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Carissa Wieler, Research Assistant: This class enhanced my self-confidence with facilitation as I realized it is much more than a set of techniques--it is a way of being with oneself, with a group, and with the world. It provided a more enlightened perspective on facilitation, different from traditional facilitation courses where there is more of a focus on "facilitative phrases" and techniques. Concepts were presented and then modeled by the facilitator, which was surprisingly effective. This course gave more of an "inner" perspective on facilitation. I recommend this course to anyone who has a willingness to stretch their facilitation skills.

Steven Pyser, J.D: I want to thank you for designing a course that lived up to its advertisement. I found the daily curriculum practical and thought provoking. The ideas developed each day created foundations for the lessons to follow. Many "acts of facilitation" were immediately applicable to my facilitation practice. The tone of each class was a supportive learning environment. Each class ended on a note of high-energy with encouraging words and an opportunity for feedback.

Donna Dunaway, Trainer/Consultant: This was my first teleclass and I was concerned about how we were going to get personally connected with everyone in this environment. I'm amazed and excited that I feel like I know these people already after only the first day. The fun activities you have us do really help to engage and connect us.

The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0093| March 25, 2003
6,700 Subscribers

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

From the Publisher: 

Hello MFJ Readers. Sometimes facilitators are called upon to educate group members on how to be more effective as a participant. This week's article explores perspectives on creating stronger and more flexible groups by increasing the awareness of individuals within them.

At the end of the article, we announce t
he next scheduled "Random Acts of Facilitation" Teleclass with a discount to MFJ readers. See details, schedule, and testimonials at the bottom of this issue.

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

Steve Davis


Be in the Group But Not of it

Help individuals understand how to be more effective group members.

The Point

As social creatures, most of us need to feel part of something. We may be attracted to a particular group for a number of reasons. We may believe strongly in it's cause, enjoy the activity or adventure with which it's engaged, or we may simply enjoy the safety and validation we feel as a member. Let's face it, it's comfortable, easy, and even fun to be with a group that shares your interests, that understands you, and whom you understand as well. You can laugh together, cry together, commiserate over life's many challenges, and celebrate mutual victories.

The attributes of group membership are clear. But what about the down side? Have you ever been in a group where you were in a minority and you felt that you didn't quite belong? This could have manifested as either a minority idea, opinion, point of view, or ethnicity. You could have had this experience within a family group, a company, a community organization, a church, or even within your very own country. Though you may have felt for some time that you didn't quite fit in, you chose to stay with the group anyway. Perhaps because you believed in the group's larger vision, or you deeply cared for others in the group, or the price of leaving was just too high.

So how does one reap the benefits of being in a group without being corrupted by it? That is, how does one benefit from the fellowship, support, and validation a group offers, and still enjoy the freedom of showing up as an individual with viewpoints that are sometimes at odds with those of the group? After all, diversity of opinions, ideas, and perspectives are what allows a group to evolve in a way that continues to serve the evolving needs of its members. How can one be in a group but not of it? How can one use their divergent opinions and points of view to fuel the group's growth, even when growth may mean its dissolution?


How does one become an enlightened group follower/leader? Here are some suggestions for using your group experience as an opportunity for personal growth.
  • If you feel compelled to express a minority viewpoint, explore your motivation for doing so. Is it to help the group to grow, to see a relevant and larger perspective? Or are you needing to express something that can be handled outside the group?

  • Paradox is often a signpost of a greater truth. Practice holding paradox by embracing apparent contradictions and differences within your group. This practice expands your heart and mind and allows more inclusive patterns to emerge.

  • Practice tolerating the disapproval of others. As Abraham Maslow said, one sign of a self-actualized person is their ability to not require the good opinion of others.

  • Ask yourself how this group is meeting your needs. Find other healthy ways to get these needs met with your ultimate goal of not needing the group at all. Group members who don't feel they need to be part of the group are among its most valuable members.

  • Model inclusiveness. Know that what you say, how you say it, and your attitude toward others will impact the group either positively or negatively. Learn to express your differences with a note of compassion and acceptance of those with whom you disagree.

  • When you're able to rise above group polarity, notice how you use this perspective. Are you using it to escape, or are you sharing you ascendant point of view to help others see more clearly


This week, review how you show up in the groups you are a part of. What actions can you take to be a more powerful force for its and your own transformation? I'd love to hear you're perspectives on this. Please email them to me.

Skill Related Resource 
Stereotype Accuracy: Toward Appreciating Group Differences
by Yueh-Ting Lee, Lee J. Jussim, Clark R. McCauley

Looks at stereotyping empirically and challenges the conventional thinking that stereotypes are always inaccurate and exaggerated. Essays on theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and empirical issues examine the cognitive and attitudinal processes that underlie stereotyping, and present research on stereotype accuracy. Topics include stereotype accuracy in multicultural business, and teacher expectations based on students' gender, social class, and ethnicity. Includes a section of opposing views.

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

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

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.

New 5-day Teleclass
for new facilitators and change agents.

Skills and attitudes for the new facilitator or group member who wants to get their group into serious motion.

Random 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.

How 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.

5-Day 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
4. Juggling.
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.

Group 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

Organizing 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.
23. CareFront.
24. Use the Struggle.
25. Break through barriers.
26. Facilitate from Within.
27. Embrace Facilitation as a Master's Path

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Random Acts of Facilitation Training...
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 contact with.
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 training...
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:
1. Free access to the participant-only website (lots of resources, forms, etc.).
2. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.
3. Free copy of the Portable Article Bank ($29 value).

Pricing and Dates...
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.

Please click 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.

About 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.)

Real Audio Testimonials
Click here for a one-minute audio testimonial from several participants on the final day of the teleclass.

Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal. Look for your next issue on April 1, 2003.

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