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Here are 15 quick tips to help you become a more successful facilitative leader.

  1. The wisdom of the crowd” effect has long been recognized, but scientists have gone further by showing that the strategy works even when the crowd consists of one person (Scientific American Mind, pg 14, Oct-Nov 2008).
    15 Quick Tips to Help You Become a More Successful Facilitative Leader

    Fun Facts

  2. Brain research on Buddhist monks seems to indicate that “HOW” you think, not “WHAT” you think about, improves brain activity (The Futurist, pg 36, Sep-Oct 2007).
  3. Decision-making is important because making a decision signifies the beginning of activity, and the value of consensus derives from harmonized activities.
  4. Everest in Tibetan is Qomocangma (pronounced, CHO MOL UNG MA) and in Nepalese is Sagaratha.
  5. Extract more value from interactions:  Companies have been automating or offshoring an increasing proportion of their production and manufacturing (transformational) activities and their clerical or simple rule-based (transactional) activities.  As a result, a growing proportion of the labor force in developed economies engages primarily in work that involves negotiations and conversations, knowledge, judgment, and ad hoc collaboration—namely, tacit interactions. By 2015 expect employment among jobs primarily involving tacit interactions to account for nearly one-half of total USA employment.  By 2020, Europe and Japan will experience similar changes in the composition of their workforces.
  6. Facilitating through video or telepresence involves three considerations not found when facilitating audio only meetings, namely:
    a. Clothing; for example, stripes or patterned shirts are not recommended during a videoconference and may not display well at the remote site(s).
    b. Plain colored shirts and pants/skirts are optimal.  Also, avoid wearing white and red.
    c. Restrict movement as much as possible.  Excessive movements are disruptive to viewers at the far site(s). Have a back up plan for your meeting or class in the event of connection failures or equipment problems.
  7. Howard Gardner (Harvard University) has introduced two more types of innate intelligence, bringing his documented total to nine:
    a. Existential Intelligence—Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.
    b. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
  8. Instead of deBono’s Thinking Hats approach, consider assigning people or groups to emulate other famous people (eg; Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mahatma Ghandi, Michelle Obama, etc) or collections (eg; ant colonies, weather, monastery, mafia, etc) and ask the group—“How would this person or collection address the problem at hand?”
  9. Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of his seminal work on the theory of evolution, we are reminded NOT the strongest of the species survives, NOR the most intelligent; rather, “the one most responsive to change.”
  10. Note the irony: “I’ll see it when I can believe it.”
  11. Parsimony:  The Golden Rule is only 11 words
  12. Research shows that innovation won’t happen without a diverse work force.  So, don’t clone yourself.
  13. The only qualification for innovation is having been five years old.  On average, a five year old laughs 100 times per day while the 44 year old laughs only eleven times per day.
  14. The original Palm Pilot had only four features: tasks, calendar, contacts, and memos.
  15. The single most powerful word in negotiations is “HUH?”  It says, “tell me more”, without offering rejection or objection.


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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