Archive for ‘General’ Category

Great Facilitators – 5 Key Differences

Business people listening to speaker and smilingA “newbie” HR person called me in a panic last week. Without any prior experience, Suzanne had been asked to facilitate a series of leadership development workshops. She anxiously asked me for some insights about what makes a great facilitator.

Great facilitators create an inspiring, encouraging learning environment where learners are engaged, ask provocative questions and make perceptive connections to their workplace.

From my own experience coaching facilitators and trainers in dozens of organizations, here’s what I’ve learned.

All facilitators must be able to:

  • Present models and concepts clearly and concisely
  • Ask challenging questions to facilitate discussions
  • Use an appropriate pace for the needs of the group
  • Draw on learners’ experiences and knowledge to make connections
  • Ensure there are plenty of opportunities to practice the skills being taught

What makes a facilitator great? 5 Key Differences. They:

  1. Have personal experience and deep knowledge in the subject matter, e.g. coaching skills, presentation skills, motivating a team, etc.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the organization and the learners’ roles
  3. Use stimulating, relevant story-telling, anecdotes and examples
  4. Make effective bridges and transitions between concepts
  5. Adapt to learners’ needs and learning styles

The next time you have an opportunity to observe a facilitator, ask yourself: Are the learners engaged? Using this blog as a checklist, what contributed or detracted from the learners’ experience?

If you would like a free copy of our complete Train-the-Trainer Checklist, or would like to learn more about our train-the-trainer services, please contact me, Joan Hill. Thank you!


The Secret Sauce That Will Help You Leverage Your Potential

In my first coaching conversation with a client, I ask: “Do you have a mentor, or someone you turn to for advice”? Because… Mentoring is the secret sauce that helps people realize their full potential. Although some people find mentors by accident, many don’t know how to find a mentor.

How to Find a Mentor…

  1. Develop a profile of your ideal mentor: their knowledge, skills, experience, achievements. What impresses you about them? What do they have that you want?
  2. Approach the individual who best fits your ideal profile. Rather than telling them you are looking for a mentor, take a softer approach such as, “From time to time I’m looking for someone to give me some advice about my career and I value your expertise. Would you be willing to meet with me for 30 minutes in the next few weeks?
  3. Share what you would like to learn and their related experience.
  4. Define your expectations about how frequently you want to meet.
  5. Request a second meeting. If they are reluctant, move on to other potential mentors.

If you are interested in learning about mentoring or CORE’s other leadership development services, please contact me, Joan Hill, at (905) 990-2515 or

You can also visit our website at

Can Your Team Improve?

Try Our Team Effectiveness Survey

Want to improve your team’s performance? First determine your team’s strengths and development opportunities. Then generate a conversation with your team about the results and do some action planning.

Our Team Effectiveness Survey assesses 5 key characteristics of high performing teams:
Team effectivness 3 crop

  1. At the centre of our 5-D Model for Team Effectiveness is Trust and Respect. Trust and Respect exist when every team member’s contribution is valued and you have confidence in each other’s intent.
  2. Teams that are Results Focused have a clear vision of the future and what they want to achieve. Your entire team has challenging goals aligned with your strategic plan and the organization’s direction.
  3. When your team has effective Interpersonal Communications, they openly share ideas, information and perspectives. They give each other feedback in a timely, constructive manner.
  4. Team Processes refers to specific processes and models that your team uses to communicate, solve problems, make decisions, share information and resolve conflict.
  5. When members fully support team goals and decisions and are accountable for team results, your team has Commitment.

Keen to learn how your team is doing? Our electronic survey will give you an instant snapshot of your team’s effectiveness. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete the confidential survey. We then summarize the data for easy analysis and action planning. Your team can then discuss the results (using our leader’s guide) or we can facilitate a dynamic, interactive session for you.

Our Team Effectiveness Survey has provided amazing insights to organizations such as pharmaceutical, hospitality, property management, not for profit, retail and mining. For more information including costs, please contact:

Joan Hill directly at or (905) 990-2515.

Managing Time and Priorities

Ever wondered what really causes your time management problems? Our research shows that it’s not simply an overload of meetings, emails or work.

Time problems typically fall into at least one of four areas:


We are excited to be able to share our confidential self-assessment with you. This is normally part of our
Managing Time and Priorities workshop.

If you are interested in taking the self-assessment (for your personal use only please) or would like to learn more about our Managing Time and Priorities workshop, please contact me, Joan Hill, at (905) 990-2515 or

You can also visit our website at


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Take Charge of Dysfunctional Meeting Behaviour: “The Critics”

Who else besides The Talkers has the potential to derail your meetings? The Critics.iStock_000048577658Large (1)

Daniela is a critic. She constantly challenges others and makes derogatory comments. Her body language conveys hostility.

How can you handle Daniela both respectfully and effectively? Tempting as it is to argue with her, she likely will become even more contentious.

Here are 5 techniques to handle the Critics’ behaviour:

  1. Acknowledge her position. “Daniela, it seems that you have a different perspective.”
  2. Ask her to elaborate. “Can you tell us why you feel so strongly?” This will help clarify her opinion and reveal her agenda.
  3. Summarize and confirm your understanding of her view. “What I hear you saying is that you feel we should …. is that correct?” Ask the other meeting participants: “Does this resonate with anyone else?”
  4. Transition to the next agenda item if the other meeting participants disagree with her input.  “Thanks, Daniela. I think we now understand why you are opposed. I’m happy to take this offline if you would like to discuss it further. Let’s now move to the next topic…”
  5. Ask questions and reinforce comments that are on target with your agenda.

If you are faced with challenging meeting behaviours and would like some on-one-one coaching, please contact me.

We also offer a two hour training workshop on Facilitating Meetings that Work: