International Facilitation Week’ Twitter Chats – October 22 and 23

As part of International Facilitation Week 2014,  on October 22 and October 23, renowned UK facilitator @MartinGilbraith and I are hosting a couple of Twitter chats. Martin and I did this (chats) last year, too.  They were a fast-paced virtual exchange, and dare I say – good fun, for all. The chats are the initiative of the International Association […]

Listener as Storyteller

It’s Conflict Resolution Week, here in BC.  The theme is #LetsTalkItOut.  Before we talk, though, better to listen.  Right? And with being a really good listener, one understands the others’ story. We become a storyteller, too. Why listen? A large chunk of what we communicate between us is unsaid. This fact tends to get magnified […]

AM-FM: A Formula for High-Context Virtual Communications

With all the time you spend online, wouldn’t it be nice if you could communicate more in ways that don’t leave you feeling that you sold out, stooping to the lowest common denominator?  I’m talking to you – high-context communicator.  How can you feel more authentic, real, in your virtual communications? The high-context virtual communications […]

The Price of Convenience: Loss of Connection and Relationship

With a few keyboard strokes, you have it; whatever it is.  A book, groceries, someone to clean your home…  And, at such a convenient price,too!  What’s the rub?  How about loss of connection and relationship?  From a Washington Post article last week about Homejoy (h/t to Jarche for the link), a cleaning services web start-up. …That’s the […]

Writing tips for storytelling from Billy Wilder

Summer is always a good time to vary perspective.   On the book front this summer, “Conversations With Wilder“, by Cameron Crowe, offered me some new perspectives on story. Billy Wilder (1906-2002) was a legendary Hollywood movie writer and director. (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like it Hot, The Apartment and many more). Conversations with […]

Offering a Continuum of Choices is a Trusted Collaborative Problem Solving Technique

When we’re stuck on a problem, and filled with negativity, the options lean to either/or.  When we articulate the spaces in-between, new possibilities emerge, a continuum of choices.   A continuum of choices reduces the risk of either/or, win/lose, and encourages collaborative problem solving. Offer a continuum As a contract court mediator with Mediate BC, […]

3 Preconditions for Effective Communications

Ever reached out, across the virtual divide, and found your communications efforts less than stellar?  (Yep.)   Somehow, the conversation seems to have barely begun, before the scene deteriorates and communications fall apart.   Puzzled as to why things unfolded that way?   Maybe, the conditions weren’t in-place to begin with, for effective communications to […]

Camp: The Professional Development Format of The Future

When I was kid, many summers would find me at camp.   Invariably camp was fun, challenging (new things, new people, different rules…), and always a learning experience.   What if today’s “professional development” experience was like camp? MuseumCamp 2014 Nina Simon is Executive Director of the Santa Cruz (California) Museum of Art & History.   […]

Communicating With Your Audience in Their Culture

To communicate effectively we need to already have some areas of commonness between us.  Culture is one of those areas.   When facilitating virtual teams or in local cross-cultural contexts, I sometimes underestimate the differences between cultures.  It’s easy to auto-pilot into my culture’s way of doing things.  And, that’s not always a good thing. […]