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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  • What Can A Facilitator Do to Honour Life’s Milestones?

    12 Jun, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    Since 1995, when I first learned the Technology of Participation methods from The Institute of Cultural Affairs, I have been impressed with the tool I have heard them use on staff and collegial special events, good-byes and birthdays. However, the way I’ve been using it over the decades, is to conduct a conversation with my […]

  • Deepen the Dialogue on School Gun Violence–A Facilitator’s Approach

    29 May, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about eight ways to process a tragedy using the ToP (Technology of Participation) Focused Conversation method. Each conversation was designed for a specific group in mind. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been processing the US school shootings – one in a high school and one in […]

  • Challenging Participant Behaviors – An 8 Step Survivor’s Guide

    15 May, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    Imagine you are presenting at a pre-conference workshop where everyone wants to be there. People have signed up and paid to be there. There was no possibility that someone could show up at the facilitators conference, pay a good amount of money and not want to be there. Right? Not so! This is what happened […]

  • Brainstorming Gone Wrong? Here’s How to Fix It

    1 May, 2018 - Barbara MacKay

    We suspect you have seen poor brainstorming technique by people NOT trained as facilitators. Typically here is how brainstorming goes: The meeting person says: “We have problem x. What can we do to solve it?” The leader writes down as many ideas as they can get from whomever has an answer on a flipchart or […]

  • 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: 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 […]