Laurel and Associates, Ltd.

Category Archives : communication

Tip #676:  Tips for Facilitating a Group

On June 20, 2017, Posted by , In communication, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #676:  Tips for Facilitating a Group

“The facilitator’s job is to support everyone to do their best thinking. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding, and cultivates shared responsibility.”  Sam Kaner

Group facilitation requires patience and attention.

Here are 14 tips to keep in mind the next time you’re involved in facilitating a group:

1.   Help the members feel welcome [smile, shake hands, make sure all members know each other]

2.   Review the agenda and objectives for the session [put the agenda with time frames on a flip chart sheet for easy reference]

3.   Explain your role [to keep the discussion on time and on track- and ensure equal participation of all members

4.   Remind the members of the ground rules … Read the rest

Tip #675: Serendipity: A Fortunate Happenstance

On June 13, 2017, Posted by , In communication, By , With Comments Off on Tip #675: Serendipity: A Fortunate Happenstance

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.” Earl Nightingale

A friend told me about a series of chance occurrences that together became a very fortunate happenstance. Her story brightened my day and I hope it brightens yours.

  1. Fortuity (a chance occurrence).

Two colleagues, A and B, meet at a conference.

  1. Geniality (a friendly and cheerful manner)

They enjoy a pleasant conversation.

  1. Invitation (a request for someone to go somewhere or do something)

Colleague A invites Colleague B to attend a meeting later that week.

  1. Reconnection (to meet or come into contact again after a
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Tip #674:  Why Isn’t an Open Mind Enough?

On June 6, 2017, Posted by , In communication, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #674:  Why Isn’t an Open Mind Enough?

“The success of our actions as change-makers does not depend on What we do or How we do it, but on the Inner Place from which we operate.” Bill O’Brien (paraphrased)

I have always thought that it was important to have an open mind- and prided myself on having one.

According to Z. Hereford, at, people who are open minded are: “willing to change their views when presented with new facts and evidence.” They are “more accepting of others,” “have fewer prejudices,” “are more open to change,” and “have better problem solving skills.”

Based on this description, an open mind seems to be a desirable characteristic for a lifelong learner and a change agent.

However, information I’ve received … Read the rest

Tip #665: Five Steps to Transform Anger

On April 11, 2017, Posted by , In communication, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #665: Five Steps to Transform Anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems –not people; to focus your energies on answers –not excuses.”   William Arthur Ward

If we lose objectivity due to our anger, we lose control of ourselves and the situation. There are five steps we can take to transform our anger into something positive and constructive.

Step #1:    Disengage from the Situation

When we disengage, we focus on the results we want while we cool down.  We can either physically remove ourselves from the situation or take an emotional time out. Disengaging is not the same as withdrawal, which is in effect a power play that involves resisting the other person’s feelings. It is simply a way to keep defensiveness from escalating.… Read the rest

Tip #663:   Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice!

On March 21, 2017, Posted by , In communication,Uncategorized, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #663:   Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice!

“The people sensible enough to give good advice are usually sensible enough to give none.”  Eden Phillpotts

There are a number of reasons why people give unsolicited advice. If you have such a tendency, see if any of the following sound familiar:

  1. They assume that the person wants to hear their opinion of what they themselves would do in the situation.
  2. They had a similar problem that they solved successfully, so naturally they feel obliged to share it.
  3. They worry that, since they are the boss, they will look incompetent if they do not immediately offer their advice or solution to the problem.
  4. They know that they are expected to offer advice because they are known to be the “fixers”
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Tip #661: Objectivity is a Keystone for Consensus

On March 7, 2017, Posted by , In communication, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #661: Objectivity is a Keystone for Consensus

Consensus doesn’t happen by magic…You have to drive to it.” Christine Quinn

Consensus is defined by the Center for Conflict Resolution as follows:

“Simply stated, consensus is different from other kinds of decision-making because it stresses the cooperative development of a decision with group members working together rather than competing against each other. The goal of consensus is a decision that is consented to by all group members. Of course, full consent does not mean that everyone must be completely satisfied with the final outcome- in fact, total satisfaction is rare. The decision must be acceptable enough, however, that all will agree to support the group in choosing it.”

As apparent by the comments in bold print, … Read the rest