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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  • 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 […]

  • The 7 Stage Facilitation Journey – Which One Are You On?

    29 Nov, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    This blog is for you! Whether you are just figuring out what process facilitation is or whether you have reached the pinnacle of your career as a professional facilitator. It is for you if you occasionally lead team meetings in your own organization and want more OR if you have your own business as a […]

  • Warning – Your Approach Is NOT Working!

    15 Nov, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Sometimes a situation gets SO bad, you just want to opt out of it. This applies to almost anything in life but what I am talking about today – a need for radical change – is about working with groups you lead. Given the current situation in the USA, some feel like opting out now […]

  • The 5 Things That Mess Organizations Up

    1 Nov, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    We looked back at archives from the last 22 years of doing strategic planning for different groups. Whew! The results are quite startling. In each case they came up with the same basic five things that really stop organizations or teams in their tracks (regardless of sector, type of team or organization; size, mission, length […]

  • Keep Flipcharting From Becoming a Dying Art!

    18 Oct, 2016 - Barbara MacKay

    Happy Facilitation Week! My question for you today is a basic one. Is flipcharting a dying art? I still love to flipchart! There is something very creative and satisfying about making a beautiful flipchart before an event and there is something also beautiful and humbling about capturing participants exact words as they speak. I felt […]