NorthStar FACILITATOR

Blog

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

  • Certification-Banner2

    To Certify or Not To Certify

    9 Sep, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    Many people ask us whether to certify as a process facilitator or not.   In this brief video blog, I’m going to answer “Why” facilitator certification is invaluable and highlight “What” 3 different processes will require.   Do You Remember? Here are my top 3 reasons to start your journey towards facilitator certification: It’s an invaluable [...]

  • Mistakes-Banner2a

    Let’s Talk About My Mistakes

    26 Aug, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    Making mistakes.  We all make mistakes yet it is fairly painful to talk about them.  It also potentially compromises our credibility.  I listened to a radio show last night about a Canadian doctor who shared a TedTalk about the biggie mistakes he had made.  Wow! Doctors talking about mistakes! Then I heard Brene Brown talk [...]

  • Birds-Collage

    Just Say “Yes” to Small Groups

    12 Aug, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    I heard some birds chirping outside my window while I was meditating the other morning. I am supposed to just notice the chirping and then go back to my breath. But instead I took a moment to really enjoy those sounds. Unfortunately, I digressed even further because it reminded me of my childhood. I used [...]

  • Fire-collage

    Calling All Gen X & Y Facilitators – We Need You!

    29 Jul, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    You’ve been thinking about becoming an independent, solo facilitator for a long time.  You have a good job and you’re a little reluctant (or a lot reluctant) to give up the security of your job, the camaraderie of your colleagues and/or perhaps the prestige of your position.  I faced this decision in mid-1990′s.  I was [...]

  • Journey-Quote-1

    An Amazing Journey – Triumph in Hong Kong

    15 Jul, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    It is important to know our stories as facilitators, coaches, mentors and facilitation trainers. What are the diverse pathways we take? Our confidence and spirits are boosted by hearing about how others’ triumph over challenges and the pathways they take to have profound impact in the world. A few months ago, we featured three Three [...]

  • Interviewing-a-client

    I Don’t Know What to Ask My Client – Tips for a Successful Interview

    1 Jul, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    A Coaching Model to Help Us Interview Our Clients Awhile back I spoke about a Danish colleague who presented at the International Association of Facilitators Conference in the USA. (See “Space: The Final Frontier of Facilitation”) His name is Jens Lillebaek. He is an IAF certified professional facilitator (CPF©), a coach and a chief advisor [...]

  • Teambuilding

    Just Say “No” to Icebreakers

    17 Jun, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    Over the last few months, I’ve had many opportunities to work with a variety of teams and I’m beginning to get a sense of some overarching “things to do” to ensure a stronger unified team.  In the past, I’ve been well aware of the need to create comfort for the group early in the game.  [...]

  • gorge

    The One Stop Shopping Tool

    3 Jun, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    Ever since I started facilitating almost 20 years ago, I’ve come to rely on scanning tools to help me begin well with a group. We all have some of these tools I am sure. They are called environmental scan, trend analysis, wave analysis, wall of wonder, journey wall, historical scan, lessons learned exercises and story [...]

  • top-skills-7

    Top 12 Suite of Tools for the Competent Facilitator

    20 May, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    (This article has been updated since its first publication in our September 2007 newsletter.) In my 19 years of running a facilitator business, I feel there are 12 top skills you require as a facilitator to meet the needs of your clients. When you develop these skills, you grow in your own ability to connect [...]

  • co-facilitator-collage2

    Brown Bears, Rice Krispie Treats and Co-facilitation!

    6 May, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    What has playful brown bears from Alaska, a healthy and yummy rice krispie treat recipe and co-facilitation have to do with each other?   Only I could probably make all three work  but read this blog to find out the relationship between these three things.  And yes, I do provide you with the Rice Krispie Treat [...]