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

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  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]