facilitation training program

The important part of the workshop is the word ‘work’. The biggest mistake facilitators make is what I call ‘talk and gawk’. The facilitator talks and the audience just gawks and yawns. The key is to keep the ball in the court of the participant. To set up experiential exercises and then let them do the ‘work’ and if they want, to share their insights with others.

As a facilitator, there is no need to share your stories unless it is a bridge to the next topic. Workshop attendees are each different and you want them to do their own thinking and not be biased by one perspective – your story.

  • So how do you get the most out of your workshop participants so they attain significant insights and new levels of understanding and ownership of who they are?
  • How do you keep them involved and interested?
  • How do you help them ground and own what they have learned?
  • How do you set the stage so they want to come back for more self learning?

Below are some presentation tips for a successful workshop.

  • Sharing: Advise the participants that they will not be required to share their personal experiences if they don’t wish to. Their written materials will be for their eyes only. This puts many participants at ease and invites them to go as deeply into their exercises as they can. Invite participants to ask questions throughout the workshop.
  • Confidentiality: Participants must feel confident that if they share something personal, the information will not get passed on to others outside of the session. Stipulate to all attending that what happens during the workshop is confidential so a safe place is created for people to explore new and deep experiences.

  • Time to complete: Invite participants to request a few extra minutes of exercise time if needed to capture important insights.

  • Go for depth: Invite participants to experience new dimensions of themselves. If you have created a safe and nurturing environment for them, your students will probably go deeper than they ever have before to uncover some great insights. The group energy often supports deeper connections.

  • Intention: Invite participants to set a clear and strong intention to connect deeply with their subconscious minds to achieve their objectives. Programming of the subconscious requires 3 things: clarity, authority and repetition. Give everyone time to silently but clearly, with authority, direct their subconscious minds to produce depth and insights from the workshop’s exercises. Have them repeat their intention silently to themselves 3 times

  • Journaling, writing and exercises are easier to facilitate because well over half the time participants are doing the work. This gives you time to connect with your notes and prepare for the next exercise. You do not have to memorize a 3 hour speech! So if needed you can review the speaker notes and put key words and highlights in your workbook so you only have one piece of material to refer to during your presentations.

These are just a few of the many presentation skills and tips needed for fun, creative and successful workshops. Explore our facilitation training program.

John Robson of higherawareness.com has for the last 15 years being supporting individuals in finding their uniqueness and training facilitators to share what they love to do.

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Stuck? – 3 ways to get daily inspiration.

by John Robson on March 18, 2014

Inspiration can come to us in the most sudden and unexpected way, yet there are also times when it seems very elusive.  If you’re at a point in your life where you feel drained and desperately wanting be inspired again, we have a few simple tips for you that can help spark your inspiration daily.

These steps are very simple and you probably have already done them in the past. Yet, because they are so simple we tend to be unconscious, overlook their value and end up not getting the most out of them.

Give these daily inspirational ideas a shot!

  • Be still and spend time in your own head – Sometimes all the inspiration we need is actually already in our memory. It’s just a matter of tuning out the hustle and bustle of the world and just listening to yourself. Take a moment each day and just be quiet and still. Just observe the thoughts that pop up in your mind and flow with them with no judgment. Some of the best ideas and inspiration are a product of stillness and nonattachment to old ideas.
  • Take a walk – Almost all of us walk on a daily basis – to the office, school, a friends, around the house or even in the park. Most of us just walk to get to our destination without seeing and noticing what’s happening around us. Next time you go for a walk, open all of your senses to the beauty that surrounds you and you may just find your inspiration around the corner.
  • Take part is something new – Most of the time, familiarity, routine, boredom and being unaware drain us of our inspiration in life. Seeing and doing the same things day in and day out can easily turn our days gray. Why not try something new? Whether it’s a new hobby, a new club, a new place to eat, or adding something random to your day’s tasks. Try to squeeze in something new and unexpected to your day. Inspiration can take many forms and doing something new may just do the trick. For more ideas, see our list of 100 ways to do different things and do things differently.

