MFJ Readers. This week we explore an interesting
twist to the usual articles on facilitation by reflecting
off of a recent "Yanni" concert I attended.
I was struck by what I could learn about facilitation
by observing this group perform. I summarized my reflections
in the article "What Yanni Taught Me About Facilitation,"
which includes some tips that review how we can apply
these insights to our work with ourselves and others.
note that I've scheduled the next "Random Acts
of Facilitation" Teleclass with a discount to MFJ
readers. See details and schedule at the bottom of this
If you or your colleagues
are interested in submitting an article for consideration,
your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.
Yanni Taught Me About Facilitation
Look everywhere for
attended a Yanni Concert in Las Vegas last weekend and was intrigued
by how much I could learn about facilitation by watching this
group's inspiring musical performance.
Empowerment. The first thing I noticed and appreciated
was the fact that Yanni not only invites musicians into his group
who perform at or beyond his own musical prowess, but he showcases
them and encourages them with a sense of reverance and pride in
"their" abilities. As the "leader" of the
band, Yanni's music tends to take a back seat to the performers
he highlights. He beams at them when they play, seemingly delighted
in their abilities and the opportunity to show them off.
Orchestration. As a composer and arrangeer, Yanni obviously
puts a great deal of preparation time into his band's perormances.
With around 25 members performing complex arrangements, with little
if any visible ques, he obviously puts a lot of work into orchestrating
this complex "process" performance in a fashion that
Embracing Diversity. I marvelled at the cultural diversity
in his group. Many, many races, nationalities, and musical styles
are represented, highlighted, and blended with exquisite taste
and beauty. In his introductory words before one of his performances,
he stated that they had assembled an miniature United Nations
where each loves the music they are able to make through this
mix while still loving their own cultures, countries, and roots.Through
this music, diverse peoples come together to celebrate the beauty
of their differences, while in the process, their performance
is strengthened and enriched by them.
Use of Story. Several times during his performance, Yanni
would tell a short story to paint a picture for us of the inspiration
or the setting of the piece that was to follow. This helped to
give the music more depth of meaning and caused me to listen more
closely to nuances and how they may relate to my life. His use
of story and humor enhanced my experience and interpretation of
Innovation. It seems that though there are scores of people
who reach a certain level of competence in a field, wheter it's
an apptitude in music, teaching, sports, or what have you, there
are a certain few who reach just a little farther such that there
work appears fresh, new, and above the fold. I thought about this
as I listended to many of Yanni's star musicians. They somehow
go a step further, or possibly surrender something within themselves,
so that what comes through them has an uncommon aliveness and
uniqueness that simply seems to bear the mark of not only mastery,
but of regenerative, limitless innovation.
review how the elements of facilitation discussed above can be
employed our groups.
Empowerment. Remember that the best facilitators, leaders,
teachers, and coaches are those who lift up and encourage those
whom they serve. Though you may be in front of the room, look
for opportunities to surrender the lime light to your participants.
See the group as theirs, and yourself as a catalyst for the realization
of their competence, mastery, and greatness.
Orchestration. Plan well for your processes. Pay attention
to not only the content you wish to deliver, and put extra effort
into the design of processes, mood, interactions, logistics, and
environment you wish to create to make it the most empowering
and effective engagement possible.
Embracing Diversity. Embrace and encourage the voicing
and expression of differences in your group. These differences
may take the form of race, culture, subculture, opinion, or beliefs.
Know that only by creating a space where they may be respectfully
voiced and heard will their harmonious integration be possible.
Healthy integration of diversity will weave a fabric of strength
and resiliency that will rival that of a homogenous group.
Use of Story. Encourage the use of short stories, music,
or metaphor to illustrate and enhance the points being made. These
forms of expression make our abstract thinking personal and easier
for everyone to relate to and understand.
