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

“I LOVE your blog! I have been following it for some time and it is a must read for me!” –L.G., Director of Facilitation Services, Event Garde

  • Spring Clean Your Meetings! The Art of A Fresh Start

    10 Apr, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    This blog contains a series of videos and handouts on how to dramatically enliven your meetings. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is often the time we take to get rid of old, NOT useful things. It is a time to freshen up our day-to-day living space. We call this process “spring […]

  • Tips of Wisdom for Teams

    3 Apr, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    These ten tips are from a short article by Cyprian D’Souza (see bio and contact info below) who worked for many many years doing work for the Institute of Cultural Affairs. He has summarized best practices from his vast experience working collaboratively. I found this print version of the article while doing a major overhaul […]

  • The Facilitator Role: Shifting Harmful Situations to Healthy Ones

    20 Mar, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    This is a story about a woman who changed everything. She took something that seemed impossible, and turned it into the most amazing project that a whole community got behind. (See her project here: www.washedashore.org) The model of this project could be used anywhere in the world. We, as facilitators can be agents to help […]

  • 25 Women Who Influenced My Facilitation Career – A Tribute

    6 Mar, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    Thursday, March 8th is International Women’s Day #IWD2018 #PressforProgress. This year has been rather an extraordinary year for women around the globe. We have found our voice and spoken about things that we all took for granted or for things we could not speak about. At first, I was a bit ambivalent about the various […]

  • Facilitator Endurance: 4 Stages That Win You the Gold

    20 Feb, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    I’ve been thinking about endurance. The winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea now, are a very big demonstration of endurance. Athletes go through a four stage process more or less of endurance training. What about facilitators? I’d like to talk about the why and what of the four stage process as it relates to our […]

  • Get More Facilitation Clients and In-House Opportunities

    6 Feb, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    Have you had trouble convincing potential clients why they need a facilitator? Three recent events have led me to choose this topic for our blog today. In these events, everyone wanted the same thing. They were starting a facilitation business and wondering how to sell their services to prospective clients. Or, they were in house […]

  • Facilitating From the Side – There’s Hope for Bad Meetings

    23 Jan, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    I worry a lot about people who attend meetings. I worry because many tell me how bad they are. I am totally spoiled. I simply don’t attend others’ meetings unless I know they will be well run. Most of the time, I am facilitating them or facilitating from the side without permission. What about those […]

  • Facilitator Marketing 101: Demystifying Blogging and YouTube

    9 Jan, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    Since we are doing our first pilot of a marketing course for ToP Facilitators and trainers today in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, I thought I would talk about how to market yourself as a facilitator. In particular, I would like to cover blogging and “YouTubing”. I would have to say that blogging and creating YouTube videos […]

  • Got 10 minutes? The Power of Reflection

    26 Dec, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    I started to write my blog today and part way through it I felt like throwing it out the window – it was sooooooo boring! I felt I had said the same things a million times. So instead I’m just talking to you from the heart today – it is something I have wanted to […]

  • Create a Meeting Agenda Quickly – Template Inside!

    6 Dec, 2017 - Barbara MacKay

    You’ll notice below that I’ve done a short 4 minute video introducing you to designing meeting agendas. However, I get to share the joy of my mosaic practice with you as well. Because I enjoy designing things so much, it’s likely no surprise that the art of mosaics is quite fascinating to me. In this […]

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