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.

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  • Are Learning Styles Really Going Out of Style?

    18 Apr, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    It all started when I read an article re-posted by my Australian colleague that was titled, “The concept of different “learning styles” is one of the greatest neuroscience myths”. Like many of my colleagues, I have been a proponent of using a variety of participation formats in all my meetings. And, I have no doubt […]

  • I’ve Been Electrified Into a New Level of Competency!

    4 Apr, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    I got this idea to write a blog about a thrilling (electrifying!) insight I got about facilitator competency from a recent cycling class! The reason I wanted to write about the difference between the four stages of learning competency is the experience I had last week.I have been taking these spin (i.e., a term for […]

  • Time – The Ultimate Asset in Meetings

    21 Mar, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Today’s blog is about a topic I have never written about but it is SO important, I do not know why it has taken me 75 blogs to get to it. It also is extremely difficult to give you a really good tool for what I want to convey to you. I don’t know of […]

  • People Dozing in Your Meetings? 7 Ways to Get Their Attention

    7 Mar, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    There are some interesting statistics about meetings that I’ve been coming across while creating two new simpler levels of Meetings that Rock online course that are going to be launched in the next few months. For example, one statistic said that 91% admit to daydreaming in meetings and 39% admit to dozing off! Here is […]

  • Keeping the Faith – The Last 2 Stages of the Facilitator Journey

    21 Feb, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    There is an old song by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, called “Keeping the Faith”. I have always liked that song. A few blogs ago, I wrote about the seven stages of the facilitator (See link in Resources below) hinting that there were more stages to come. Well, here are my “musings” or “ponderings” on the […]

  • 5 Big Differences Between Training and Facilitation

    7 Feb, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Why this topic? The reason I’m addressing the topic is that many of us think that training done interactively is very close to or even the same as facilitation. It can feel like that but there is an essential and critical difference. This blog will cover those differences, talk about the benefits and when to […]

  • How to Prioritize… When a Group Says EVERYTHING is Important

    19 Jan, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    I don’t know why but I never run out of blog topic ideas to write about when it comes to process facilitation. I just love thinking about all the scenarios in which facilitator tools and values can be applied. So this week, I had several related things happen which urged me to write about them. […]

  • Are Your Phone Meeting Participants Lost in the Wilderness?

    10 Jan, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Sometimes, ok let’s be real, almost always, having to be the one on the phone call when everyone else is in the F2F (Face to Face) meeting, is challenging , boring and even a waste of your time ! This blog talks about how to change that if you are frequently running integrated meetings where […]

  • The Facilitator’s Best Friends – ToP Methods and Sticky Walls

    27 Dec, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Today is ToP tribute day. ToP® stands for the Technology of Participation. I am designating it ToP tribute day because exactly 21 years ago, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in December I took my first ToP class. ToP has officially reached adulthood in my life. Over the last 21 years, it has revolutionized my life, my […]

  • Want to open the door of dialogue? Don’t use closed questions!

    13 Dec, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Someone asked me the other day in the ToP facilitation skills training: “Aren’t closed questions sometimes more efficient and effective?” The answer to that question, is yes! Often closed questions get you the speedy response YOU want. The real question is what is the impact of a closed question on the person you are talking […]