Hello MFJ Readers. I've been on the road for a little over two
weeks, and in the interest of my own self-care--I'm taking a
pseudo-break from being creative by rerunning a previous article
on that very topic. Holding an effective "container"
as a facilitator requires our best. So please take a few minutes
to review some tips on being your best by attending to your
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!
and Feeding of the Master Facilitator
Care and prepare yourself
physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to maintain
is a demanding role that can take its toll on you if you are not
prepared at all levels. A master facilitator must have
fine-tuned awareness and intuition to sense and act on the
nuances of group process. She must stand tall in the face of
conflict, willing to walk participants through to its resolution
if required. She sometimes endures standing in a room for long
hours, staying attuned to everything going on. She can't afford
to space out and miss something important to the process. It may
even be true that the facilitator, acting as a coach and role
model, will challenge participants only to the level of her
So how can we fortify ourselves for this awesome and challenging
task we call facilitation? Will Spinach on Special K for
breakfast do the trick? Or is there more? Though there are some
things that you can do for yourself shortly before each event,
there are also "habits" that take time to develop and
cultivate over time, just as the Olympic athlete cultivates and
prepares to maintain herself in peak condition to meet the
demands of competition. We'll review some examples of these
habits and practices below.
Whatever nurturing habits you decide to cultivate, just be
assured that if they help you to nurture the high energy,
awareness, and perseverance of a facilitative leader, you'll be
a model for others and a master of your fate no matter what role
are many self-care actions we can take that will have immediate
impact on our ability to be present and attuned to our work as
facilitators. Here are a few examples in each of four major
- Eat light and healthy, especially prior to a facilitation
session. Heavy food, sodas, coffee, or junk food will not
support you. It will impact your ability to pay attention and
reduce your endurance.
- Pamper yourself with massages, hot baths, spa visits, etc. to
help you relax and to affirm your self-worth. These actions are
a message to yourself that you are important and so are those
with whom you work.
- Breathe! Pay attention to your breathing while facilitating.
This is particularly important during moments of stress when we
tend to shallow breath. Steady, deep, and slow breathing will
help keep you present, and provide your brain cells with optimal
levels of oxygen for acute mental clarity.
- Check the messages you're sending to yourself prior to your
facilitated events. If you hear negative, self-defeating, or
judgmental thoughts, stop and replace them with thoughts about
how you'd ideally like things to turn out. Most successful
people talk about visualizing their success prior to it
happening. Yet most of us are drawn to visualizing failure. Our
thoughts about what might happen are only fantasy anyway, so
doesn't it make sense to win in your own fantasy?
- Attend to any nagging feelings you might have about anything
prior to your event. If something is bothering you that can be
handled with a quick conversation or action on your part, get it
handled so it's not sapping energy from you while you're
facilitating. If you have heavy feelings about something that
can't be handled right away, give yourself permission to have
the feelings. Express what you can through journaling,
conversation with a friend, or private reflection prior to the
event and make an appointment with yourself at a time when you
can deal with this issue further.
- Grounding, centering, or connecting with the source are very
important to effective facilitation. People use such practices
as meditation, prayer, Tai Chi, marshal arts, etc., to enhance
their connection with something greater than themselves.
Whatever you believe "something greater" to be, use
it. It will provide a source beyond your own ego to draw on when
things get tough.
assignment this week is to decide on at least one self-care
habit you're going to implement and practice it daily for
the entire week. Iím interested in hearing what happens for
you. Please email
me right away and let me know what happened. I'd love to hear
Time for Your Life : A Personal Coach's Seven-Step Program for
Creating the Life You Want,
by Cheryl Richardson
In Take Time for Your
Life, personal coach Cheryl Richardson shows you how to switch
from being stressed, unfulfilled, and overworked, to
"living a life you love" by using a seven-step
process. First, she gives you permission to "make the
quality of your life your top priority" by honoring your
self-care--a difficult choice for fast-track readers, but
essential. Putting yourself at the top of your "to do"
list will help you connect your head with your heart and enhance
your satisfaction and joy. Next, you define your priorities and
revise your schedule so it reflects them. Then you figure out
what actions, issues, and people are draining your energy and
start to "plug those drains." The next step is getting
your financial house in order. And so on, through seven
progressive strategies that free you to live an authentic,
high-quality life, embracing your spiritual, emotional, and
What self-care habits do you use to prepare or maintain
yourself as a Facilitator?
This week, we're asking for your input on this week's topic and
the question of self-care. Please share with us the special
things that you do for yourself to prepare yourself for
facilitation and/or the habits you use to keep you in "good
form" for facilitation. All those who respond
will be sent the entire collection of responses.
Thanks for your help in making the Master
the best facilitation resource site on the