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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0099 | May 6, 2003
6,800 Subscribers

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

From the Publisher: 

Hello MFJ Readers. 

Our feature article in this issue is comprised of a short 15-question quiz, by Dr. Robert Epstein, to assess your creative competency in four areas that predict individual creativity. Your scores will identify your current competency levels and will alert you to additional practices that can greatly enhance your creative skills. Consider using this inventory to increase awareness around creativity and to inspire it in your groups.

Also check out our new 4-week telecass on Appreciative Inquiry presented at the end 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.

Have a great week... 
Steve Davis


Building Your Competency as a Creator
Become aware of creativity behaviors and attitudes

The Point

Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful: yourself.--Alan Alda

Our capacity for creativity is possibly one of mankind's greatest gifts. Many people however discount, ignore, or deny their creative potentials. I think this is often due to ignorance around the nature and practice of creative attitudes and behaviors.

Perhaps you'll find the following inventory useful to help inspire creativity within your groups, or at least help them to better see how they can develop their latent creative competencies.


This mini- inventory is designed to assess your creative competencies. The inventory yields scores in four competency areas that predict individual creativity. (A competency is an underlying characteristic - i.e., motive, trait, skill and knowledge - which results in effective and/or superior performance in a job.) There are no right or wrong answers. Your scores will identify your current competency levels and will alert you to additional practices that can greatly enhance your creative skills.

Circle the appropriate answer and total your score below. Then check the key to see how good you really are!

1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree , 3 = Neither , 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree

1. I allow myself time everyday to think of new ideas
1 2 3 4 5
2. Occasionally I like to work on extremely difficult problems
1 2 3 4 5
3. I record my new ideas as soon as they come to me
1 2 3 4 5
4. I often share my ideas with others
1 2 3 4 5
5. I often read books and magazines outside of my specialty area
1 2 3 4 5
6. I keep a recording device near me at all times
1 2 3 4 5
7. I sometimes use my dreams or daydreams to think of new ideas
1 2 3 4 5
8. I often change the decorations in my work environment
1 2 3 4 5
9. I enjoy working with new and diverse groups of people
1 2 3 4 5
10. I am not afraid of failure
1 2 3 4 5
11. There are special places where I go to think
1 2 3 4 5
12. I keep a recording device by my bed at night
1 2 3 4 5
13. I seek training in areas outside my expertise
1 2 3 4 5
14. I make an effort to meet new people
1 2 3 4 5
15. I often travel to new places
1 2 3 4 5
Now see how well you've scored Total____

15-27 Dried-Up Pen
It's not that you lack creativity, you don't know just how to access and express it. You prefer to stick to things more mechanical in nature, while avoiding things that require others to stare at what you've done. Going through life without expressing your creativity is akin to driving through Arizona with no A/C and the power windows stuck in the up position. It can be done. But it isn't really pleasant, and you're likely to be quite crabby when the day is through. Still, a wide variety of tricks and methods available to you can help harness those creative fruits and start making juice.

28-39 Broken Chalk
You have some ability to express your creativity, but you still have to be reminded on occasion that crayons can be used for something other than eating. Your occasional bursts of creativity can be bolstered by techniques that will allow you to awaken and use the abilities you have yet to truly harness.

40-51 Disappearing Ink
Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. Your creative capacity has a lot of room for expansion. You know the warehouse is there, but you don't really know what you have inside. Your potential and internal resources are quite likely wasting away from only partial usage. But never fear! There are many ways for you to take stock of what you have and figure out how to make use of your capabilities.

52-63 The BIG Box of Crayons
Yes, while many of us are limited to twelve or sixteen (or in some cases four) you have access to a whole myriad of shades and colors you can use to express yourself. You know the possibilities and ways to make them happen, but there is always a little more you can do: sharpen the crayon, peel back the paper, even color with the side of the crayon. Learn some new techniques and you can do more than ever before.

64-75 The Inkpot Runneth Over
You and Shakespeare both have it pretty well together. You have a lot of ability for being creative and expressing it. You know a wide variety of ways to access your creativity and means of getting it out when the getting is good. Consider moving to Paris and sitting on the Left Bank, sipping absinthe and writing of your exploits abroad with Ernie and Fitzy.

About the Author: This is a mini version of a longer Creativity Competencies Inventory. A more complete version, which gives subscale scores in four different competency areas, is available through Personal Strengths Publishing. The author, Dr. Robert Epstein, is Contributing Editor of Psychology Today magazine, and University Research Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. A Ph.D. of Harvard University, he currently has eleven books in print, including Creativity Games for Trainers, The Big Book of Creativity Games, The Big Book of Stress Relief Games, and The Big Book of Motivation Games. All of which can be ordered through Personal Strengths Publishing: or 1-800-624-7347.


