Facilitators are More Popular than Dictators: Google Ngram Viewer


War or Peace

“Brain Breaks” and other mental stimulation are valuable for increasing group performance as measured by the velocity and innovativeness of ideas. Use Google’s Ngram Viewer as a way to stimulate group energy, teambuilding, and topic related discussion—all at the same time.

Simply turn your browser to http://books.google.com/ngrams and insert two comma separated phrases or terms to compare their occurrence in published English language books over the past 200 years.

For example, in the chart and result above, we compared the occurrences of the terms ‘war’ and ‘peace.’  As you can tell, the use of both terms are on a decline, amplifying the many shades of grey that exist between these two end states. The term ‘war’ remains largely prevalent and the term ’peace’ experienced a slight rise during the Viet-Nam conflict era, the 70’s.

Facilitator vs Dictator

Comparing the term ‘facilitator’ with ‘dictator’ we surprisingly discover that the term ‘facilitator’ become more popular (as measured by frequency of use) around 1995 and the trend appears to be increasing. The message is clear. If you want to be more popular, be a facilitator and not a dictator! Oh well, have some fun on your own, and help get participants back from breaks and lunch in a timely fashion with this tool. For other “Brain Breaks” do not forget to access your FAST alumni resources.

Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs)

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About Facilitative Leader & Instructor
Biographic Sketch — Terrence Metz Since the end of 1999, Terrence Metz has been a founding principal partner and vice president at Morgan Madison & Company. For over twenty years, through professional and academic endeavors, Terrence has focused on improving group decision-making. His experience has proven that two important components to effective group decision-making are: 1. Higher quality information assures higher quality decisions, 2. Properly managed conflict, generates more “options” to consider—
and groups with more options are proven to make higher quality decisions. Terrence is passionate about using and teaching the FAST Facilitative Leadership Training technique so that people and teams make more informed decisions. Terrence is the lead instructor and primary curriculum developer for MG Rush Performance Learning. He earned his Six Sigma Green Belt® from Motorola University and wrote most of the existing FAST curriculum. Terrence made the FAST technique more robust by adding and enhancing decision-making tools such as PowerBalls and the FAST quantitative SWOT technique that is used worldwide by Fortune 1000 companies. He introduced the concept of holism to the field of structured facilitation as a method for keeping discussions on target and aligning deliverables throughout an organization. Since 1999, Terrence has taught over two hundred classes. With a Baccalaureate in Science from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and a MBA from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on product/ process development and innovation. Terrence has a P&L background in capital goods markets with highly engineered-products and services (eg, Honeywell). He is an expert group facilitator, instructor, and developer of workflow processes and Voice of the Market inputs that accelerate commercial success. His engagements have included strategic development, business planning, problem-solving, continuous improvement, organizational design, process design and improvement, customer cognitivity workshops, and market-based product development and launch. His book "Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual" from CRC Press was published internationally in 2012. Terrence completed additional graduate work in inter-cultural decision-making processes at Marquette University, is a former board member of the Product Development Managers’ Association, and a long-time member of the IAF (International Association of Facilitators), MFNA (Midwest Facilitators Network Association), TMAC (Technology Management Association of Chicago) and WFS (World Future Society). Most importantly, Terrence is an effective listener and equally adept at teaching FAST classes as well as galvanizing consensus around complex issues for organizations and groups.

3 Responses to Facilitators are More Popular than Dictators: Google Ngram Viewer

  1. Maxine says:

    Fun tool. The word “consultant” is also in decline.

    • Perhaps because the verb “consult” is a contronym. As such, it is never clear whether the consultant is giving me something, or I need to give the consultant something when I “consult” with them. See “consult.”

  2. Pingback: How to Facilitate Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Using an Ishakawa Diagram (ie, Fishbone Analysis) « Facilitative Leadership & Facilitator Training

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