Master Facilitator Journal, the ezine for facilitators.  


Skill of the Week


Home | Skill of the Week | Archives | Resources | Forums | Advertising
Life Coaching | About Us | Contact Us
| Subscribe


The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0064| July 30, 2002
5,700 Subscribers


Critical Thinking Skill-Building for Facilitators-- Know What You Know, and What You Don't Know

The Point

Last week, Metacognition was introduced as the first tool for improving critical thinking. Assessing your knowledge-base is the first step in Metacognition.

To improve critical thinking skills, you must assess what it is you know and don't know. This does not mean counting every fact you know - it means analyzing the areas where you have a lot of knowledge and identifying the areas in which you know nothing or very little.


Often we know a lot about a subject because it interests us. For example, if you like to cook you may know a great deal about food. Those who hate cooking may know little about food. You may know a lot about personal finances but next to nothing about corporate finances. No one has expertise in every area!
We may know a lot about something because we are gifted in that area. 

For example, those who have mechanical abilities know more about how machines work than those who don't. You may have a lot of knowledge about language because you are a gifted writer, but have no real knowledge about music because you have no music talent.

Having a broad knowledge-base in a subject doesn't mean you know everything about it. Even when you know a lot about a topic, it is important to keep an open, inquisitive mind in the critical thinking process! One advantage in knowing the areas in which you have some expertise is this: your confidence is legitimate when you take a position based on accurate self-awareness of your knowledge strengths.

Knowing what you don't know leads you to become a better thinker by motivating you to ask for help or to put more effort into strengthening areas of weakness. Knowing what you don't know and admitting it will make you more credible when you decide to take a position on a subject. Asking for help when you need it and looking for more knowledge can become your strengths, rather than your weaknesses.

In facilitation, an awareness of what knowledge the group brings to the process will help you facilitate problem-solving based on the strengths of the group. You can help the group tap its collective gifts! Knowing the areas of weakness in the group's knowledge will help you direct the process to the task of gathering more information in order to produce a better outcome.

The next article in the series will discuss the issues of bias, emotion, and conditioning in the critical thinking process. Stay tuned!

About the Author

Deborah Osborne is a consultant, a crime analyst, a poet, and a book author. She has a BA in psychology, worked eight years in applied behavioral analysis, holds an MA in Social Policy, and is a MENSA member. She is available to assist you in becoming a better thinker through personal coaching - write to her at for more information about consulting and/or coaching services.


This week, make three lists in your journal. List as many of the following as you can think of at the moment:
- The subjects/areas in which you know a lot.
- The subjects/areas where you know nothing or very little.
- The subjects where you know something but not enough to have any confidence in your knowledge-base.

Add to this list regularly. The point is to become aware. Don't look at this as a negative process because we never are expected to know everything. In fact, it is a serious fault if you think you do! The lists will help you recognize some areas that you may want to increase your knowledge and thus increase your thinking confidence. Self-awareness is the foundation of meta-thinking! Please email me your comments.

cartoon image of a talking man.

Reader Survey 

Please share your experiences and perspectives around the use of facilitation in relationships and family life.

We'd like to hear about your experiences as either a facilitator or participant in working with families and/or intimate relationships. What is unique about facilitation and/or the role of the facilitator in this arena? Please email me your inputs and I'll send the entire collection to those who contribute.

If you know someone who might benefit and enjoy this newsletter, please send this link to a friend.

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

The costs associated with preparing, editing and distributing the Master Facilitator Journal are covered 100% by our daily sponsor.  If you're curious about becoming a sponsor, view details here.

  The Graduate School of Coaching Curriculum
1,000 hours of live training via TeleClass including coaching proficiencies, communication style training, frameworks, advanced coaching skills, leadership proficiencies, situational solutions, environmental design, life design training and 'edge' training.

Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
  Graduate School of Corporate Coaching 
This curriculum for the Graduate School of Corporate Coaching launches January 3, 2003, and is included in your GSC tuition. 
Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
from a coach in the gsc....

I want to be one of the best coaches out there...
I joined GSC because the quality of everything that CoachVille does always delivers much more value than the cost.  I love being involved with cutting edge/creative projects.  The training I receive, opportunity to serve as a mentor coach, and program licenses will allow me to be one of the best coaches out there!
Ann Ronan, Ph.D. 
909-941-0426    Certified Career Coach

more testimonials here
  Access to/use of 1,000 3-Step Training Modules
You may use these MicroModules supplement your coaching (giving clients something to focus on between sessions) and/or use them to conduct workshops or presentations on many aspects of life and business including self discovery/assessment, business strategy, leadership, personal development, marketing and more.  Many of the MicroModules include a lifetime teaching license as well.

Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
  Specialty training to become a Certified Mentor Coach
Interested in coaching or mentoring newer coaches?  Then this 50-hour live (or RealAudio, if you prefer) training by TeleClass is exactly what you'll need to provide your mentees with the tools and training they will need.
Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
from a coach in the gsc....

I want my coach training to be leading edge...
I joined the GSC because after I graduated from another school, I wanted to make sure that my coach training was still leading edge. I was a founding member of CoachVille and I highly value the constant tweaking of programs and learning. I know the GSC will continue to deliver this.  I have previously been the recipient of great coaching insight, I knew that the graduate school would continue this great insight, so it made sense to join especially in view of a price increase.
Carlton SooHoo

Coach Carlton 
more testimonials here
  CD's with 100+ hours of RealAudio training/materials
During 2002/2003, you will receive 4 CD's (one per quarter) which contains the RealAudio and text versions of the MicroModules, GSC Training, specialty trainings and more on a convenient CD format
Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
  Practice Development/Marketing Tools and eCourses
You receive 5 free listings in the new Coaching Mall, the full Practice 90 day step by step program, the Passive Revenue eCourse, the Winning Website for Coaches live TeleClass/Webtour, premium placement for your listing at,  and up to 5 RealAudio greetings for your website(s).
  14 Client Coaching Programs w/ teaching licenses
These are awesome!  You can take the RealAudio/web version yourself and also teach these to groups, royalty-free!
  eCourse Rebroadcast Rights 
You receive rights to rebroadcast several of our ecourses including Certified Cyber, Absence Of, Perfect Life and others.
  Cool Stuff
Every GSC'er is shipped a Coach Cap and Coach lapel pin upon entering the GSC
  $100 Discount to selected CoachVille Conference and Intensives
Includes the Toronto September 2002 conference as well as any of the Mentor Coach Intensives being held this fall 2002.
Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
from a coach in the gsc....

I know I'll get a huge return on my investment...
About 5 years ago, I stumbled across Thomas Leonard's website. Part of that site was a single web page that listed all the projects he was developing at that time-about 100 of them. I was tired just reading through all his ideas, but also fascinated. How could one person generate so much interesting information? After years of watching the development of his programs and benefiting from his generous sharing of methods and experience, I'm still amazed at his ability to generate cutting-edge, provocative, and highly marketable information. Joining the GSC was really a no-brainer. Based on past experience I know I'll get a huge return on my investment. Note: I'm not a Thomas Leonard ""groupie."" I haven't been trained by Coach U. And I don't agree with everything he does or says. But the man is a coaching and marketing genius. His ability to offer loads of useful coach training and information at bargain prices is what makes participating in the GSC a no-brainer--especially at the current pre-launch price.
Ken Kesslin

President, Kesslin Associates Inc., Success Coaching & Training
| | 212.865.2999

more testimonials here
  Specialty certifications
You receive access to the web/RealAudio versions of the Certified Strategist, Certified Critical Eye, Certified 5Day TeleClass Leader Programs.
more info coming
  Best Practices Database
This database rolls out in December 2002.
Exclusively available for GSC'ers.
from a coach in the gsc....

My clients and my practice will benefit...
As a Business Results Coach, I joined the Graduate School of Coaching because I have already experienced the high quality of coaching materials and support as a CoachVille member, buddy coach and a study group host. The flexibility and variety of technology supported learning and "doing" options make sense to me.  My clients and my practice will benefit from my opportunity to use and contribute to the development of advanced coaching materials (skill and competency modules, Business and Corporate situational training, best practices database and quick score tools).  The invitation to have fresh content, advanced curriculum, intellectual stimulation and better coaching fit my commitment to be the best possible coach I can be and my passion for learning.  While it will take months to achieve the full Certified Coach and Certified Mentor Coach designations, I know I will be able to immediately apply the learnings with clients and increase the value of my practice.
Franne McNeal


more testimonials here

click here to join the gsc

Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on August 6, 2002.   

Home | About Us | Skill of the Week | Forums | Archives | Advertising
Resources | Life Coaching | Contact Us | Subscribe

Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.