Now these are just some very simple things you can do every day that can help you put more color and energy into your life. You can also sign up for our FREE daily inspirational messages and quotes to get consistent inspiration every day.

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A profound, short, personal journey entry…

by John Robson on March 14, 2014

Many people get into the habit of personal journaling and diary writing for different reasons. Some people do it to express ideas while most people just do it to put into writing the day’s events and emotions.

Many famous personalities have also shared their journals to the public. One particular personality is Teddy Roosevelt.

One particular entry in his journal that really stood out is the day when his beloved wife and mother passed away.

It was the 14th of February, 1884 and in a one sentence he was able to portray the most heartbreaking day in his life…

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Journal entries need not be a novel. It can be as short as a sentence yet can have the most impact to anyone reading it.

Do you know of a particular short, impactful journal entry that struck you most lately? Let us know in the comments below.

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Successful Workshop Facilitation Tips

by John Robson on March 13, 2014

1000 Students Through My Living Room in One Year
Clipboard01You read it right. I had over 1000 adults through my living room taking workshops in one year. If you want to be a facilitator or coach or are one already, I would like to share with you how I did that.

So how did I fill these workshops?

  • I had standing workshops three times per week for about three hours each, mainly in the evenings. In doing this I created lots of optional dates for people to choose from.
  • I did a lot of networking. I went to other people’s workshops with my business cards and flyers. I went to networking events and tradeshows and delivered my very short pitch to generate highly qualified leads.
  • As individuals took one workshop I gave them a special deal in taking three other workshops for the price of 2.
  • I set up a referral system. Initially it was bring three and get in for free. Later I had better results – bring two paying attendees and you get in for free.
  • I also asked people for referrals.
  • I kept a detailed list of all prospects, their interests, their hot buttons and when they would like to take the next program. My assumption is with everyone – it is never a ‘no’, it is only ‘when’. So I was signing up about 70% of my qualified prospects.

So what were the tools that I used in my networking?

  • I always had three pet questions that I would ask. These would reveal their level of interest in growth, change, empowerment and getting rid of their biggest challenge.
  • Contrary to what most sales trainers teach, I tried to get a ‘no’ as quickly as possible so that I knew I could efficiently move on to the next prospect.
  • I would leave them with my business card and a flyer and asked them if it was okay that I call them or email them the next day. I do not leave it up to them to call me.
  • I practiced my 1 minute elevator speech that contained a few qualifying questions, three large claims [benefits], a few features and exactly how it could benefit them.
  • I created a master spreadsheet list of who I contacted, their phone number, their hot buttons, extra points that I would remember them by, the last time I contacted them and the programs they had taken, if any.
  • I would spend about an hour each day following up my leads and getting commitments for the workshops.

And how did I set up my living room/classroom?

  • Chairs and the couch were comfortable and in a circle and I was basically just part of the circle.
  • I had a flipchart with two pages, one for ongoing presentation material and the other for notes, comments and exercises.
  • I had a remote control for my reflective music that I would play while they were doing their own exercises.
  • I had a self registration table, with receipts and a place for them to put their check or cash.
  • I had hot water, tea bags and cookies for people that came early and for a half-time break.
  • I had evaluation sheets and descriptions of the next programs available.
  • I had a sample name tag so they knew how to fill out name tags, so I can read them easily.
  • I had 15 clipboards each containing the workbook and resource materials for that workshop.

For more details on finding your unique niche, designing your own program, presentation skills and tips, marketing, and business strategies for fun, creative and successful workshops, explore our facilitation training program.

John Robson of higherawareness.com has for the last 15 years been supporting individuals in finding their uniqueness and training facilitators to find and share what they love to do.

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Inspiration about Dreams from Lupita Nyong’o

by John Robson on March 11, 2014

In the recent 2014 Oscar’s Award, Lupita Nyong’o may have given hands down one of the most heartfelt and inspiring acceptance speeches to date.

