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The Secrets of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups, New and Revised

Book Description

The revised edition of this facilitation classic offers a wealth of targeted techniques for facilitators who seek effective, consistent, and repeatable results. Based on Michael Wilkinson's proven SMART (Structured Meeting And Relating Techniques) approach, The Secrets of Facilitation can help to achieve stellar results when managing, presenting, teaching, planning, and selling, as well as other professional and personal situations.

This expanded edition includes new chapters on facilitating virtual meetings, cross-cultural teams, and large groups and conferences. It also provides a series of strategies for engaging teams, additional information about making meetings more productive, and further guidance on preventing dysfunctional behavior. In addition, the book contains a wealth of fresh case studies and an ancillary website with must-have tools and techniques for both the beginner and the seasoned facilitator.

Praise for the First Edition of The Secrets of Facilitation

"One of the single most powerful processes is the ability to successfully lead a group to an impactful, actionable outcome. In The Secrets of Facilitation, beginning and experienced facilitators alike will find tools to take their results to the next level."

—Jim Canfield, chief learning officer, TEC International

"This book shares 'The Secrets' that have been the basis of my facilitation practice for over a decade."

—Kerri McBride, past chair, International Association of Facilitators

"In my career, I've seen many, many facilitators. Michael Wilkinson is the best. 'The Secrets' explain why."

—Len Roberts, CEO, RadioShack

"We have trained over 100 leaders and business analysts in 'The Secrets.' Great facilitation works."

—Peter Scott, executive general manager, MLC-National Australia Bank

"At last there is a practical, hands-on guide for anyone who works with groups or teams. This book delivers!"

—Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO, Herrmann International, Herrmann Brain Dominance Indicator

