Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0550, August 14, 2012

View Steve Davis's profile on LinkedIn
facilitatoru blog
Dear Friends,

If a picture says a thousand words
, how can facilitators use them to help their groups see the bigger picture? This issue, Facilitating With Pictures, explores graphic facilitation developed by The Grove Consultants International, a pictorial approach to facilitation. This approach to facilitation can increase participation, productivity, systems thinking, continuity, and joy in your work.

Winter Session of the Journey of Facilitation and Collaboration Workshop (JOFC). Our Winter session of the JOFC Workshop is now open for registration! We'll be meeting the week of January 14th in Madison Wisconsin. Come and experience a rare opportunity to learn an Integrally Informed Approach to Facilitation and Collaboration essential in grappling with the increasingly complex issues we face today in business, industry, government, and education. Click here for details and registration.

Without a doubt, this was one of the most informative, meaningful and useful experiences in my professional and personal growth paths ever! The skills acquired and reflection opportunities exceeded the high promise of previous participant's recommendations. I am so appreciative of this experience, and the difference it is making and will continue to make in my life.
--2012 Workshop Participant--

And, we're branching out. If you're interested in sponsoring a JOFC workshop in your area or for your company, please let us know!

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.


Steve Davis


facilitation checklists
virtual facilitation teleclass

The Point

Facilitating With Pictures
A picture says a thousand words. How are facilitators using them to
help their groups see the bigger picture?

Presentation Skill

Helping people work together more effectively is one of the biggest leadership challenges in today's organizations. Leaders have to know how to gain the active participation and committed support of team members who are often involved in other work that competes for their attention. Facilitation is the art of getting people to work together effectively.

Graphic facilitation brings the power of pictures and visual thinking to the meeting room. Graphic facilitators use a whole "keyboard" of strategies (the Group Graphics™ Keyboard) to make group process visible so that people can see what they are doing. Participation, systems thinking and continuity are some of the consistent results-along with real increases in productivity and the joy of creative work.


Graphic language, like music, has predictable, dynamic characteristics when it is used, or "played", quite apart from the specific content. These patterns flow from the process of creating the display, and the process needed to read it. At the Grove we've found that all variations are reflections of seven, archetypal patterns which are laid out in the Group Graphics™ Keyboard from simple to most complex. Learning these is a key to improvising actively with graphic language. They are:

Posters - which focus on a point
Lists - which generate a flow of points
Clusters - which active spatial comparisons of points or lists
Grids - which cross formal categories of information
Diagrams - which grow understanding through branching
Drawings - which animate meaning through metaphor
Mandalas - which show unity by centering all information

Each pattern is an artifact of the active process of creating it and has a built-in power which makes it more useful for some purposes than others. For instance, single images focus attention and are great for title posters. Lists flow in a linear fashion, and are therefore excellent for brainstorms and action lists. Clusters create a "space" where items are juxtaposed near each other, without connections. This invites the viewer to explore potential links and compare items.

Facilitators use the keyboard to think through a meeting or process design much like a composer might think about music, matching the formats to the different objectives of each stage. Since the simpler formats can nest into the more complex ones, there are many combinations and variations which is why graphic facilitation is such a rich, improvisational form. 

Adapted from Grove Consultants International. Go to to learn more about their approaches to facilitation and check out their secure online store of facilitation products and other tools.

Add Your Comments


How might you use graphic facilitation, or at least more graphics in your facilitation to be more effective with your groups? Please click on Add Your Comments to share your questions, feedback, or experience.
I'd love to hear from you.

This Week's Offer

30% off Transforming Conflict in the Workplace (coupon VIP30)

Transforming Conflict in the Workplace...

Would you be a more effective facilitator or leader with a more solid base of conflict resolution skills under your belt? 

All organizations and relationships encounter conflict. It's what we do with it that makes all the difference in the world.

Remove the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations in this 5-day teleclass series: Transforming Conflict in the Workplace, led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman.

o Did you know that everyone has a unique style and response to conflict? Knowing your styles and response is critical to effective conflict resolution.

o Do you feel comfortable modeling effective conflict resolution skills as a facilitator? This is one of the best ways to prevent conflict from escalating.

o Did you know that 80% of effective conflict management consists of effective interpersonal communication? Knowing how to facilitate this kind of communication is key to mining the positive energy of conflict.

o Do you know what it takes to establish conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations? This knowledge is in growing demand for facilitators, coaches, and consultants.

In this class you will learn conflict resolution skills for facilitative leaders by exploring and evaluating your own styles and personal responses conflict, learning and practicing conflict resolution strategies in the context of group facilitation, and exploring how you can implement conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations.

By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Know your own conflict resolution style and response to conflict.
  • Be able to employ effective conflict resolution strategies with any group.
  • Understand how to deal with impasse in groups.
  • Be able to recognize others conflict styles and responses.
  • Have more confidence in dealing with conflict in groups and organizations.
  • Know the keys to implementing conflict resolution and staff facilitation programs within organizations.
  • And much more..

How the 5-Hour Format/Training works...
1. Listen to the self-guided course and follow along with a recording of a live teleclass.
2. Work through a workbook during the 5 hours which will step you through key conflict resolution skills and strategies.
3 . Access to the instructor via email for specific help.

Course Outline...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Hour course...

Components of a Comprehensive Conflict Resolution Program

- The nine keys to designing and implementing an integrated conflict resolution program in your organization.
- Core strategies for facilitating effective responses to conflict so that all staff are invested in success.

Communication Skills and Strategies * The Heart of Conflict

- The three primary communication styles and their conflict style counterparts.
- Four key communication skills you need to effectively manage conflict.
- How to model these skills at critical points of conflict within groups.

Strategies to Understand and Manage Defensive Behaviors
- Two key strategies to managing your own defensive responses to conflicts that arise.
- Four ways to encourage assertive communication among group members to prevent conflict from escalating.
- Three keys to working with disagreement that will prevent conflict from occurring.

Collaborative Negotiation Strategies
- A six step model to assure the success of any negotiation.
- 10 Strategies for Managing Impasse.
- 8 Special Considerations for Managing Multi-Party Disputes.
- Five types of power essential to identify to facilitate conflict management.

Synthesis * Designing Staff Facilitation/ Mediation Systems to Transform Conflict in the Workplace
- Building the foundation of a staff facilitation program.
- Keys to the design and implementation a collaborative dispute settlement system.
- Key steps to starting your conflict mediation program or reviving a failed one.
- Individual Coaching and Q&A

Free bonuses included with your training...
In addition to the 5-Hour training described above, you also receive:

1. Free access to the MP3 version of the 5-Day training.

2. Access to the conflict resolution website established through the joint efforts of the Office of Human Resource Development and Office of Quality Improvement at UW-Madison. Use it as a resource to enhance your skills in conflict resolution and management.

Our price for this class is only $79. Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

Self-Guided MP3 Version
If you'd like to learn this material at your own pace and on your own schedule, you can purchase the real audio version of this teleclass complete with the workbook and all the other bonuses above. You'll be provided with access to recorded offerings of the five-hour teleclass (5 hours total) that you can listen to online and follow along in the workbook used in the live class.


Click here to purchase the
MP3 Version for $79


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.


©2001-2013. Powered by, Madison, WI.. All Rights Reserved.