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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0067| August 20, 2002
5,700 Subscribers

Training Skill

Quit Teaching. Facilitate Learning-- Part II

The Point

This week, we continue exploring the application of facilitation skills to teaching and training. We'd also like to hear your thoughts on this issue and about those areas you'd like to see us focus on in future issues. Please email me your comments.


6. Allow students to be masters of their own fate. We were all trained in a system that required us to be passive consumers of information. As a result, many learners, adults and children alike, are not accustomed to taking responsibility for their learning experience. It's to your benefit and theirs to offer them a creative role in determining the direction and content of their learning experience. Invite them to become partners in determining the direction of the course, its instruction, evaluation of content, and facilitator performance. In addition, encouraged them to influence the definition of the intended outcomes for the course.

7. Make failure obsolete. Training and education better supports the learner when a comprehensive performance-based evaluation system is used that focuses less on competition, success, and failure; and more on degrees of competence. Seek to define competencies that the course or training will enhance and develop systems of feedback that indicate degrees of competence in predetermined skill areas. With this approach, varying degrees of success are achieved and there is no failure. 

8. Seek out and expect brilliance from your students. We must allow our students to fall down and pick themselves up so that they become stronger on their own. We must be willing to let their interests inform our curriculum and sometimes, even "loose control" so to speak, to allow the student's passion and true needs to become visible. This approach may at times seem chaotic, but stepping through chaos will provide all of us practice dealing with persistent change that is a constant in modern society. By looking for the inherent brilliance in our students, we'll help them to see it in themselves and build upon it. 

9. Remember, There are no dumb students, only ineffective learning facilitators.  Not every student responds to one teaching style. For instance, a very gifted kinesthetic (hands-on) learner may appear ignorant when continually presented with aural or visual information via books and lectures. To be more effective, learning facilitators must know students' individual learning styles and temperaments to provide learning opportunities that accommodate everyone. 

10. Be willing to risk using alternative learning approaches relevant to the student's interests and motivations. Be willing to experiment with the ways you deliver your material to different groups. Then have them assess how effective it was based on the outcomes attained. Seek to connect with your students on their terms. After all, they are your customers!


Assess your performance as a facilitator/trainer in the above areas. Choose one of them to focus on this week. Journal about your challenges and gains in this area and commit to at least one new action to implement in your facilitation practice. Please email me your comments.

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Reader Survey 

How are you using facilitation skills in your teaching or training work?

Please email me your tips, ideas, approaches, and benefits of applying facilitation skills as a teacher or trainer. 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.

Advanced Facilitation & Consulting Skills Practicum
Using Self As Instrument
With Linda Lehtonen 

October 7-11, 2002, Bowen Island, 
near Vancouver, Canada 

Who Should Attend
· Leaders, facilitators and professionals who want to deepen their leadership, facilitation, teambuilding, consulting skills or human relations skills
· Anyone seeking a quantum growth in self awareness and awareness of self in relation to others.

Workshop Objectives
1. Increase your understanding of individual, team and organizational functioning by understanding systems theory
2. Understand more about your own team behavior
3. Learn how to facilitate teams to high performance
4. Learn to assess problems and help teams to resolve interpersonal conflicts
5. Develop strategies and design interventions for team building
6. Learn to use self as the instrument of change
7. Utilize a framework of interventions consistent with your own style and organizational culture
8. Understand how you get in your own way in facilitating groups

Principles Which Guide This Program
Trust your hunches - learn to use your feelings as a group barometer
Trust the process - learn to detach from outcome and let go of your need to control
Be authentic in your role - learn how to develop your character and forget about your reputation
Meet people where they are - learn to be in a place of compassion, integrity and love instead of fear.
Be present and grounded- learn to be fully in the moment and mindful of all that is going on 

These principles guide the facilitation process. Each principle is explored fully in the 5-day workshop. Participants will be both members of consulting teams and facilitators/consultants to another team. This will enable you to experience working your own team issues. Your team will contract work with another team, diagnose their needs, design and implement an intervention. The workshop is primarily experiential with theoretical inputs. This is an intense residential program which involves some evening work.

What People Say
"…better presentations [according to my reviewers] by staying in the moment that Linda demonstrates so very well ......also did a special presentation about the 'heart connection' these are the two constants and most enduring facets I have taken from the seminar. They serve me more every day in the way I present myself... I can just be and lessen my judgment and opinion mindset..." -John Sweetnam, President, CDS Group of Companies 

"My experience attending Linda's Advanced Facilitation Skills course vastly exceeded my expectations. What I learned about my own effect on group interaction and about my personal reaction to some group dynamics has continually improved my skill and confidence as a facilitator. I've recommended this course to many of my colleagues and all have returned from the experience with a sense of renewal and excitement."-- Linda Padfield, Director of Organizational Development, Inco 

"Within 1 hour of beginning our 5-day retreat, Linda created an environment that invited direct talk about deeply felt issues. Her own willingness to be transparent to others invites like disclosure. Her compassion, skillful discernment, and sense of humor, provide loving challenge and new insights for everyone in the room! -- Karen Shuttleworth, Educator/Facilitator, St. Joseph's Health Centre 

About Linda Lehtonen
Linda is a master facilitator who has worked all over the globe. She is able to facilitate groups from a place of extreme conflict, confusion and chaos, and "stuckness" to a place of productivity, harmony and community. She has developed her ability to intuitively tune in to individuals and groups and cut to the heart of what might be blocking people from moving forward and living more calmly and healthfully. She works with people from a place of authenticity, profound respect and compassion. 

Linda believes in giving people practical tools to help them live more fully and serve others in their organizations. Three major guiding principles she works from are to trust her hunches, to trust the process, and to be authentic. Her work has had a profound impact on thousands of people in helping them transform themselves, 
the workplace and their lives.

About Katherine Maas 
Katherine Maas will be joining Linda for the Bowen Island program. She is a personal coach and learning consultant with over 20 years experience developing leaders and facilitators. Throughout her varied career, her focus has always been on improving human and organizational effectiveness by improving human systems, communication, and relationships. She facilitates from a passionate belief that personal and interpersonal mastery are essential prerequisites for successful and balanced groups and organizations. 

A continuous learner, Katherine holds an MA and has completed extensive human relations training. She reads voraciously and excels at cross-disciplinary thinking. 

Location, Costs, and Registration

Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada (near Vancouver)
Dates: October 6-11, 2002

Where: Bowen Lodge by the Sea, Bowen Island, BC. A peaceful, natural setting only 20 minutes by ferry from Vancouver. A car is not required on Bowen Island, though you may choose to bring one. You can take a bus or cab to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal to catch the Bowen Island Ferry. Ferry service is approximately hourly from about 6 am until about 9:30 pm. For exact schedule information, see or phone BC Ferries at (250) 386-3431.

Cost: CDN$ 3084.20 single occupancy (all taxes included) 
CDN$ 2896.70 double occupancy (all taxes included)
A good deal for US residents: Canadian dollar is worth approximately $0.65 US. Price includes 5 nights accommodation and all meals, beginning with dinner at 6 pm October 6 through lunch October 11. The program finishes at noon on October 11. 

Information and Registration: Contact Katherine Maas at 604-985-2245, or email


Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on August 27, 2002.   

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