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Introduction to the Second Edition
  7. Introduction: A Powerful Secret
  8. Chapter I: What is the Role of A Facilitator?
    1. When Is Facilitation Appropriate?
    2. Definition: What Is a Facilitated Session?
    3. What Are the Responsibilities of a Facilitator?
    4. The Soul of a Facilitator
    5. When Is Facilitation Not Appropriate?
    6. Facilitation: Where Is the Industry Today?
    7. What’s Next for Facilitation?
    8. Applying the Secrets to Gain Buy-In to a Strategic Plan
    9. Facilitator’s Checklist for Understanding Facilitation and the Roles of a Facilitator
    10. Exercise Your Skills
    11. Note
  9. Chapter II: The Secrets to Questioning
    1. The Starting Question
    2. The Reacting Questions
    3. Floating an Idea
    4. Applying the Questioning Techniques
    5. A Final Note on Questioning
    6. Facilitator’s Checklist for Questioning
    7. Exercise Your Skills
  10. Chapter III: The Secrets to Preparing
    1. The 5 Ps of Preparation
    2. It’s All About Purpose
    3. Defining the Product
    4. Selecting Participants
    5. Identifying the Probable Issues
    6. Preparing the Process
    7. The Meeting Notice
    8. Special Topic: Managing a Sponsor
    9. Applying the 5 Ps
    10. Facilitator’s Checklist for Preparing
    11. Exercise Your Skills
  11. Chapter IV: The Secrets to Starting
    1. Opening the Session
    2. Gaining Buy-In to the Agenda
    3. Using Ground Rules
    4. Using Parking Boards
    5. Effective Introductions
    6. Opening Nonfacilitated Meetings
    7. When Should You Arrive for the Meeting?
    8. Getting Started on Time
    9. Applying the Secrets to Starting
    10. Facilitator’s Checklist for Getting the Session Started
    11. Exercise Your Skills
  12. Chapter V: The Secrets to Focusing
    1. Focusing the Group: Using Checkpoints
    2. The Extended Checkpoint
    3. Warming Up a Group
    4. Delivering Accurate, Clear, and Concise Directions (PeDeQs)
    5. Keeping a Group on Track
    6. Managing Breakout Groups
    7. Applying the Secrets to Focusing
    8. Facilitator’s Checklist for Focusing a Group
    9. Exercise Your Skills
  13. Chapter VI: The Secrets to Recording
    1. How Facilitators Abuse the Pen
    2. Using, Not Abusing the Pen
    3. Knowing What to Record
    4. Managing the Recording Process
    5. Using Strategies to Avoid Lulls While Writing
    6. Additional Techniques for Recording
    7. The Seven Deadly Sins of Facilitation
    8. Applying the Secrets to Recording
    9. Facilitator’s Checklist for Recording
    10. Exercise Your Skills
  14. Chapter VII: The Secrets to Information Gathering
    1. Understanding the Major Information Gathering and Processing Functions
    2. Understanding Processing Groups
    3. Understanding Processing Order
    4. Gathering and Processing Information
    5. Gathering Facts
    6. Categorizing
    7. Inquiring
    8. Generating Ideas
    9. Prioritizing
    10. Reporting
    11. Getting Feedback
    12. Additional Information Gathering and Processing Strategies
    13. Applying the Secrets to Information Gathering
    14. Facilitator’s Checklist for Information Gathering
    15. Exercise Your Skills
  15. Chapter VIII: The Secrets to Closing
    1. Reviewing Activities Completed and Personal Objectives
    2. Confirming Commitment to Decisions Made
    3. Clearing the Issues List
    4. Assigning Actions
    5. Defining What Can Be Communicated About the Session
    6. Evaluating the Session
    7. Ending the Session
    8. Debriefing
    9. What If the Session Is Running Behind?
    10. What If the Session Is Going to Run Over?
    11. Delivering a Partial Close
    12. Facilitator’s Checklist for Closing
    13. Exercise Your Skills
  16. Chapter IX: The Secrets to Managing Dysfunction
    1. Dysfunctional Behavior—What Is It?
    2. Techniques for Conscious Prevention
    3. Techniques for Early Detection
    4. Techniques for Clean Resolution
    5. Recommended Responses to Various Dysfunctions
    6. When the Unexpected Happens
    7. Responding to Mistakes and Attacks
    8. Rewarding Functional Behavior
    9. Lesson Learned
    10. Applying the Secrets to Managing Dysfunction
    11. Facilitator’s Checklist for Managing Dysfunction
    12. Exercise Your Skills
  17. Chapter X: The Secrets to Consensus Building
    1. Defining Consensus
    2. Deciding How to Decide
    3. Understanding Why People Disagree
    4. Filling Your Toolbox of Consensus Building Techniques
    5. Revisiting the Family Vacation
    6. Applying the Secrets to Consensus
    7. Facilitator’s Checklist for Consensus Building
    8. Exercise Your Skills
  18. Chapter XI: The Secrets to Energy
    1. Understanding the Impact of Energy
    2. Projecting Energy from the Start
    3. Adjusting to the Lullaby Times
    4. Maintaining Energy During the Session
    5. Using Team Building Activities
    6. Crossing the River: My Favorite Team Building Exercise
    7. Facilitator’s Checklist for Energy
    8. Exercise Your Skills
  19. Chapter XII: The Secrets to Agenda Setting
    1. Understanding Process
    2. Using Standard Agendas
    3. Customizing the Agenda
    4. Developing an Agenda from Scratch
    5. Knowing Your Process Cold: The Facilitation Guide
    6. Estimating and Tracking Time
    7. Applying the Secrets to the First Meeting of a Task Force
    8. Facilitator’s Checklist for Agenda Setting
    9. Exercise Your Skills
  20. Chapter XIII: The Secrets to Facilitating Virtual Meetings
    1. Choosing and Preparing Your Technology
    2. Preparing for the Meeting
    3. Starting the Meeting
    4. Running the Meeting
    5. Special Cases
    6. Facilitator’s Checklist for Virtual Meetings
    7. Exercise Your Skills
  21. Chapter XIV: The Secrets to Facilitating Large Groups and Conferences
    1. Facilitating Large Groups
    2. Facilitating Conferences
    3. Facilitator’s Checklist for Facilitating Large Groups and Conferences
    4. Exercise Your Skills
  22. Chapter XV: The Secrets to Facilitating Cross-Cultural Groups
    1. Introduction
    2. Understanding Cultural Competency
    3. Applying the Secrets to Cross-Cultural Groups
    4. Interrupting the Effects of Institutional Power Through Facilitation
    5. Facilitator’s Checklist for Facilitating Cross-Cultural Groups
    6. Exercise Your Skills
    7. Notes
  23. Chapter XVI: The Secrets to Building An Internal Facilitator Capability
    1. Introduction
    2. Best Practice Strategies
    3. Exercise Your Skills
  24. Chapter XVII: Special Topics
    1. Apply the Secrets to Running a Simple Meeting
    2. Applying the Secrets as a Meeting Participant
    3. Applying the Secrets to Very Small Groups
    4. Applying the Secrets as a Consultant or Subject Matter Expert
    5. Becoming a Certified Facilitator
    6. Facilitator Neutrality: Fact or Fiction?
  25. Epilogue
  26. Resource Guide For Facilitators
  27. 70 Secrets of Facilitation
  28. Acknowledgments
  29. The Author
  30. Index