NorthStar FACILITATOR

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Welcome! Read posts with helpful case scenarios, training ideas, videos, Facilitator Learning Module recommendations for specific training, and competency skills. Learn new techniques or keep your facilitation skills refreshed with quick, easy to read posts.

“I am so inspired by your blogs. I eagerly look forward to them. I find myself pausing in my workday to read them immediately.  Wonderful, practical AND workable tips to use immediately in my work. Keep up the wonderful work.”  –Rachel

“Although I may not read every edition, when I do, your newsletter always contains some gems.” –I.B.

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    All Things Sticky – Care and Use of Sticky Walls

    19 May, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    What is this sticky wall tool? Many of you have seen me or others around the world use the infamous facilitator tool called the sticky wall. Sticky walls typically come in blue or purple and other colors, are 5’ X 12’ (about 1.5 X 3.7 meters), and are made of ripstock nylon.  You can purchase [...]

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    When Your “Perfect” Agenda Isn’t Working Perfectly

    5 May, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Three perfect jobs! Each one of them required major adjustments to the agenda. Each of these adjustments turned out beautifully. So as I reflect back on these three perfect yet challenging client meetings, I realize that I have become consciously competent at changing agendas on the fly! Here’s my attempt to share the steps and [...]

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    Choose the BEST EVER Professional Development Plan – For You!

    21 Apr, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Thousands of dollars. Hundreds of thousands of miles. Weeks and weeks of my time. What could possibly justify this level of investment? Why do I go to the IAF (International Association of Facilitators) conference at least once, if not twice a year? Why do I make it a good part of my professional development (PD) [...]

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    Take My Advice After 20 Years… Just Fly!

    7 Apr, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Next week is my exact 20th anniversary for starting my business. I officially started it on April 15, 1995. With this blog, I reminisce about how it is to start a business, what are the stages you go through, where I have been, where I am now, and where I would like to go. Here’s my story [...]

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    Leverage Your Tools – Turning One Method Into MANY

    24 Mar, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    How many of us have a smartphone that we rarely use just as a phone? It was originally designed to be a phone but now we also use it for a GPS, an audio recorder, a camera and video recorder, alarm clock, newspaper, MP3 player, social media, email, restaurant and movie finder, TV, blogger, etc. [...]

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    Wake Them Up! Raising Energy in Meetings

    10 Mar, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Low energy, boring, waste of time. What do these 3 words conjure up for you? Likely most of you answered – meetings! What if we could get all of our meetings off to a positive, high-energy, anything but boring start? Today, we’ll focus on the benefits of perking your group up right from the start [...]

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    This is Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Virtual Meetings

    24 Feb, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    So here’s what happened… I had what felt like a major failure with my free webinar last week. We had practiced everything. All the layouts were perfect – well not exactly perfect but good enough. But the technology surprised us to say the least. Close to the beginning, we were in the middle of conducting [...]

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    My Secret Recipe for More Time, More Money and More Fun

    10 Feb, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes in a facilitator’s office? Ever had the experience working in a remarkable, high performing team? In this blog we share 3 principles for having a great collaborative partnership that allows you to be the best facilitator you can be. Whether you are an internal or external organizational [...]

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    “Please Do Not Ask Me to Be Creative!”

    27 Jan, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Participants will often express this sentiment, “Please do not ask me to do anything “touchy, feely”, creative, or silly (these are often all lumped together as similar by your participants) . Thus, when we as facilitators suggest something creative, we are often met with resistance, sighs, and “deer in the headlights” (i.e., scared) looks. Interestingly, [...]

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    No Regrets! 5 Lessons for Contracting with Clients

    13 Jan, 2015 - Barbara MacKay

    Whether we are in-house or external facilitators, we all have a client group. This group is depending on you to help them transform how they do business in the future. How you establish and meet your client’s expectations is critical to your and their success. I am just finishing up at our annual gathering of Technology [...]