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authentic leadership
Lauren Tenney

What does it mean to ‘own’ your facilitator voice?

Recently we led a learning session in our community entitled “Owning your Facilitator Voice”.  In this rich and fruitful inquiry we explored our own values about facilitator neutrality, and how they shape the way we bring in our voice and experience while facilitating.  We also invited the group to consider ways we might bring more

Mark Fackler

The Power of Group Wisdom for Learning and Innovation

I am a lifelong student of leadership and mindfulness. From my early days, I was fascinated by human dynamics. Even in grade school, I asked myself, “Why did the room react that way?” 

Jonas Altman

We Are All the Same. And Different.

The sun sets at La Barceloneta, bathing the sky in hues of orange and pink. Suddenly, a man emerges and snatches my friend’s purse. Reacting instinctively, I grab the strap and, in a surprising twist, attempt a spin kick – which narrowly misses its mark. The thief punches me in the head.

Rebecca Colwell

Unlocking Depth in Conversations: A Hack for Inspired Leadership

Discovering the Power of Depth In a world increasingly dominated by fleeting interactions, the art of facilitating depth in conversations is not only uncommon but immensely powerful.  At a recent workshop, a leader asked me, “How can I have my group connect more deeply with what matters in our conversations?” It’s a sentiment many of

Rebecca Colwell

Grow Your People, Grow Your Organization

The world is facing a growing leadership talent gap.   More than ever, organizations need sophisticated, self-managing leaders able to thrive in complex and rapidly-changing professional environments. But demand for this type of talent vastly outpaces the supply.   Several factors contribute to this gap, including the retirement of baby boomers, the rapid pace of technological advancements,

Rebecca Colwell

What should I do when my group is failing?

Your facilitative leadership is perfectly positioned to make a difference, to help make your groups flourish, but knowing what to do when the culture itself is under performing is another matter altogether. “I get this feeling that my group could be better, but I am at a loss about how to reach higher levels of

Rebecca Colwell

Catalyze more engaging conversations: Framing the topic

As CEOs, business leaders, consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs – we have lots of ideas about relevant “topics” to bring up in our group meetings. However, HOW you introduce and talk about topics is often a powerful determinant of whether the experience is an engaging one – or falls flat.

Ten Directions

Alignment: Not the same as agreement!

Recently a leader in one of our cohorts shared a challenging facilitation experience: “I was facilitating a project meeting for a large organization with leaders from different teams present. While everyone was on the same page about some aspects of the project – such as the timeline and key roles – I was also aware

Rebecca Colwell

“I felt threatened….”

The large multipurpose room in the community college was full – chairs clustered around tables, and it buzzed with the hum of about 100 people saying hello to each other. And, there was an electricity in the room that felt exciting, unpredictable, and somewhat volatile. I was midway through a series of open dialogue meetings

Ten Directions

6 trust-eroding behaviors to avoid as a mentor

Trust is the must-have element for successful mentoring.   Like strong masonry walls or foundations, mentoring relationships built on trust are a product of many repeated actions over time that demonstrate care, steadiness, and consistency.

Rebecca Colwell

Finding the Pause Button: Empowering meaningful dialogue without muting the chatterbox

As you find yourself standing before a group of senior leaders, you relax into a well-earned sense of confidence. It is during these moments that you truly come alive, effortlessly navigating through the realm of issues and ideas, stuck points and possibilities to grow your groups’ passion and make pursuit of their purpose even more

Rebecca Colwell

Navigating the Challenges of Virtual Mentorship

The rise of hybrid work has created significant upheaval within organizations, challenging established norms and inspiring the adoption of new practices.  This shift creates a prime opportunity to consciously create more human-centered practices that foster learning and growth. 

Rebecca Colwell

Five ways to pull the plug on overwhelm

The ability to support teams and groups to make sense of their worlds and coordinate around goals and projects has always been particularly important for organizations. And, with increasing levels of burnout and overwhelm influencing our capacity to be productive and agile, this kind of concern is being escalated into the C-suite.  Facilitative leadership has

Brent Byron Que

My confession has become my liberation

I have a confession: When I facilitate, I just wing it. It might come across as naïve, but this actually comes from a place of deepening my practice. Here’s my attempt to articulate the journey so far in (re)shaping my ‘how’, then (re)discovering my ‘why’. Many moons ago, when I was first called to facilitate,

Rebecca Colwell

Facilitator’s Dilemma: Owning our mistakes

Today, I’d like to share some feedback on an interesting dilemma that’s come across my desk.   As you read this, see if you can find in your own experience a moment when this might have been true for you. You might also engage in thinking about your immediate response and whether you’re “listening to fix

Kareen Wong

The art of the container

Silence.  Everyone appears to be staring at me, or the floor. The air feels thick with everything that is not being said, and yet, silence.  “I’m curious what’s happening for everyone right now?” I venture. “What’s creating this moment of quiet?” More silence. I let it hang in the air, waiting (hoping) for someone to

