MG RUSH 452 Professional Facilitation Training provides a certified five-day training class in servant leadership, structured facilitation skills, meeting design, and applied techniques for creating solutions owned by all stakeholders. Regardless of position, the course adds significant value for those for whom the output of meetings, workshops, and team performance drives organizational success.

This course is remarkably intensive (practice-driven), well-rounded, and targeted for today’s fast-paced, process-driven business change environments.

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Candidates are group leaders who prepare, design, and lead work sessions that help individuals and teams make more informed decisions, identify holistic requirements, prioritize features and issues, consensually agree upon action plans, and build meaningful, high-impact deliverables. Ten percent of our Professional Facilitator participants have doctorate degrees. Over fifty percent have Masters’ degrees. Participants receive the most benefit from the course if they have:

  • Discipline and organizational skills
  • Experience and understanding with organizational challenges and conflict
  • Familiarity with business analysis, change management, and product/ project development
  • Moderate comfort working in front of a group

For an extensive list of organizations that prefer MG RUSH, please visit our Clients page.

MG RUSH Certified Structured Professional Facilitator



MG RUSH Certified Structured Professional Facilitator

Students who successfully complete our rigorous, five-day Professional Facilitation Training qualify for 40 PDUs, 40 CDUs, 40 SEUs, and Certified Structured Professional Facilitator (CSPF™) status.

  • 40 PMI PDUs – Participants qualify for 40 Professional Development Units (PDUs) from the PMI upon completion.
  • 40 IIBA CDUs – Participants qualify for 40 Continuing Development Units (CDUs) from the IIBA upon completion. We comply with the IIBA BABOK® v2.0.
  • 40 SCRUM SEUs – Participants qualify for 40 SCRUM Educational Units (SEUs) from the SCRUM Alliance upon completion.



Our Certified Professional Facilitation training represents the most comprehensive meeting design and workshop technique available.This is NOT about singing Kum Bay Yah. The MG RUSH technique assures information gathering where consensus replaces aggregating individual perspectives. Structured facilitation in your meeting design will provide the foundation for successful meetings and workshops because we help with:

  • Building group tasks, clearer communications, decision-support, and holistic alignment 
  • Capacity building for nonprofits, NGOs, and management support organizations
  • Clear and traceable assumptions, preferences, and decisions
  • Coherent communication among participants, project, steering, and dependent teams
  • Enterprise and initiative planning, framing documents, team charters, and quality programs
  • Establishing a consensual and common purpose
  • Getting ‘done’ faster
  • Meeting design for business agility, architecture, decision-support, product development, and process improvement
  • Persuasion through shared objectives

This class has significant “hands-on” practice and includes two video-recorded sessions and individualized instructor critiques. About one-quarter of the class is instruction, one-quarter is demonstration, and one-half is participant practice.  

JULY 20-24, 2020Nashville, TNClick Here

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AUG 31-SEPT 04, 2020
Seattle, WAClick Here

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OCT 05-09, 2020Washington, DCClick Here

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DEC 07-11, 2020Houston, TXClick Here

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MG RUSH structured meeting design uses immersion-learning built on practical experience with a wide range of industries, situations, and group types. Our Certified Professional Facilitation training extends facilitation to a range of significant projects and initiatives for information technology, quality, corporate planning, and strategic initiatives, immediately supporting your need for improved decision-making, ideation, information gathering, mediation, planning, and team building. Upon completion, participants are able to:

  • Become active listeners and effective leaders from “board room to boiler room”.
  • Build activities that ensure outputs are owned and integrated by the participants.
  • Design and script meeting agenda steps, making it easier to galvanize consensus.
  • Identify appropriate use of decision-making tools and idea generation approaches.
  • Improve your preparatory activities and preparation of participants.
  • Influence decision-makers and others over whom there is no direct authority.
  • Lead focused discussions, keep meetings on track, and get everyone to contribute.
  • Manage group conflict, ”problem people,” dysfunctional behavior, and political resistance.
  • Mitigate or resolve political resistance, especially issues associated with projects and initiatives.
  • Transform meeting cultures where your participants show up unprepared, disinterest, or unvested.

