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



Click here to view new MFJ magic meeting mug!

Click here
to learn more about a new Virtual University for Facilitators.

Click Here
to View 
Table of Contents
. Reseller rights available!

The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0079 | November 12, 2002
5,500 Subscribers

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

From the Publisher: 

Hello MFJ Readers. This issue encourages you to enlist in a movement I'm beginning called, "Random acts of Facilitation." Learn how to play your part in saving the world from millions of wasted hours in boring, poorly facilitated meetings.

Also please check out our new little "Magic Meeting Mug." This is a necessary tool to be included within the arsenal of those joining the above movement. Tell your friends and colleagues. The time is now!

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading! 
Steve Davis


Random Acts of Facilitation
Everyone is a facilitator sometime.

The Point

A facilitator supports and maintains effective processes (meeting dynamics) so that participants can most effectively focus on the content or the substance of their work together.

But lets face it, the vast majority of meetings being held this moment, and those thousands more that will be held in the next hour, and every hour thereafter, ad infinitum, will be boring as hell, and a poor use of time. Why? Because they aren't being effectively facilitated. Your average participant doesn't figure they need a facilitator to help run a routine meeting. Right? After all, we've all been to hundreds of meetings. It's no big thing to hold a stupid meeting. Is it?

No you're absolutely right. It's easy to hold a "Stupid" meeting. Unfortunately, that's the way most of them turn out. And it's because few of us see the importance of "meeting process." This is America by God! This is the land of opportunity, of production. We're the land of independence. The land with the "can do" attitude. We know how to get things done here!

That's absolutely correct. We are great at getting things done. We are masters at producing. Where we now need a little help is on "how" we get things done. On our people processes. 


Each and everyone one of us who have sat through boring, non-productive, out of focus, "I'm wasting my time here" meetings can stop complaining and start doing something now!  

I am calling on each and every one of you, no matter how low on the totem pole you might reside, to begin a personal campaign I'm calling, "Random acts of Facilitation." As a devotee of this movement, you are directed to begin asking questions about the meetings you're in. Questions that will invigorate and empower you and your peers. Here is your assignment, and I urge you to accept it

You will begin to see to it that a clear agenda is presented at the meeting. If it isn't, request that one be developed either in the moment or that the meeting disband and reconvene at a later time until one is prepared.

If a meeting is begun among strangers without any introductions or simple acts of relating, you will speak out and suggest spending five minutes to go around the room and have people share something about themselves. After all, do you want to do business with total strangers when you don't have to?

If someone is hogging the air time, you will speak up and thank them for their great input and suggest that others be heard from too.

Long before you've been meeting for 3 hours straight without a break, with your eyeballs floating, you'll request a short recess to accommodate personal needs and to just stretch and rejuvenate yourselves.

When the energy is so heavy in the room you feel like you're smothering, you will say something funny to make people laugh. The fog will lift, things will start moving again. You will risk being the "fool." People will thank you later.

When someone suggests a valid action during the meeting without assigning a responsible party and completion date, you will jump in and suggest that it be assigned, without feeling obligated to take it on yourself.

Trust your intuition. When something feels "off," say so. You don't have to have all the answers. Just know that your intuition never lies and if you feel something, others may as well. Your courage will inspire others to speak. The collective unspoken, given voice, will bring previously undiscovered wisdom, knowledge, and energy into the room. Great things will happen. Can you handle that?

That's it. You've got your marching orders. You can do this! I have faith in you. Now go forth and boldly go where no lowly meeting participant has gone before. Into the mysterious and powerful universe of group synergy, where there's a surprise around every corner. Where magic happens! Bless you my fellow change miesters.


Join the above campaign today. Be bold! Take immediate control of your time. You don't have all that much. Don't waste it!  I'd love to hear what happens for you. Please email me your comments.

Meeting Power Questions

The next time you're at a meeting, see if yoiu can answer each of these questions in the affirmative. If you can't, ask yourself, what do I need to do now to correct this?

Do we have a clear agenda and purpose? 
Have we identified desired outcomes?
Is this meeting being competently facilitated?
Are we staying on course and on time?
Is everyone engaged and participating?
Do I need to be at
this meeting?
Have we had sufficient break time?

Am I doing all I can as a participant to make this a great meeting?
Are we leaving with clearly assigned actions?

Check out our Magic Meeting Mug below. It has these questions clearly embossed upon it. Make it the symbol of our collective  movement

cartoon image of a talking man.

Reader Survey 

How can facilitation impact world affairs?

We know that the art of facilitation is desperately needed anywhere groups of people band together to accomplish something. Please share with us your view on how facilitation is being or could be used to impact the course of world events in positive ways. We are interested in hearing anything you know on this subject. Please email me your responses and I'll send you all of those I receive.

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

About the Author
Steve Davis is a Facilitator's Coach helping leaders enhance their effectiveness through the application and perspective of facilitation. Please email or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session, or to share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. 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


Introducing the MFJ "Magic Meeting Mug!"

Lets quit wasting so much time in meetings that don't work. Arm your people with these magic mugs now! This mug will not only hold your coffee, it will also help you hold great meetings!  Great holiday gift idea.

Click Here to Purchase. $12.99

Front of Cup

Back of Cup

Meeting Power Questions.

Do we have a clear agenda and purpose? 
Have we identified desired outcomes?
Is this meeting being competently facilitated?
Are we staying on course and on time?
Is everyone positively engaged and participating?
Do I need to be at
this meeting?
Have we had sufficient break time?

Am I doing all I can to make this a great meeting?
Are we leaving with clearly assigned actions? 

Get everyone to practice asking these questions of themselves during their meetings and empower them to take actions necessary to get an affirmative answer to each of them. Then watch your meetings get interesting! What if people started getting more done in less time and actually started looking forward to them?

Click Here
to purchase your mugs now.

Comments or Suggestion? 
Please send your comments to ../contact.html

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

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

Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.