390, Apr 21, 2009

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As facilitators, particularly when you're training, have you ever felt compelled to speak fast and spill out the goods in order to keep people interested and engaged? In a world where the McDonald's paradigm often infiltrates our better intentions, how often do you let quantity trump quality, and speed overtake depth? I know I've done this before. I get caught up in the moment, loose myself in a frantic desire to deliver the agenda! When working as a trainer, do you tend to show up like a broadband dataport? If so, check out this week's article, Beware of the McDonalds Approach to Group Leadership, for some tips to up the quality of your delivery to become a better catalyst for group progress.

Facilitating the Experiential Learning Cycle, Thursday, May 14th.
This concise, one-hour module will offer you the opportunity to experience the Kolb Learning Cycle and learn how to effectively facilitate it yourself in your workshops and trainings. See full details at the end of this issue.

Words cannot explain what this week was for me. It has raised my level of consciousness around my values, strengths, and weaknesses. Most importantly it has allowed me to see my weaknesses as attributes to be built up, redirected or transformed rather than to be ashamed of, ignored, or suppressed. This is a professional course with life affirming impact. Thank you!
Testimony from a recent JOFC participant...

Our Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration (JOFC) Workshop scheduled for June is filling up...check out this opportunity to learn an Integrally Informed Approach to Facilitation and Leadership. Click here for details and registration.




experiential learning cycle

journey of collaboration

The Point

Beware of the McDonalds Approach to Group Leadership
Follow your natural rhythm to stay connected with yourself and your group.

Presenting Skill

As facilitators, particularly when you're training, have you ever felt compelled to speak fast and spill out the goods in order to keep people interested and engaged? In a world where the McDonalds paradigm often infiltrates our better intentions, do you let quantity trump quality and speed overtake depth? I know I've done this before. I get caught up in the moment and loose myself in a frantic desire to deliver the agenda!

Most of us already suffer from information obesity and we're starving for quality, depth, and connection. And though we're conditioned to respond to high speed, broadband relationships, I believe we all yearn for a taste of thoughtful sincerity that touches our souls.


How do we deal with this pervasive expectation to deliver lots of information quickly, to keep it compelling, and still connect with our audience and their needs? Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Slow down. When we're spilling out information in broadband mode, we're in our heads and it's difficult to connect with ourselves, much less our audience. When you slow down and connect with yourself, you can better attune to your audience and their needs. Slowing down helps you to sense the nuances of participant's energy and behavior, giving you clues as to whether they're really interested in what you're sharing and how well their connecting with it. Slowing down also gives them space to interact with you so that you can respond to what they want to know in the moment.

  • Less is more. These days, information is cheap and incredibly easy to get. Don't waste your time and that of your participants with information downloads. Assume that all of your participants can read and deliver necessary information in an email before or after your meeting. Spend your time instead co-creating knowledge that is first, desired by your participants, and second, practical enough for them to put into immediate action. Just enough knowledge, that's readily useable, is of increasing value today.

  • Be a facilitator of experience and understanding. When we focus on "learning" instead of "training," we have to work at stepping into our client's perspective. Much of this point of view won't be available until you're in the room with them. That means improvising is a given. I find that the more I practice the scales on my guitar, the better improvisor I become. This goes for group work as well. It's paradoxical but true that the better prepared you are with a clear plan, including contingencies to deal with what's likely to happen, the better prepared you'll be to flex your agenda and respond to your group's needs in the moment.

  • It's not all about you. How would you feel if you could stand in a group you are training or facilitating for five minutes or more without doing a thing or saying a word? You're not doing or saying anything because your group is self-facilitating a discussion that is right on track. Could you live with that? I find this happens often in my groups and requires setting up a context, and operating with the attitude that I'm at times a catalyst rather than a performer. In a bright group of individuals, it's not you who will always have all the right information, energy, ideas, or support that everyone needs. No one can possibly be that person. But if you build a context for connection, listening, and dialogue, everyone will hear one another and they'll be space for people to meet each other's needs for information and relationship in real time.

Learn more about facilitating learning experiences in our upcoming experiential module Facilitating the Experiential Learning Cycle described below.


How can you become more of a catalyst with groups? We'd love to hear from you. Please send me your comments by replying to this email.

This Week's Offer

experiential learning cycleExperiential Module Course
Facilitating the Experiential Learning Cycle

As teachers and trainers, you've probably noticed that people really learn better through "experience" than by simply listening to talk about theory or practice. For almost any situation, you can develop an experience to either instruct or model the learning you're trying to facilitate.

A learning facilitation model I've used consistently is one called the "Kolb Learning Cycle". I find this cycle very useful in the design and presentation of my trainings, both F2F and virtual. It starts by providing an experience, the processing of which can elicit learning on all levels--physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual--and automatically accommodates the different perceptual and processing styles without having to perform any up front assessments.

What to expect during this session. This concise, one-hour module offers you the opportunity to experience an Kolb Learning Cycle, the theory behind it, and the procedures for effectively setting up and facilitating this cycle yourself. This succinct one-hour laser session will cover the following:

- Benefits of the Kolb Learning Cycle. The value that can be achieved by facilitating your trainings and events in using this cycle.

- Summary of Learning Theory behind the Kolb Learning Cycle.
We'll briefly discuss the Kolb Learning Theory that underlies the Kolb Learning Cycle.

- Activity Preparation. Learn what needs to be done before the activity to ensure that it comes off smoothly.

- Experience an Activity. Experience a group activity as a participant using the Kolb Learning Cycle.

- Large Group Debrief. We'll discuss and explore how each element of the cycle is applied.

- Lessons Learned. Review the lessons you learned from the module and get answers to any questions you have about moving forward with this yourself.

What do you get? Here's what comes with the cost of this module:

- Active participation in the course above.
- Viewgraphs used during the presentation.
- Summary sheet that lists all the steps you need to take to set up and conduct your own flawless Offline Partner Activity.
- A recording of the webinar.

Format. This course is conducted over a telephone bridge line and webinar platform. The webinar connection is optional as view graphs will be provided prior to the call that can be printed as a backup option.

When? This class will be held on Thursday, May 14th from 10am-11am Pacific (1pm Eastern).

Cost. The cost of the above course is $29. If you are a FacilitatorU member, the cost is $19. If you are a member, contact us for the coupon code if you haven't already received it.

Click below to register and full details for class participation will arrive in your inbox.

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. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case. Membership Option

Become a member of premium member and receive this self-guided teleclass at half price in addition to a host of other items and benefits. An exceptional value. Click here for details.

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