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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    The Power of Presence and the Theory U Framework

    20 Sep, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    In our recent preconference co-facilitated with Jackie Chang, at IAF Asia in Taiwan September 2016, we introduced five facilitation frameworks which use the concept of presencing implicitly or explicitly as part of their value system. In this blog, we share the one that most explicitly incorporates it. It is called Theory U. But first let’s […]

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    The Ultimate Equation for Deciding on a Facilitation Job

    30 Aug, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Last week I attended the IAF Asia 2016 conference and it was, as usual, mind blowing! The feel of the Asian conferences is a little indescribable. I would have to say that there is so much energy and enthusiasm because people are in someways just discovering this amazing profession and all it has to offer. […]

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    Four Ways to Introduce Yourself and Your Work as a Facilitator

    23 Aug, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Often people struggle with best ways to describe what they do as a process facilitator or how to market facilitation as a service to both internal and external clients. Sorry, there are really no easy ways to synthesize the complexity of what you do in the typical elevator speech format. However, let me give you […]

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    A Must Have for Global Teams: >1 Virtual Facilitation Platform

    9 Aug, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    More and more, I am getting requests for facilitation training that happens globally. Or, I participate in virtual team meetings with participants from 6-20 different locations, multiple time zones and cultures. Sometimes we are participating live (i.e, synchronously) or on our own time (i.e., asynchronously). This blog is for you if you have had any […]

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    Ten Tried-and-True Team Building and Trust Building Techniques

    26 Jul, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    The point of having a good synergistic team is so that when times are tough, the team really pulls together and are able to pull themselves out of tremendous challenging situations. Other reasons for having team and trust building activities as a regular part of your meetings and or organizational culture initiatives include: – People […]

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    Neutralize Whining and Complaining Behaviors in Groups!

    12 Jul, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Why am I talking about the topic of whining and complaining behavior in groups? I realize that many people adopt whining or complaining behavior as a normal course of their day. I do this myself sometimes when I am tired and discouraged. You may have someone at work, in your family or circle of friends […]

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    Avoid Team Gridlock! Move Forward Using Consensus

    28 Jun, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Today, I am co-training one of my favorite two-day courses called ToP Facilitation methods with my incredibly talented colleagues Judy Weddle and Teresa Lingafelter. We have 23 people from 18 different organizations. And, last week I was teaching this course in Wisconsin with my wonderful colleague, Bev Scow at her workplace, Wise Women Gathering Place. […]

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    Groups Want Safety – A Facilitator’s Guide to Creating Safe Space

    14 Jun, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    With a recent event in the US around a mass shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, I grieve once again for the fact that safety is not apparent or a given for many people around the world. I was born and spent most of my life in a country, Canada, where we have not had […]

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    No tools, techniques or theory! Just facilitation theology

    31 May, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    You may not know that I was once the director of religious education for a church in the 1980s. I have always been quite fascinated with religion and theology. I do not profess to be a scholar of religion. I have been brought up in, practiced and studied several. But I do know of all […]

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    Recipes for Energizing Your Team Celebrations!

    17 May, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Who doesn’t love to celebrate?! And it’s an important step for our teams and groups as well. I want share with you three meaningful “games” for three different scenarios. These activities are related to celebrating an aspect of the team or organization. I will include the learning theory behind the game, the process for delivering […]

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