She not only recognized the real people who inspired the movie, but she also ended her speech with a simple and inspiring thought: Everyone’s dream is valid.

She shows us that there should be no hindrance to a dream. If you put in effort and really strive to achieve it, it can be done.

Here’s a look at Lupita’s short but inspiring speech:


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Magic of workshop facilitating and circles

by John Robson on March 4, 2014

My top 3 spiritual experiences occurred while I was facilitating small groups.

  1. All 9 attendees were immersed in a journaling exercise. I was holding the space for them as each of them were deeply into writing. I then had my first out of body experience. I was floating above them and their souls and lives were instantly known to me. I freaked and then was back in my body. I shared this with a few other facilitators and one of them had a similar experience.
  2. Another time was similar, but I became the space that each participant was experiencing. Again it was an all knowing experience that all was okay and perfect as it was and I stayed with it for many seconds. It was pure bliss and peace.
  3. Another time it was the participant’s that had eerie experience. Again it was a deep journaling exercise and each of them had their own enlightening experience. When asked to share, they each sat there in awe – just basking in the energy. Someone later asked what music I was playing, but I know it was more than the music.
    I wish this for all facilitators and students to experience. From my experience, it usually occurs near the end of a writing workshop. It often requires a safe, relaxing, quiet space and sometimes I use a short meditation to set the stage. And most of all it occurs when you are totally other conscious with no self centeredness and you are totally in the present moment.

Lately I have had good experiences in formal circles and Master Mind Groups. As a reference you may want to refer to Christina Baldwin’s “Calling of the Circle” and Robin Deen Carnes & Sally Craig’s “Sacred Circles” for great concepts and techniques for facilitating a circle or a workshop.

Click the link for information on Higher Awareness’s Workshop Facilitation Training Course and Certification.

To deeper insights and experiences to you all.

Meet you in Higher Awareness.

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Glimpse your uniqueness

by John Robson on February 19, 2014

knowing yourself

“Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.”
— Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Hello,

Do you believe you are totally unique? Well, you are. And when you tap into knowing your character and style and who you truly are deep in your being, your life is just a lot more fun, exciting and meaningful.

Get your copy of our most in-depth “Know your character and style” worksheet to help identify and make the most of your matchless gifts. Choose from 50 ways of experiencing your uniqueness and authenticity.

Clarify your emotional style. Identify your emotional breadth, stability, types, degrees, reactivity and varieties — and more. This can help you understand and support yourself and others.

No two of us think the same way. Clarify your thinking style. Identify your levels of directness, inclusiveness, focus, flexibility, accuracy, trust and focus of your thinking — and more. Get insights into why you think the way you do.

When you identify your physical, emotional and mental uniqueness, you will:

• converse with others more easily and effectively.
• better understand and accept yourself and others.
• have quality answers for your job interview questions.
• make better decisions more quickly and
• raise your confidence and self esteem.

How do you get your “Know your character and style” worksheet?

First, take our free Personality Style Quiz and then sign up for your free “Know your character and style” worksheet.

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” — Joseph Campbell

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100 Benefits you can get from Journal Writing

by John Robson on February 19, 2014

shutterstock_127010036 (1)Journaling is so much more than just an act of putting your thoughts on paper. Personal journaling can actually have a lot of benefits for your physical and emotional well-being. Whether you journal when you have an idea, when you vent out your emotions or when you recall memories, these lead to some of the many benefits of journal writing.

Here are just some of the benefits you can get when you get into the practice of writing your own journal.

Bridge your inner thinking with outer events. In the fast-paced world we live in today, sometimes too many things happen at the same time that we lose the opportunity to properly dwell on these events and process how they affect us. Oftentimes, it’s only left in our minds and as a result we lose the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons as well. Journaling gives you an opportunity to stop and really feel and think about the events that have happened and process your real emotions. And in writing down your emotions and inner thoughts, you not only put your thoughts onto paper but you are also strengthening your memory and learning.