What would you be willing to do this week to improve your score on the above inventory? I'd love to hear what shows up for you. Please email us your comments.

The Big Book of Creativity Games, by Robert Epstein, Ph.D.

In the modern economy, where most workers are knowledge workers, creativity and innovation are the most easily sustainable competitive advantages. In The Big Book of Creativity Games, Harvard trained psychologist Robert Epstein provides dozens of games and activities designed to stimulate creativity and generate innovation in the workplace.

Dr. Epstein describes the scientific principles of creativity that underlie the games, and how these principles can be applied to tasks like problem solving, new product development, and marketing. Timely and innovative, The Big Book of Creativity Games is the ideal book for managers to turn to whenever they need:

· Games that are easy to lead and fun to play
· Exercises that go far beyond standard brainstorming techniques
· Innovation jump-starters for team meetings and work groups

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

About the Publisher
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
Appreciative Inquiry
A Provocative Proposal for Unleashing the Power of What Works...

Join us for this 4-week TeleClass with AI experts, Patricia Clason and Bert Stitt starting June 11th


This four session series on Appreciative Inquiry, is a facilitation strategy for intentional change that identifies the best of "what is" in order to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be." Within these classes we will explore the four dynamics of AI, Discovery, Dream, Design and Delivery. Plan to bring with you the challenges you have encountered or are experiencing in the group/organizational change process. These sessions will be interactive and we will encourage discussion of specific situations in which Appreciate Inquiry might be applied.

The Eight Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry, Wednesday, June 11th

Explore the nature of assumptions in an organization/group. We will define and discuss the base assumptions of AI, how they affect the change process and how we may have experienced them already in our facilitation practice.

The Six Core Principles of Appreciative Inquiry, Wednesday, June 18th

Understanding the DNA of Appreciative Inquiry gives us a foundation upon which we can build the infrastructure of a change process that works.

The Five Steps to Appreciative Inquiry, Wednesday, June 25th

From creating a provocative proposal to manifesting a destiny, each step is crucial to the process of Appreciative Inquiry. We get to incorporate the "buzzwords" of the last decade, Innovation, Empowerment, Continuous Leaning, Partnership, and Making A Difference, into a process of change that is FUN! Imagine the possibilities!

Outcomes and Opportunities (one month after the first three classes), Wednesday, July 23rd

This session will be a celebration of learning about what worked and what didn't work for class participants as they applied the concepts of AI in their practice with clients and organizations, as well as discussion on further opportunities for implementing and integrating Appreciative Inquiry.

Also included with your training...
In addition to the 4-Week training described above, you also receive:

1. Free access to the RealAudio version of this training.
2. A Bibliography of leading works on AI.
3. A number of web resources to support your work in this field.
4. Summary notes of each class session.
5. List of class participants.

Benefits to you of participating 4-Week Training...
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of Appreciative Inquiry to add to your toolbox as a facilitator, team leader, coach, or leader.
2. Learn to employ a change process that works.
3. Learn how to come from a positive, "what works" perspective when working with individuals and groups.

Leader Bios

Bert Stitt operates a home-based consultancy from Madison, Wisconsin. He provides facilitation services, public engagement consultation, and organizational development for community-building projects, coaching for non-governmental organizations, mediation and facilitation for governmental agencies, and strategic planning processes for associations, foundations, and small businesses. Appreciative Inquiry is a relatively recent tool that Bert is finding very useful as he reaches into the toolbox while helping to build the organizations he works with.

Patricia Clason has traveled across the continent doing speeches, workshops and media appearances as a professional speaker, trainer, consultant and writer, giving over 3,000 presentations for corporations, associations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Now the Director of the Center for Creative Learning which offers programs for personal and professional development and has written many articles, training programs and personal growth seminars and is a sought-after guest for radio and television. Patricia likes to focus on alternative methods of teaching and learning, addressing the psychological perspectives and principles behind the practical tools that she teaches. As a result, audiences are often entranced with her and excited about using these new ideas.

Course Fee and Registration.
The full cost of training is only $64.95 for MFJ readers ($79.95 for the general public). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee. The class will meet on the following four Wednesdays at 2:00 PM EDT (NY Time), June 11th, June 18th, June 25th, and one month later on July 23rd.

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
. 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 course, 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.)

Click here to register now!


Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal. Look for your next issue on May 13, 2003.


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