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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  • Deepen Your Impact – What Seoul Taught My Soul

    22 Aug, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    In just a minute, you will read and see more about deepening your impact when you facilitate groups. But first, take a tour of Seoul’s, South Korea, incredible depth via a few photos. Imagine what this country has been through and is going through. Breathe in the richness, depth, resilience, creativity of these people! Then, […]

  • Facilitation Tools – Do’s and Don’ts!

    8 Aug, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Everyone seems to want to know more facilitation tools. Every course we teach, we hear participants say, “I want more tools for my facilitation toolkit”. We’d like to remind you that a facilitation tool is worth nothing if you don’t know how to do it correctly and you don’t have the right tone and stance […]

  • 6 Facilitator Styles That Will Keep You Out of Trouble!

    25 Jul, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    In this blog we will talk about our facilitator style and presence. These are the things you need to cultivate in yourself to effectively solicit meaningful participation or group engagement. Personally, as I look back over 20 or more years of facilitating, I think my style has been one of the most important aspects of […]

  • Four Steps to Elegant Meeting Design

    4 Jul, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Recently I have been thinking a lot about designing. For months, I’ve been designing a three-part series for people who want to learn the essence of elegant meeting facilitation. There is nothing more satisfying to me than designing an agenda, or a curriculum. It is a creative and logical process that uses every once (gram!) […]

  • Finding Joy in Facilitation

    27 Jun, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    I realized that for several blogs in a row, I have written about fairly heavy topics. And my mood is lighter these days. How about we talk about finding joy in facilitation? Hummingbirds are messengers of joy thus the art piece in the banner above. My friend, Julie, another facilitator among many other talents, gave […]

  • Team Collaboration – Ten Simple Tools

    13 Jun, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    One dictionary definition of the word “collaborate” is “to work jointly on an activity especially to produce or create something together”. I’ve been thinking lately of the recent nationalistic actions in the US and Britain as two prominent examples of collaboration efforts that failed for many reasons. It is easy to blame. Sometimes the set […]

  • Eight Ways to Process a Tragedy

    30 May, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Note: I am making a few changes to this blog as more accurate news emerges and I gain more perspective from wise colleagues. A terrorist, racist hate crime happened in my city just before the long Memorial day weekend, and at the start of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection for Muslims around […]

  • When You and the Group Are in the “Abyss”: What to Do About It

    16 May, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Otto Scharmer and his team have been exploring a model called Theory U for several decades. More and more I find myself drawn to it as a metaphor for the journey I go on with a group. The Theory U team speak of a great divide, a chasm which we must cross with a group […]

  • Little or BIG Impact – Which do you want?

    2 May, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    Everything is in place. Your client has chosen you as the facilitator because your style and experience appeal to them. Jointly, you have collaborated on the agenda and activities to use and the pre-work information participants will receive. Are you intentional about what your impact will be or is has it been left to chance? […]

  • 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 […]