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

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    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 [...]

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    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 [...]

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    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.  [...]

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    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 [...]

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    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 [...]

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    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 [...]

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    Space: The Final Frontier of Facilitation

    22 Apr, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    Highlights from the International Association of Facilitator’s Conference Do you know what I’m talking about if I say I have a little ache in my heart because I’m missing being with my IAF friends?  I returned home to Portland, Oregon in Northwestern USA from spending 5 days in Orlando, Florida (southeastern USA) being with many [...]

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    One Small Change = HUGE Improvement in Meeting Dynamics

    8 Apr, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    You’re in a meeting. You have a lot of items to cover. You are in charge of the meeting. You ask a lot of questions like: Do you all agree with this? Is this acceptable to you?  Do you like this idea? You like to be in control of what happens. People seem to be [...]

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    There is No Magic in Being a GREAT Facilitator – Stories to Inspire You

    25 Mar, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    I have been hearing a lot lately about people starting out their own facilitation businesses.  Those of us who have been facilitation business owners for many years know it is a profound journey that really invites you to look deeply into your own life.  It is a privilege to meet and connect with anyone on [...]

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    Facilitation Saves The Day (AGAIN!) Five Steps to Easing Tension and Conflict in Groups

    11 Mar, 2014 - Barbara MacKay

    How does conflict show up in groups?   I’d like to share three short stories about my own facilitated events that went wrong and then either turned out great, OK or failed miserably. These stories illustrate how conflict shows up differently in groups. Then we’ll share some tips, tools and a five step process to [...]