Innovation. Challenge yourself and those you work with
to take that little extra effort to stretch just a little bit
more to better express, create, or imagine that which you seek
to attain as individuals or as a group. Imagine that the degree
of quality you achieve corresponds to your level of willingness
to stay with your process.
the extra mile with one or more of these elements of facilitation
with yourself or your groups this week. Please email
us your comments.
finds Yanni exploring familiar thematic territory (diversity
+ harmony = international brotherhood) in search of fresh musical
ideas. While ethnicity is the theme, the prevailing sound is
contemporary and attractively rhythmic with modest world music
and classical accents. Notable are Yanni's extensive use of
female voices and the disc's vivid, sparkling production. Yanni
offers an assortment of moods, from the celebratory, planetary-choir
sound (think Adiemus) on "Rites of Passage" to pulsing,
Deep Forest-like tribal chants, which sometimes click ("Tribal
Dream") and sometimes seem forced, a little Yanni-come-lately
("Never Too Late"). High points are the didgeridoo-driven
"Rainmaker" and the ethereal "At First Sight."
Overall, the disc's sound tilts more toward the heroic than
the romantic (a good trend), though some pieces (particularly
his mini-operettas) seem overly polite and a little starched.
Even so, Ethnicity is a compelling effort that indicates Yanni
is, happily, keeping in touch with his more adventurous musical
How do you use music, story, metaphor, etc. to inspire and
enliven your groups?
Please send your ideas,
exercises, strategies, etc. to ../contact.html
and I'll share with you all the inputs received.
for new facilitators and change agents.
and attitudes for the new facilitator or group member who
wants to get their group into serious motion.
Acts of Facilitation, 5-Day Teleclass
This class will meet for five consecutive weekdays April 21-25,
2003 to cover 25+ facilitative actions you can take to empower
and move groups forward. This course is for beginning facilitators
or group members that simply want to know more about facilitation
so that they can make the groups they are a part of more effective.
the 5-Day Format/Training works...
1. You dial into your class every day for 5 days (Mon-Fri) for
a 30-minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. You work a 25-point checklist during the 5 days (about an hour
a day of study and field work) which you complete by Friday afternoon,
or sooner if you wish.
3. During the week, you may access the instructor via email for
help or situational questions.
Random Acts of Facilitation Training Agenda...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...
Introduction to the Facilitation and
Self Facilitation Skills.
1. Create the Ambience.
2. Share the Dream.
3. Get Facilitation
5. Me First.
Relating with compassion and understanding.
6. Be Ignorant.
7. Make Smiles Happen.
8. Hold 'em High.
9. Acknowledge the Elephant.
10. Turn on Your Crap-Detector.
Dynamics and Facilitation
11. Build the Container.
12. Build trust.
13. Mine the Unexpected.
14. Evolve Your Team.
15. Honor the Process.
16. Facilitate Full Participation
and Presenting yourself confidently, professionally, and authentically.
17. Prepare for Success.
18. Get Real.
19. Make Experiences, Not Speeches
20. Watch the Body Talk.
21. Be your message
Intervening to shift group energy
22. Tame the Tormentors.
24. Use the Struggle.
25. Break through barriers.
26. Facilitate from Within.
27. Embrace Facilitation as a Master's Path
to you of participating from the 5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of facilitation
skills if you are contemplating becoming a facilitator, team leader,
board member, manager, mediator, etc.
2. Never waste another minute in an ineffective meeting again.
3. Learn how to challenge and empower every group you come in
4. Learn skills to help groups make quantum leaps in their effectiveness.
5. Be a catalyst for positive change in your community.
Also included with your
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:
1. Free access to the participant-only website (lots of resources,
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.
3. Free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value).
The full cost of training/access is only $79 for MFJ readers ($89
for the general public) including a free copy of the Portable
Article Bank ($29 value). Everything you read about above is included.
And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.
here and you'll be taken to the teleclass registration
page. Register there and you'll see your discount computed and
applied as you check out. Immediately upon completion of your
registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access
the course and free article bank.
This course is limited to 20 individuals, first come, first served.
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. (Why? Because
we are sensitive to the fact that you are buying an e-course/product
from us and we feel that if this package isn't EXACTLY what you
expected or wanted, that you should be able to get 100% of your
money back. This policy completely removes the buying risk for
you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.)
you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.
Look for your next issue on March 11, 2003.
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