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)

Related articles


About Facilitation Instructor
President of Morgan Madison & Company, through professional and academic endeavors, Terrence has focused on improving group decision-making quality. His experience has proven that: 1. Evidence-based information assures higher quality decisions. 2. Properly managed conflict, provides groups with more “options” to consider —
 and groups with more options have been proven to make higher quality decisions. With a Baccalaureate in Science from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and a MBA from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, Metz’s core competency has focused on rhetoric: the process of adjusting ideas to people and people to ideas. He is a founding principal partner and president at MG RUSH and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt® from Motorola University. CRC Press, part of Taylor and Francis, publishers since 1798, published his recent book, “Change or Die: Business Process Improvement Manual”. Terrence introduced the concept of holism to the field of structured facilitation as a method for keeping discussions on target and aligning deliverables within and throughout an enterprise. As a public speaker and instructor, he strives to reduce ‘noise’ and ‘distractions’ so that groups and teams can be more successful. Terrence is passionate about using and teaching the FAST Facilitation technique so that people and teams make more informed decisions. He 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. Since 1999, Terrence has taught over three hundred classes.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,837 other followers