Certified Structured Professional Facilitation Agenda and Topics

The curriculum integrates many hours of practical experience with research from the effectiveness of various structured decision-making tools and approaches. The technique accelerates information gathering, drives meeting results through disciplined analysis and improves the quality and transparency of decision-making by supporting:

  • Critical deliverables that include gap analysis, general and detailed requirements gathering, planning of all sorts, prioritization with varying levels of increased complexity (and appropriate tool for each), and team/ project charters
  • Mindsets and frameworks such as Activity Flows, Agile, Burn Down velocity charts, DMAIC, DFSS, JAD, Kaizen, Kanban, Kick-offs, Lean, LeSS, Logical Models, Project Plans, QFD, Requirements Gathering, Retrospectives, Root Cause Analysis, RUP, SAFe, SAP, Scrum, SDLC, SIPOC, Use-Cases, User Stories, and XP (etc.)


Launch Activities

  • Welcome—training purpose, scope, deliverables, agenda review, and ground rules
  • Controlling operational definitions; e.g., “consensus”
  • “Nobody is Smarter than Everybody”—capacity of teams and power of change
  • Consensus—the natural sequence of thoughts, words, and deeds:
    • Trivium—logic (WHY), rhetoric (WHAT), and grammar (HOW)
    • √   Exercise—expectations using break-out teams and creativity tool
  • Using the reference materials and getting online (cloud) access to resources
    • √   Practice—student introductions using five-question, ice-breaker tool

Leadership Consciousness

  • Project management: groups versus teams—roles, titles, and egos
  • Meeting leadership and characteristics—facilitator versus meeting designer (methodologist)
  • Group characteristics and clear thinking—output versus outcome
  • Meeting leadership practicalities:
    • What to do when the boss/ other invites him/ herself into your meetings
    • Adding and removing members of groups
    • Preventing meeting sabotage and other time wasters
  • Project, program, and business unit goals—holarchial alignment
    • √   Exercise—what does ‘DONE’ look like?

Facilitation Competence

  • Facilitation skills—group focus by removing distractions:
    • Presenting and communicating—substance over style, verbal disfluencies
    • Questioning—preparation, rhetorical precision, and sequencing
    • Active listening—contact, absorb, reflect, and confirm
    • Challenging—teaching participants how to make their thinking visible
    • Neutrality—content versus context
    • Project management neutrality mitigation methods
    • √   Practice—active listening laboratory, asking precise questions
  • The ways people think—patterns of perception:
    • Cognitive biases and social styles
    • Groupthink and the voting fallacy
    • √   Exercise—intervention challenges and devices
  • Today’s review and tomorrow’s preview:
    • √   Assignments—recommended reading and preparation for tomorrow



Facilitation Competence (continued)

  • Opportunity through conflict—keeping conflict constructive
  • Managing sixteen discrete personality types and keeping discussions on task:
    • Ground rules, non-verbal tips, and other interventions
    • Special treatment—dominators and quiet people
    • Contributing value of healthy argumentation and debate
    • Application of Myers-Brigg’s® and similar personality typing indicators
    • √   Discussion—other personalities and challenges experienced
  • Group personality management: forming, storming, norming, and performing
  • Other areas of conflict—self-fears and environmental factors
  • Three methods for resolving arguments while building consensus
  • Scheduling, energy boosters, and other participation tips
  • Summarizing the mandala of facilitator core competencies and behaviors