Helps to heal the past. Journaling can also aid in the healing process. When we’ve been hurt we tend to bottle up our emotions which actually makes it harder to forgive and heal the wounds. The more you write about what you feel towards what happened the more you are allowing your mind and heart to accept the things that you can no longer change. You expose yourself to deeper emotions in your own space and in a safe way until the pain goes away.

Exercise your mental muscles. When you get stuck doing menial and routine work, we tend to forget to exercise our brains. Journaling is one good way to exercise your mental muscles. Before you write anything in your journal, allow your mind to process and organize thoughts. Allow yourself to bask in your new learnings and in that way you use your mind day by day.

These are just some of the many benefits you can get from Journaling. Choose from our list of “100 Journaling Benefits” and find a new motivation for your next journaling session.

How does Journaling benefit you in your day to day life? Or how would you like to benefit from journal writing? Feel free to share below.

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New Ways of Journaling

by John Robson on February 12, 2014

R SmithWhat’s the most unforgettable experience that happened to you last year? Can you remember the details? What’s the lesson that stood out from last year’s experience? Can you vividly remember the emotions you felt during that time?

Wouldn’t it be great if you can remember your life experiences as if it were only yesterday? Vivid memories have the ability to excite our senses and allow our brains to recall all related learning with it. This detailed recall makes it easier for us to retain the life lessons that we take from your experiences.

Now you ask me, what’s the best way to relive these memories? Journaling.

As you create your Journal entry, you are already allowing your brain to make connections to these memories. You repeat the situation, the emotions, the realizations and this becomes food for your brain. You allow yourself to absorb every single sensation brought about by these realizations. It is through this act that you connect even more deeply, and in return makes it difficult for you to ever forget them.

Journaling does not necessarily have to be a pen and paper thing. There are different journaling techniques that you can apply based on what suits your lifestyle or personality. Here are a few new journaling ideas that you can play around with:

1. Photo journals – Take a picture of a scene or a thing that stuck with you for the day and say something about it. Why was it significant for you?

2. Online journals – There are now many websites that allow you to express your emotions and ideas through online journaling, writing, art, poetry or even just a blog. Not only will you be connecting with your experiences, but you are sharing it to the world as well. Who knows, you might just be the turning factor of someone’s life somewhere.

3. Phone App journals or the cloud – Almost everyone in the world now owns a cell phone or smartphone. It’s handy, convenient and we don’t leave home without it. So it’s the perfect accessory for journaling as well. You can be sitting in a bus, on your bed or having coffee. When an idea or realization strikes you, you just have to bring out your phone and text or use voice to create a journal entry about it.

Personal journaling need not be a novel type thing. It can be as easy as a paragraph or simple sentence, that deeply connects with who you are. It’s a simple habit you can do each day and at the end of the year not only do you have your memories all in one place, but you also get a hindsight of how you evolved throughout the year. And when you have that, you are helping yourself achieve your Higher Awareness.

So start the year right, get into the habit of Journaling, even if it is a few words a day.

Do you have a journal at the moment? What’s another creative way you can start journaling? Share in the comments below.

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Being Aware of Imagination

by John Robson on February 11, 2014

creative thinking

I just created more space in my office for more ideas and insights. And I re-hung my favorite framed quote on the wall.

“Nurture great thoughts, for you will never go higher than your thoughts.” Benjamin Disraeli

It is too easy for life, social media, monkey mind, television, interruptions, etc. to whittle life away. Unless I protect some self quality time, to go inside and attune to what is real and important, my passion and focus slowly erodes.

So I have allowed more early morning time to connect with my intuition, higher awareness, purpose and new ideas calling for my attention. Sparking my creative thinking serves as my daily sanity break. What do you do for your sacred daily sanity break?

I pulled together a few quotes that say it better than I do.

“Your imagination is your preview to life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein

“Change is created by those whose imaginations are bigger than their circumstances” — Unknown source

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.” — Carl Sandburg

“What you see is what you get!” – Flip Wilson

Meet you in Higher Awareness
John

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