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Monthly Newsletter of Rochester Professional Consultants Network, Rochester, NY May 2023

A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

Facilitator Characters You May Know
(Or wish you didn’t)

Artful facilitators flex their approach, choose appropriate tools, and add a personal touch to help groups meet their goals. Some facilitators take their idiosyncrasies to extremes. (Of course, none of us do this). Here are some you might have run into, or away from, or the years


“Let's dig down deeper and deeper and deeper into the details.” Time means nothing to the tortoise. Micro-analyzing all the information is important above all else.


Finishing on time is everything to the Hare, regardless of results. “We've spent the allotted 30 seconds on this agenda item. Let's move on.” Hares allow little time for participant input or creativity. The agenda is King.


This person has us relax and get in touch with our inner souls and tap into the universal consciousness for guidance. “Free your mind and drift along as we lie here holding hands. Close your eyes. Let the aroma and music touch your soul and heighten your senses. Relax, drift, float, ahhhh.” This approach has its place (maybe in Yoga, an off-site event, or a séance), but might not work for many team sessions.

Drill Sergeant

A true Type-A personality. “We will do it by the book. Sit up straight. Be quiet.” The military-style dictator approach might be appropriate in some extreme situations. But, it’s a great way to stifle participation.

Sly Fox

Some Foxes are crafty as they encourage and seek input from a group.  But, they sort, filter, and summarize in ways that support their predetermined plan, point of view, or hidden agenda. They think they’ve pulled the wool over our eyes, but most of us know we’ve been had.

Wimpy Friend

Wimps yearn for group approval and tread lightly to avoid any hint of offending or controversy. ”Let's be pals. Please like me. Please don't hurt me.”

Process Freak

“I know. This calls for a pareto-trend-affinity-scatter-brainstormed-forced-fishbone diagram. You know, a PTASBSFFD.” Effective facilitating tools have their place, but every situation needn’t be organized to death.

Loosey Goose

“Oops. Did anyone bring a copy of the agenda? I seem to have lost mine. Do we really NEED an agenda? - We all know what we‘re here for.” Group productivity goes downhill fast.

What do you think of these approaches?  Do you see yourself in any of these characters? If so,  you might need to shape up your facilitation style.

Here’s a place to start your tune-up. Best wishes on your next meeting!

Bob Lurz

EHC Lunch & Learn

RPCN held another Enhancing Human Capital (EHC) session on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Its title was, “Conflict Resolution: People or Circumstance.” This session was conducted by Bob Lewis. It was an exploration of approaches to reducing and/or resolving conflicts around us, whether at work or within our own inner circle.

The discussion centered around a tool, or instrument, called DISC. The acronym stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

DISC is a well-known behavioral assessment tool to promote self-awareness in individuals. Once they gain this awareness, it can help them determine a course of action when dealing with problems as a leadership team.

There was great consternation that such a tool would be misused to pigeonhole people and contribute to the conflict. Bob Lewis stated, “As a certified DISC administrator myself, I would certainly agree. It serves best when there is widespread knowledge and appreciation of the tool throughout the organization. Even solopreneur consultants can benefit from its use, in order to understand themselves and their clients better.”

The next EHC session will be held on Thursday, May 18th, from 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM. For more information, stay tuned to the RPCN website at Rochester Professional Consultants Network - Calendar of Events (

Membership Committee News

RPCN membership continues to fluctuate between 63-65 members, as the number of new members vs. those that don’t renew varies slightly each month. Currently, we have 63 members. As we each begin reconnecting and visiting with our organizations, peers, and friends, remain curious about the challenges they are facing. Some people that have struggled quietly may now be open to sharing a little, which will enable you to offer a meaningful connection to RPCN. It might be asking one of us to share some advice with your contact, or possibly name an upcoming event relevant to them. If they show some curiosity in RPCN, you can drop me a note and I will try and assist them as needed. My email is

Reminder: With our return to charging for Learn From The Best (LFTB), we instituted a benefit where guests can use their $25 fee once from LFTB to apply towards a regular or affiliate membership within one month of that specific session.

RPCN Board members and the Membership Committee remain engaged in an initiative to reach out to members that we don’t know or haven’t seen in a while.