Meeting Design Confidence

  • The differences between structured facilitation and “Kum-Bah-Yah”
    • Other sources for team-building and large group facilitation exercises
  • Helping groups to make more informed decisions:
    • Differences between simple and complex; qualitative and quantitative decisions
    • Avoiding decision-making trap #1—the value of ‘more than one’ right answer
    • Avoiding decision-making trap #2—how voting leads to poor quality group decisions
  • Tool overview, characteristics, matrix, and selection:
    • Ease of use, resource requirements, benefits, and timing
    • ‘Peel the onion’—tools nested within tools:
    • √   Brainstorming exercise—diverge ➫ analyze ➫ converge
    • √   How to get agreement on purpose, definition, and simple prioritization
  • Ideation ground rules and value of using the book-end method
  • What to do if the team cannot agree or a decision is unclear
  • Special tools for a facilitator’s hip pocket:
    • DeBono’s Thinking Hats, SCAMPER, and Changing Perspectives:
    • √   Gap analysis demonstration—problem-solving and solution stacks
    • √   Assignments for day-three, student-led sessions (recorded)
  • Other tools designed to improve project performance (eg, Force-Field, RCA, etc):
    • √   Exercise: Flexibility Matrix, Framing, and Perceptual Mapping
    • √   Exercise: Decision Matrix using bubble charts and multiple dimensions
    • √   Practice—prioritization and decision-making meeting using the Scorecard approach
  • Today’s review and tomorrow’s preview:
    • √   Assignments—recommended reading and preparation for tomorrow



Meeting Management Controls

  • Getting participants prepared—checklist templates, interviews, and pre-reads
  • Documentation sizzle, “if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen”
    • √   Alumni online resource review—agendas, audio-visual support, etc.
  • Leading remote participants and virtual (audio-conference and video-presence) meetings
  • Risk analysis—measuring/ managing risk with project team and sponsors
  • Logistics—archiving, Sharepoint, CoP, CoE, team rooms, and email communication
  • Continuous improvement and feedback method

Agendas: Professional Introduction and Wrap

  • Agenda concepts—building a reusable approach (ie, annotated agenda)
  • Introduction—seven activities that are a MUST for every meeting/ workshop
  • Review and wrap—four activities that are a MUST for every meeting/ workshop
  • Agenda construction (basics)
    • √   Simple versus annotated agenda demonstration
    • √   Participants package (ie, pre-read) exposition
    • √   Meeting notes (an actual four-hour workshop) exposition

Student Practice Session Immersion

  • Student practice sessions
    • √   Student-led practice sessions—facilitating a meeting (audio-video recorded session)
    • √   Oral student and instructor feedback
  • Extensive three-page evaluation to provide holistic feedback that integrates with each student’s growth needs, projects, and organizational expectations
  • Today’s review and tomorrow’s preview:
    • √   Assignments—recommended reading and preparation for tomorrow



Professional Facilitation Training, Facilitator TrainingApplied Facilitation—Planning Workshop Simulation

  • Planning workshop (ie, WHO Does WHAT and WHEN)—interactive student practice session covering ten agenda steps, new tools, and a start-to-finish understanding about the sequence of the steps and how they relate to each other:
    • √   Why are we here? (using the Coat of Arms tool)
    • √   Who are we? (using the Categorizing tool)
    • √   Where are we going? (using the Temporal Shift tool)
    • √   How do we measure our progress? (using the Scorecard tool)
    • √   What is our current situation? (using MG RUSH’s proprietary and quantitative SWOT analysis that is used to prioritize complex options such as portfolio management)
    • √   What do we do to reach our objectives? (narrative conversion of SWOT above)
    • √   Is it the right stuff to do? (using the Alignment tool)
    • √   Who does what? (using a Roles & Responsibilities tool)
    • √   What are we going to tell others? (using Guardian of Change tool)
    • √   Is everyone clear on assignments and next steps? (using the Review & Wrap tool)
  • Overview of other planning workshops and agendas including project planning considerations and approaches to problem-solving.

Applied Facilitation—Analysis Workshop Simulation

  • Analysis workshop (ie, a picture of the business area, or scope; also known as a Context Diagram)—interactive student practice session covering six agenda steps, new tools, and a start-to-finish understanding about the sequence of the steps and how they relate to each other:
    • √   Why are we in this business area? (ie, Purpose—using Commander’s Intent tool)
    • √   Who do we work with in support of our business? (ie, Enablers—various tools)
    • √   What do we receive from them in support of our purpose? (ie, Inputs)
    • √   What do we give them in support of our purpose? (ie, Outputs)
    • √   Model and validation (using a Modeling tool)
    • √   The scope defined (narrative conversion from Model above)
  • Overview of other analysis workshops and agendas including logical modeling, peer review, root cause analysis, FMEA, value-stream analysis, etc.

