Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0503, August 30, 2011

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Dear Friends,

Society programs us for quick fixes. There's the right answer or the right leader somewhere out there just beyond our grasp that will solve the social or economic problem of the day. Our "healthcare" system is a perfect reflection of this mentality now that there's a pill available to mask the innumerable symptoms that arise from unhealthy environments and lifestyles. The solutions to any complex problem are seldom magical or dramatic. They almost always arrive as a result of small, methodical actions taken on a regular basis.

In this week's article Embrace the Plateau we discuss the path of mastery, the inevitable plateaus that we'll encounter along this path, and some detours to be aware of along the way. These plateaus we'll likely experience facilitators as will many of the long standing groups we might encounter.

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you. We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community and please continue to send your wonderful feedback on this ezine and can better serve you.


Steve Davis


assessment primer
This Meeting Sux

The Point

Embrace the Plateau
Positive efforts to improve group functioning don't always yield immediate observable results.

Self Mastery Skill

The path of mastery, directed at improving yourself as a facilitator, or toward any other capacity, does not unceasingly produce visible results. As we grow as facilitators, or as we support groups to grow in their capacity to relate and function in higher, healthier ways, we are bound to reach "plateaus" where forward progress may appear to stall.

When we reach such a plateau, it is tempting to either try something else, or to become frustrated that we're not making progress and simply quit all together. In actuality, when progress seems to elude you or your groups, it may be time to try something else, but it also may be time to just stay the course.

The idea of mastery is elusive to the majority of Americans. According to George Leonard, author of a book entitled "Mastery," he suggests that American society is engaged in an all out war against mastery. This is brought on primarily by the demands of a consumer-oriented economy requiring unchecked growth. This growth requires the cultivation and maintenance of a belief and value system that says a quick fix for any and everything is as close as your next purchase. He suggests clearly that the heart of mastery is practice and that mastery itself is staying on the path.

If you are discouraged for lack of forward motion despite your best efforts, take heart in the possibility that integration and grounding may be occurring that may form a foundation for the next forward leap in your growth.


Leonard characterizes three different personality types that avoid mastery. We may fall into one or more of these types from time to time in our various pursuits.

There's the "Dabbler" who will try a little bit of everything. Quickly tiring when the initial excitement of a new pursuit begins to dull, off he goes to try the next new thing.

The "Hacker" will get fairly proficient at a skill but will typically stop when he reaches a plateau, never quite achieving mastery.

The "Obsessive" enjoys the act and the tools that go with the skill she is about to undertake. She will buy all the best gear, books, tutors, etc. on the subject, almost enjoying the furnishings more than the undertaking itself. Once she's got all the tools, her interest wears thin.

Leonard tells us that embracing the plateau is the key to mastery. Where are you with respect to your plateaus this week?

Add Your Comments


This week, look at your own approach to dealing with plateaus in general and around facilitation in particular. Anything you'd like to do differently the next time you're on one? I'd love to hear you're perspectives on this. Just click on Add Your Comments to share your questions, feedback, or experience on this topic.

This Week's Offer

Teleclass for facilitators and group members.

Discrete skills and attitudes for the new and experienced facilitator who wants to get their group into serious motion.

I want to thank you for designing a course that lived up to its advertisement. I found the daily curriculum practical and thought provoking. The ideas developed each day created foundations for the lessons to follow. Many "acts of facilitation" were immediately applicable to my facilitation practice. The tone of each class was a supportive learning environment. Each class ended on a note of high-energy with encouraging words and an opportunity for feedback. --Steven Pyser, J.D., Consultant--

Random Acts of Facilitation, 5-Day Teleclass

This is a pre-recorded that covers 25 facilitative actions you can take to empower and move groups forward. This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for beginning facilitators, group leaders, or group members who simply want to know more about facilitation so that they can make their groups more effective. These "discrete" acts of facilitation also lend themselves to being taught to your group members who desire to become more self-facilitative.

5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Introduction to the Facilitation and Self Facilitation Skills.

1. Set the Stage.
2. Share the Dream.
3. Get Facilitation
4. Juggling.
5. Me First.

Relating with compassion and understanding.

6. Be Ignorant.
7. Make Smiles Happen.
8. Hold 'em High.
9. Acknowledge the Elephant.
10. Turn on Your Crap-Detector.

Group Dynamics and Facilitation

11. Build the Container.
12. Build trust.
13. Mine the Unexpected.
14. Evolve Your Team.
15. Honor the Process.
16. Facilitate Full Participation

Organizing and Presenting yourself confidently, professionally, and authentically. 

17. Prepare for Success.
18. Get Real.
19. Make Experiences, Not Speeches
20. Watch the Body Talk.
21. Be your message

Intervening to shift group energy

22. Tame the Tormentors.
23. CareFront.
24. Use the Struggle.
25. Break through barriers.
26. Facilitate from Within.
27. Embrace Facilitation as a Master's Path

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation Training...
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of facilitation skills if you are contemplating becoming a facilitator, team leader, board member, manager, mediator, etc.
2. Never waste another minute in an ineffective meeting again.
3. Learn how to challenge and empower every group you come in contact with.
4. Learn skills to help groups make quantum leaps in their effectiveness.
5. Be a catalyst for positive change in your community.

Also included with your training...
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:
1. Comprehensive 15-page Student Learning Guide.
Free access to the participant-only website (lots of resources, forms, etc.).
3. Free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value).

I would recommend to anyone who wants to experience excellent modeling of what good facilitation is, to sign up for this teleclass. --Elain Wylie, Life Coach--

Self-Guided 5-Day MP3 Version
You'll be provided with access to three separate recorded offerings of the five-hour teleclass (15 hours total) that you can listen to online and follow along in the learning guide is used in the live class. Click here to purchase for $79. We will also include a free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value) with your purchase.


Please click here to purchase.

Self-Guided 5-Day CD Version
The Compact Disk (CD) version comes with all of the self-guided features listed above, together with 5 CD's you'll receive by mail that you can listen to anywhere you have access to a CD player.


Click here to purchase the CD Version for $89
plus $4 Shipping and Handling

About the satisfaction guarantee
If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this training, 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.

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