  • If you would like to help engage or reengage members, you can reach out to me for lists and conversation guides.
  • As this article precedes the May 1st deadline for the results, we will find another way to let you know if I have to keep my commitment of driving in from Syracuse and attending the May 12th Learn From The Best at the Al Sigl center and donating $100 to RPCN. Here’s hoping for a big push in the final week of April.

Speaking of reaching out, would you consider gifting 15 minutes a week to member outreach and joining our Membership team? Contact me for more information or questions.

Welcome New Members

Last month we mentioned the names of new members since the new year began. This month begins an expansion of that effort with a short introduction of members that have joined in the prior month. Please reach out and welcome our new members and discover where you may be able to boost their success. They may have a way to help you as well. So, here are write-ups on two of our new members from March.

Katia Chaban is a Canadian whose work life had her living around the US. She eventually landed in our cherished Rochester area in 1997. Katia supported many companies with their continual need for IT professionals and sometimes worked onsite for long periods of hiring and onboarding. Katia recently completed her Ph.D. in Business, specializing in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors for business. Her new venture, Rethinkit Strategies Inc., is a couple of months old but is already creating partners for this relatively new field via EC-United. Her LinkedIn can be found here. P.S. Stay sharp. She coaches boxing which led her to connect with us via Lon Smith.

Carolyn Spencer is a Rochester native who has combined her love for learning about tech, people, and systems to already be an impactful developer and leader. Her many experiences led her to obtain a patent addressing how web content can be instantly formatted to present information to each of us based on a portable persona. Things of primary interest to you or I is where our website experience begins. No more plowing through the same old website’s fixed format where we have to make several clicks just to find relevant content. Carolyn is currently completing her Executive MBA at RIT while being active in many areas of tech and entrepreneurial startup support. You can contact Carolyn on LinkedIn to learn more about her and Innovation Changent, LLC.

Be well, everyone.

Tom Fecteau

RPCN Video

Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, May 5, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Be Disciplined and Creative to Gain Buy-In
Presented by Terry Callanan
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, May 12, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn
Thursday, May 18, 2023
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, May 19, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, May 19, 2023
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Your Business Stories Waiting to Be Told
Presented by Judy Shenouda
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, May 26, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Did You Know
How to Sponsor an Event?

Did you know that RPCN provides a way for you to showcase your business to a group of business people, any of which might become your client because of learning about what you do?

Imagine showcasing you and your business in an RPCN spotlight. The way this is accomplished is to use a feature on our website called Sponsor an Event.

There are two ways to find the link for sponsoring an event.

  1. The website (Rochester Professional Consultants Network | RPCN ( opens on the Home Page. Look on the right side of the RPCN Home Page and scroll down. There you’ll find a bright-colored wheel-type graphic with the words “Sponsor an Event” on it. Click on that and proceed with the instructions.
  2. On the main menu, hover over Events, then scroll down to Sponsor an Event. Click on that and proceed with the instructions.

You will find all you need here to sponsor a meeting:

  1. Benefits
  2. Cost
  3. Instructions

Go ahead, take a look.

Imagine you and your business in the RPCN spotlight!

Steve Royal

Volunteer Opportunities

Member Outreach Volunteers

The RPCN Membership Committee is looking for members who enjoy expanding their connections and learning about other industries. We are looking for two Member Outreach Volunteers. The Membership Committee has been increasing our interactions with members in several new ways, and the first area where we could benefit from additional hands (and ears) is to learn about the current business goals of your fellow members. If you’re a curious type, you will easily discover the keys that the member believes will be critical to their success, any potential challenges the member can foresee, and how RPCN may be able to help. Your minimum time investment would be just 30 minutes a week and should never exceed three hours a month.

Interested, curious? Reach out to the RPCN Membership Chair, Tom Fecteau, or 315.447.0425 for more details.

RPCN Board Secretary

We have an opening for someone (or a couple people) that would like to get more involved with RPCN. It’s not a huge commitment, just one meeting each month and a bit of typing.

Are you interested? GREAT!

We need someone willing to attend the Board meetings on the 3rd Friday of each month from 10am until noon to take notes and create the Minutes for the meeting. It’s not hard work, and you get to be directly involved in the Board discussions.

If you’re interested and are willing to help out, please contact David Finger, current RPCN President, at for more details.

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Sandra Glanton, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.

Request from the Editors

When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please:
1. Send the submission TO and not to individuals.
2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)

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