Entries by Lizzie

11 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies – Guiding the Group Process and Knowing When to Hand it Back to the Participants

Our last post in this series of Suggested Facilitation Strategies is on ensuring that you valuably and dependably guide the process and the group; and that still hand over to the group, fostering ownership and self-reliance. This is a critical skill for any Facilitator. Consider the following: (1) Checking-in with the client and group is […]


9 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies – Too Focused on Task? Too Focused on Group Dynamics?

Some Facilitators find it a challenge to keep track of group maintenance (how they’re feeling) when they themselves are getting swept up in the content of discussions; and others find it hard to focus on the task and content of discussions when they’re getting swept up in the group dynamics. Maybe you have experienced both […]

8 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies – Knowing When You Should Summarise and Synthetise and When to Let the Group Do It

For a Facilitator, there is definitely an art to knowing when you should summarize and synthesize discussion for the group; and when it would be better to have the group summarize and synthesize. Here are some suggested strategies for how to work with the difference: (1) Summarize progress in the process towards achieving desired outcomes […]

7 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies – Striking the Right Level of Visibility and Intervention (Saying enough, but not saying too much)

As the Facilitator, how do you go about striking the right level of visibility and intervention in your workshop – walking that fine line between saying enough and not saying too much? Here are some suggested strategies: (1) Prepare a script for yourself (and edit this during the meeting).  Whether you tend to say too […]


5 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies -Working with Groups You Know (Too) Well and Groups You Don’t Know at All

How do you feel comfortable with a group you know (too) well; and create rapport with a group you don’t (or barely) know (without making it all about ‘you’)? These strategies might be interesting to explore: (1) Be really clear about your role as facilitator (see above points about building confidence and contracting).  If you […]

4 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies – Choosing Methodologies that are Appropriate for the Group and Interesting for You, the Facilitator

Sometimes it is the methodology that is a challenge. How do you go about choosing methodologies that (a) are appropriate and motivating for the group; and (b) interesting for you? Here are a few strategies to consider: (1) Work with your client (and potentially the participants in advance of the event) to learn about the […]

2 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies – Building Confidence in Yourself, and Others in You, as the Facilitator

This set of suggested strategies is focused on building (a) your stature and confidence as facilitator; and (b) building the confidence of others in you as facilitator. Here are some things you can try: (1) Model good facilitation practice from your earliest conversations with clients, building confidence from the start.  Prepare for your conversations with […]

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Reflecting on Reflection Capture: What You Can Learn From 3 Questions & Colour-Coded Cards

How do you capture the reflections of participants on ideas shared during your event? At the end of the TEDxEcoleHôtelièreLausanne programme, we scheduled the university’s music committee to perform a musical interpretation of the event. We knew that they would need up to ten minutes to get their instruments set up and ready to go […]

Some Great Ideas Shared: Tweaked tweets from TEDxEcoleHôtelièreLausanne

The first TEDxEcoleHôtelièreLausanne event took place on Monday 16th of January 2012. Here is a summary of the great ideas shared, based on tweaked tweets from the event, to whet your appetite in anticipation of the videos 🙂 Live Speaker: Mike Hatrick – “Tales of the Unexpected” How do you cater for customers’ racehorses? Considering […]

Preparing a Pecha Kucha: One Pragmatic Approach

How do you go about creating a Pecha Kucha? Well, growing experience with them is teaching us that the process is often quite the opposite of what we usually see when people begin a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Are you among those who start by annotating blank slides with key words and messages and then let […]

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Online Facilitation – Adapting to a Virtual Environment with Free(mium) Tools – Part One

We’ve written a number of posts about both facilitation and the use of online tools for virtual and face to face events. See, for example: ● “The Connected Facilitator: What’s in the Online Toolbox?”, ● “Look Behind You! The Webinar Facilitator’s Non-Technical Checklist”, ● The Two-Day Total Twitter Immersion: Using Twitter for Social Learning“, ● […]

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Online Facilitation – Adapting to a Virtual Environment with Free(mium) Tools – Part Two

Following part one of this blog post (which shares some examples of tools that are either free or have a “freemium” model and which we think can be usefully used in online facilitation), this part two shares some ideas about how you might adapt facilitation methodologies to an online environment using tools that are either […]

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TEDx Workshop Talks, Tips & Tweets during TEDActive 2011

Attending TEDActive 2011 back in February – and joining a couple of hundred other organizers of TEDx (independently organized events under license from TED.com) for workshops, back stage tours, talks and tips – I tweeted about my TEDx learning. For posterity, I’m now sharing the tweets here: Began #TEDActive 2011 with pre-workshop of TEDx organizers. […]

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Bringing Behaviour into 360-degree Performance Conversations

As learning practitioners, we are always interested in reflecting and learning for improved performance. Here’s a little summary of some recent research in performance development trends. Approaches to performance development in organizations are shifting significantly. A clear trend is emerging, moving from ‘evaluation’ or ‘assessment’ – which has historically focused greatly on the achievement (or […]

Preparing a Presentation? Read this Praise for Prezi

When preparing to give a presentation, how do you get started? A list of bullet points? Opening a PowerPoint and jotting down a key message for each slide? Browsing your folder of favourite images to highlight your ideas? Or perhaps like me: with a large table, a big blank sheet of white paper, and an […]

A Poem for Gillian

Gillian, I decided to write a little poem,To mark this time, whence from IUCN you are going,To new bright and green pastures and beds,That I know, for you, lie just ahead,As you take to your garden with gusto and strength,Whilst flourishing as Balaton Group President,Sewing new seeds of learning,As round each corner turning,And taking inspiration […]



“…Find out what it means to me,” began Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot in a speech (Boston, November 2008) which re-resonates with me as I reflect on it, thinking about core values. What are our core-values? Is respect amongst them? And what does respect mean to each of us? Do we confuse it with civility – with habit […]

“We Gotta Learn to Dance Like Scarecrow”

Remember how you learned to walk? Most of us don’t. For the large part of our lives, we take for granted our bipedal fluency having forgotten the process that first got us there. Observing children learning to walk may remind us. Or watching the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Scarecrow is taken down […]

The Waiting Game on the Fault Lines

Everyone waits for the other guy to change before changing themselves. You first my dear Gaston! After you my dear Alphonse! – reads the cartoon by Frederick Burr Opper. Not so in the case of Vanessa Kirsch, founder and president of New Profit, Inc., as we learned from her and Diana McLain Smith, partner at […]


Facilitator for Today: Thought Leader for Tomorrow?

In our organizations, who are the people igniting the passions of those around them? Who mobilizes the talents of the people they work with and builds collective as well as individual strength of others? Who are the ‘Thought Leaders’? And how are they leading thought? (See Robin Ryde’s short video which inspired this post.) In […]

“Thanks for the reminder – much appreciated!”

31 out of 40 workshop organizers prefer quick reminders two days before a deadline – or so my learning from last week tells me. In preparation for a week of ‘Learning Opportunities’ during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, October 2008, I am in regular contact with 40+ organizers of workshops. All are busy […]

Appreciating Heroism For the Future

“The new Al Gore presentation on climate change at Ted’s talk is an inspirational, bright and optimistic approach worth a look at” wrote Nicole Thonnard Voillat – and so I did online at World Changing. I really appreciated his comments on optismism being not about belief but behaviour which goes beyond our choice of lightbulbs […]