How to facilitate extroverts

facilitation workshops Mar 07, 2019

We recently published an article on facilitating introverts. It wouldn't be fair to exclude our more outward colleagues, so here is a post about extroverts. 

Key points

  • Agree on a signal or mechanism to bring activity to a close and focus attention
  • Give clear instructions with tight timeframes
  • Make your workshops activity heavy. Less theory more doing!
  • Let them shine

At first glance, you may believe it's easier to facilitate extroverts. They're the ones who love activity, love sharing ideas and looooove drinking in the energy of those around them. This is true AND they can also tip the scales toward chaos if not given appropriate constraints and direction.

What do I mean? 

When you're facilitating and/or training, you have a run sheet and a LOT to get through in a day. Time and timing are always on your mind. There's a constant interplay between delivering the necessary content and allowing room for participants to find their own way and integrate what they're...

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How to facilitate introverts

Key points

  • Introverts want to learn and add value as much as extroverts, they just have a different way of showing it
  • Build a container of psychological safety prior to and during your workshops
  • Include solo exercises and mindful reflection
  • Make yourself available for individual interaction during breaks and activities
  • Give participants the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback and suggestions during and after the workshop


And this continues in our workplaces. It seems the loudmouths get all the attention and often, the rewards. Or they get eye rolls, but even if they do, they take up an inordinate amount of space and focus.

So what about the quiet ones? Where do they belong? And how the heck do you facilitate them in a workshop? They’re...

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Why human-centred design is like a 4 foot 7 Japanese woman

It was Sunday night and time for some Netflix. There was a new show in our feed called ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’. Ooh this looks interesting. We selected it. 

There on the screen was a living doll, dressed in white - “the world’s most organised person” - as she patiently helped normal, everyday, and overwhelmed people tidy their homes. 

We watched one episode. Then another. And another. I turned to my girlfriend and said, let’s do this! 

So I bought Marie’s first book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, downloaded it to my Kindle and proceeded to read half of it that night. I was hooked. And since then we’ve been tidying up like never before. As have many others who've joined the Kondo craze.

Marie’s approach (known as the KonMari method) is to systematically sort through EVERY SINGLE THING in your home and only keep those items that ‘spark joy’ in your life. Simple right? 


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How to be more productive by doing less

design mindfulness Jan 18, 2019

Productivity. It’s everywhere. Just ask someone how they are. “Busy” is usually the first word to leave their lips. 

Or check your favourite App store. Thousands and thousands of productivity tools and systems and re-skinned spreadsheets. All designed to push us into getting more done in less time so you can get even more done with all that extra time you now have, right? Hmmm.

Your KPIs are a measure of your productivity. Writing, presenting, selling, shipping, calling, meeting, emailing. A constant stream of action tells the people around us that we’re getting it done. This is modern life. It’s how we work. But…

Whatever happened to reflection? Taking the time to ponder, look inward, let the dust settle so you can actually think deeper and gain some real insight. And perhaps uncover a better way. 

That’s for unemployed hippies, right? Or zen monks in mountain caves. Or holidays. Or when something major happens in our lives, like...

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The Importance of Being Centred when Facilitating

Hi I’m Ben and am one of the people delivering our new course, Human-Centred Facilitation this November. Today I want to focus on the ‘centred’ part of human-centred facilitation. More specifically, why it’s important that you stay centred. 

If you’ve ever been to China, you may have seen the early morning activities in the parks. A favourite is groups of people practising tai chi, especially on frosty mornings where you can see their breath. Very poetic. There is something hypnotic and calming about watching the gentle movements of this ancient martial art. And there’s an important facilitation lesson to be learned in its philosophy and style.  


Tai chi is all about maintaining connection to your own centre of gravity with the aim of developing sensitivity to the opponent’s movements and their centre of gravity. This sensitivity dictates the appropriate responses. 

It is simply and eloquently...

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Presence in the Process: The Hidden Key of Design

Perhaps it's not terribly sexy, but one of the things that makes a really great designer is decision-making. A series of good decisions throughout the design process make the difference between something half-baked, and something game-changing.

How do we make game-changing decisions? 

First, let's define what I'm referring to here. More than a "yes", or a "no" in a meeting, a decision is something that occurs as a result of a group of people trusting one-another, working with one-another towards a shared goal or purpose.

A great decision isn't always entirely rational. Sometimes it can even be hard to justify. A really good decision is based on experience, and requires awareness of the whole of the ecosystem we're designing in and our level of presence within it.

What do we mean by the term ‘presence' as relates to design? 

Why do we believe that presence is hugely relevant to businesses right now? 

Otto Scharmer is a big influence of mine, and has written at...

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The Dance of Design


In the last year, I’ve learnt to dance. I have never danced before, so everything is new to me. I wasn’t expecting it, but there are many parallels between dance and design. I’ve learnt a lot about mindset, transformation, leadership and creativity in ways that have shifted how I design.

Specifically, the body in dance is what illuminates these gems.

When I started dancing, I assumed that I would need to work hard to transform my body. I used to do lots of stretches and exercises to increase my flexibility. Then, while on a dance retreat recently, I learned something that completely changed my way of thinking: I learned that bodily sensations fall into two broad categories: loud sensations, and quiet sensations.

A loud sensation would be stretching. Step one foot forward, straighten your rear leg, and stretch your rear hamstring. It feels great, and it's a bit uncomfortable, so I must be doing something good. That's a loud sensation: it kind of shouts at...

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For project success, who needs to be human centred design savvy?

capability transformation Mar 13, 2018
We live in an era where our largest companies are struggling for relevance.  

There are plenty of services that are simply not satisfying the consumer, nor supporting the business to stay relevant in the long term. Things like capped mobile phone plans limiting the value a customer can derive… health insurance policies providing coverage for irrelevant conditions… pay TV subscriptions with content you’ll never watch.

Fortunately (for both the customer and corporation), we are starting to see leaders with an appetite to explore the benefits of human-centred design.  In doing so, businesses are better able to take a fresh and more productive approach to the types of experiences they can aspire to provide their customers.

By designing product offerings and services with a primary focus of delighting the customer, the business actually positions themselves really well for financial success and improved market share. Setting up design teams to run...

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