The late Dr. Ruth B. Noller (1923-2008) was my greatest creativity and creative thinking facilitation teacher and mentor. Her motto: A facilitator is a guide by the side rather than a sage on the stage. I feel honored and fortunate to have studied with her for 5 years, both as an undergraduate and graduate student.
In 1997 her 1982 book, Mentoring: A Voice Scarf was revised. Even though she wrote of strategies for effective mentoring, these can also be applied to effective facilitation. True to her intention, that we make our learnings our own by adapting them in relevant ways from the original, I expanded Ruth’s list to show ways we can walk the talk and model creativity-thinking behaviors as guides-by-the-sides for others, so they may grow beyond their perceived potential.
Strategies for Effective Mentoring (Facilitation) originated by Ruth Noller (1982, 1997)/adapted by Marci Segal (2014)
Attitude of Positiveness/Think Happy Thoughts
Valuing/What’s the most important thing?
Open-Mindedness/Consider alternatives before deciding
Interrelations/Learn from living and shared experiences
Creative Problem Solving/Deliberately free thinking to create new futures
Effective Communication/Listen well, ask questions, consider others’ worlds and how they survive in them
Discovery/Find ways to learn through curiosity… for positive and challenging unexpected consequences
Strengths + Uniqueness/Leverage personal talents to create new ideas, make new decisions + take new actions
Confidence/Build on experience to continue to improve
Awareness/Notice what is going on in context, find and act on opportunities even when you feel none exist
Risk-Taking/Be an active participator, be proactive
Flexibility/Look for alternatives, ask who else, what else, where else, when else, how else