Rebecca Colwell

Facilitator’s Dilemma: Dealing with an overbearing or demanding individual

Recently we sent out an invitation to you to share a challenging topic or dilemma that you were working with in your facilitation practice. We loved what came back to us – here’s one we felt moved to respond to: “My dilemma is around addressing an overbearing, demanding person who’s not receptive to feedback. Others are

Rebecca Colwell

Feedback: A facilitator’s dilemma

I was speaking to a friend the other day about a facilitative experience they were having with a group of leaders. I can relate to their experience – perhaps you can too? My friend said the session had been “a little rocky”. The story unfolded like this. This learning program is in its early days

Cléo Burke

Nurturing Resilient Cultures

Together we can cultivate the culture that is being called for and that we want – Where resilient collectives are fortified in their shared sense of belonging, hold faith in something vast and greater than themselves, prioritize both support and challenge, and celebrate the uniqueness each member brings.

Rebecca Colwell

What is Weaving Alignment?

I’d love to share an experience from a few years ago that illuminates how facilitative leadership was used to weave alignment and transform culture and relationships. I was consulting with a large corporation where conflict and tensions were brewing among senior management in three main areas of the organization. Their teams were feeling pressures from

Nikki Martin

The Compassionate Path: A journey towards true co-creation in facilitation

I came to the Next Stage Facilitation program as a yoga teacher and a teacher trainer.  As a woman of colour in an industry where I am often the only one in the room, I have become deeply passionate about bringing more diversity to yoga and to reaching more communities and people with the practice

Cléo Burke

Finding Ground

“Ground is the place to go when overwhelmed with thoughts and fears. It can hold our confusion with unwavering presence. We can source the earth’s formidable strength to connect with how these qualities live inside of us. In her timeless gaze, we open to the present; we slow down.” Kelsey Blackwell, Your Body is Your

Kim Loh

Freeing up the self to live a more ethically fulfilling life

The Condors “Dead condor chicks have been found with stomachs stuffed with cigarette butts, lighters, and plastic shards. Adult condors forage for bone fragments and calcium-rich shell to feed their babies, but inadvertently find and regurgitate plastics and trash into the mouths of their hungry nestlings, inevitably killing them.”

Dara Blumenthal

The solution to your lifeless job? Disarm yourself

For the past few years, when it comes to doing any kind of work with teams and organizations, I’ve been increasingly drawn to the emergent and turned off by the planned and premeditated. To me, emergent potential is all about the possibility to disarm, reveal, become unapologetically candid, and fearlessly transparent. It is raw and

authentic leadership
Jennifer England

Why Knowing that our Evolution is Uneven is a Facilitator’s Strength

Let’s just start where it hurts. My friends and colleagues are worried about the recent push back on cultural progress. So is UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. His line “We must push back against the pushback” resonated with 10,0000+ gender equality leaders at the United Nations in March.

Alana Felt

Innovation, Freefall and Not-Knowing

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa A friend shared his definition of innovation with me the other day. Innovation, he said, means we are going somewhere new and when we innovate, we never know how we

Nina Nisar and Gracy Obuchowicz

Self-Hosting: A Conversation

Most of us know how to host others. At gatherings we offer to take coats, pour a drink or two, check in now and then to make sure our guests are comfortable, and then wish everyone well as they head home. We know the feeling of being hosted well, and the immense comfort this focused

Spencer Honeyman

The Serious Need for Play

I emerged from college with a solid sense of the daunting scale of our world’s environmental challenges. Yet, I was comforted by the array of amazing systems, tools, and technologies that would be of much benefit to mitigating these issues: permaculture, green urban design, alternative energy technologies, and so on. However, I quickly realized that


What Self Is the Instrument?

As a young boy growing up in Jamaica, I believed that I was developmentally behind because I was black, Jamaican, and materially disadvantaged. As I became exposed to American culture through books, the media, and tourists, I was more convinced that I was less developed than my white American peers.

Dara Blumenthal

You Can’t Think Your Way Into Reality

Here’s an invitation: Turn on the news for 10 minutes or read the front page of any major newspaper and get really still – relaxing your face and jaw, letting your belly go, feeling your feet on the ground, opening your eyes wide. What do you notice?

Usha Gubbala

Befriending the Raging Toddler Within: Cultivating Emotional Maturity

In my organization, we do feedback a little differently than typical performance reviews.  We have what we call GBOP (Get Better on Purpose) sessions with 5-7 colleagues with whom we work most closely. In these spaces we share feedback in support of each individual’s growth. Leading up to the session there is some preparation with

Simone Torrey

Cultivating Wildly Peaceful Communities

  Like so many other women when the #metoo movement emerged in late 2017, I pondered over whether I should share my story publicly. I felt inspired, stirred and paralyzed. I could not find my voice. Back then I did not realize that I was also in the midst of another round on the spiral

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