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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0044| March 12, 2002
7,700 Subscribers


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

The Point

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:

- Recreate the image or feeling you experienced in the centering visualization above periodically throughout the day.
- 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. 
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Simply and regularly ask, "What's the highest level of me that can show up right now?"
- Develop a network of people, programs, and literature that brings you back to center. Our strength is in connection, not in isolation.

This article was submitted by Author Thomas Crum, the president of Aiki Works, Inc. He has developed the Magic of Conflict approach, an in-depth technology to turn conflict into opportunity and one¹s life of work into a work of art. Tom conducts workshops worldwide for management and employees at all levels in corporations, government and non-profit organizations.You can see Tom in action in this issue's resource listing below, "The Magic of Conflict Video Set." You can find more information on Tom on his website,

If you are a facilitator with a unique perspective on facilitation, please submit your article ideas to us via


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

Skill Related Resource
Magic of Conflict Video Set
, by
Thomas Crum.

The Magic of Conflict video Set In this four volume video program filmed before a live audience, author Thomas Crum can help you turn conflict and stress into a limitless source of personal energy. Learn how to find your "centered state," achieve total focus, and reach new heights of awareness, strength, balance, and, ultimately, success. Click here for details.

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picture of Steve Davis, editor of the Master Facilitator Journal.

About the Author: 
Steve Davis is a Business and Life Coach facilitating others to reach  their full potential in their business and personal lives. Please email your stories, comments, suggestions, and ideas. Or call me at 800-216-3854. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading! 

In the Spotlight

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What is the Enhanced Lifestyle Planner?

The Enhanced Lifestyle Planner is an Internet-generated report/working document, which helps your clients and their spouses/companions determine their key lifestyle choices for now and for their future years. Clarifying these choices is an important step towards:

Achieving these goals
Planning their finances accordingly
Enriching their life by beginning the integration of some of these lifestyle choices immediately into their lives.

Key components of the Enhanced Lifestyle Planner report include:

Questions to consider
Hours at work or freed up in retirement
What their enjoy about their job and their personal life
Their feelings
Attitude and self-motivation
Lifestyle considerations
Second career path
Volunteer work
Living environment
Relationships and friendships
Hobbies and interests
Special life events

There are two different versions of the Enhanced Lifestyle Planner.

Version One — Pre-retirement planning is used with clients who are 45+ and not retired

Version Two — Life-balance is used with clients of all ages including retirees

How Does it Work?

Your clients and their spouses/companions can complete the ELP Questionnaire online on their own or at a group presentation meeting. The questionnaires takes approximately 20 minutes to complete on line. In the group sessions which you can deliver in 1.5 to 3 hours, a paper version of the Questionnaire is used which needs to be subsequently completed on line. After the ELP Questionnaire is completed the data for ELP reports is stored in the Certified Enhanced Lifestyle Planner's Account. You would then generate the ELP Report and provide it to clients along with the accompanying handouts in 3 possible ways:

In a personal meeting — with the client and the spouses.
In a group presentation meeting— 1.5 to 3 hours in length.
On a self-study basis. The client is e-mailed the ELP Report along with the accompanying handouts and is directed to listen to an ELP audio-feedback session which is posted online. The client will be much better prepared when subsequently meeting you for personal coaching.

Benefits for You

A positive way to differentiate you in the market place
Extremely useful tool to help you impact positively the relationship you have with your existing clients and consequently retain them, and ensure additional referrals
Certification training online which you can complete at any convenient time to ensure that you use tools effectively
Will lead clients to establish meaningful lifestyle goals in all aspects of their life. This will lead to quality discussions with you as they prioritize their choices and as they work with you to achieve their top priorities.
Wonderful tool for prospecting and to help you sell the coaching concept — Can open numerous doors for you
PowerPoint presentations, handouts and other support materials to help you in presenting the ELP in groups and for your marketing
Opportunity to be part of a Directory of Planners and be considered by the Corporate sector and visitors from the Internet for coaching or financial planning assignments.
Extremely cost effective

Benefits for your Clients

Extremely time and cost effective process to help your clients:

Plan a meaningful lifestyle for now and for their later years
Discuss and clarify their future dreams with their spouse/companion and with you
Start integrating a more balanced, meaningful approach immediately into you life
Consider the financial ramifications of their lifestyle choices

Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on March 19, 2002. 


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