Applied Facilitation—Design Workshop Simulation

  • Design workshop (ie, detailed requirements using a SIPOC approach)—interactive student practice session covering six agenda steps, new tools, and a start-to-finish understanding about the sequence of the steps and how they relate to each other:
    • √   Why are we in this business area? (ie, Purpose—using Commander’s Intent tool)
    • √   What do we do to support our business? (ie, Verb-Noun pairings)
    • √   What are the primary processes identified from above? (Categorizing tool)
    • √   What is the discrete purpose of each process? (Commander’s Intent tool)
    • √   What are the life-cycle activities required to support each process?
      (using the Plan > Acquire > Operate > Control tool)
    • √   For each activity above, what are the detailed requirements? (ie, HOW do you perform that activity now?—using the SIPOC tool that also captures
      Source > Input > Process > Output > Client)
  • Overview of other design workshops and agendas including decision support, organizational design, project risk assessment, etc.)



Professional Facilitation Training Leadership SkillsStudent Skills and Immersion

  • Skills and Immersion
    • √   Case Studies—facilitating a workshop (audio-video recorded session two)
  • Extensive four-page evaluation to provide holistic feedback that integrates with each student’s growth needs, projects, and organizational expectations
  • Class photos, contact information exchange, alumni passwords, alumni-only website, and resource review ➟ congratulations and CERTIFICATION

Professional Facilitation Training Leadership Skills


  • Reference Manuals—each participant receives an extensive Professional Reference Manual with hundreds of pages that cover all aspects of effective meetings including facilitator skills, group dynamics, meeting agendas, meeting preparation, project planning, visual aids, and support: to be used for years to come.
  • On-Line Access—each participant receives online access to meeting agendas, checklists, ground rules, scripts, step-by-step guides, templates, and audio-visual materials; to conduct their own meetings, workshops, and presentations.
  • Evaluation—each participant receives daily evaluations from a certified instructor, with five written pages describing students’ strengths and areas for improvement. Certification is issued after successfully completing the capstone practice session.
  • Video—each participant receives two digital recordings of their practice and capstone sessions where they perform as session leaders in real, yet simulated conditions.


Private Professional Facilitation Training may be customized for your own group or situation. Minimum private group size is three; maximum is typically twelve to allow for ample practice time for each participant. Private classes provide an excellent opportunity for us to modify the curriculum for your organization’s needs. Hundreds of private companies and governmental agencies have sent thousands of participants through our core curriculum. Contact us today for details, arrangements, or for other questions.

Public Professional Facilitation Training classes are typically held monthly. Class dates are subject to change. Please check our Public Course Calendar for the most current sites and dates.


(Ask about other dates. Occasionally, a private class client may permit non-competing persons to participate in their on-site classes. Private, on-site classes have been conducted throughout the U.S. and five continents.)


Participant tuition and fees:

  • Professional Facilitation Training 5-Day 2020 Class: USD $3,250.00

Fee includes training, materials, supplies, and lunch. Early Bird discount is available up to one month before class. Additional pricing options available for government and not-for-profit organizations, larger groups, and MG RUSH alumni. (For additional pricing options please choose “Invoice Me” and add your request to the comment section or call us at 1-630-954-5880). We limit public class size to provide each student with opportunities to practice and enable personal attention from the instructor. Transportation, meals outside of class, and lodging are the responsibility of the participant.

Please inquire for discounted private class pricing and available dates for on-site classes. The on-site fee covers training, materials, and instructor travel. Ideally, on-site classes should contain six to twelve students.Inquire About Private Class

If you would like to attend a specific class, plan to send someone(s), or are waiting on final approvals or confirmation, go ahead and call or write today to reserve a seat. Some classes fill up quickly and are limited in size. If the class you select is full, we will notify you and place you on a waiting list if you choose.


To reserve a space, arrange for a private class, or inquire about this and other courses, please call us at 630-954-5880 or Register Now