The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook. Tips, Tools, and Tested Methods for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches

  • ID: 2210991
  • Book
  • 576 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook

Since it was first published in 1994, Roger Schwarz′s The Skilled Facilitator has become a landmark book in the field. It is a classic work for consultants, facilitators, managers, leaders, trainers, and coaches—anyone whose role is to guide groups toward realizing their creative and problem–solving potential.

The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook is based on the same proven principles outlined in Schwarz′s groundbreaking book. The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook is the next–step resource that offers consultants, facilitators, managers, leaders, trainers, and coaches the tools, exercises, models, and stories that will help them develop sound responses to a wide range of challenging situations. The book spans the full scope of the successful Skilled Facilitator approach and includes information on how to get started and guidance for integrating the approach within existing organizational structures and processes.

With contributions from some of the field′s most thoughtful practitioners, this book is filled with suggestions, exercises, and examples for creating effective relationships, teams, and organizations. It includes tips, tools, and model interventions that you can use in any role. Step by step, the book provides practical guidance for introducing the ground rules and guidelines for engaging in deep–level interventions. In addition, The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook contains helpful worksheets and templates.

Praise for The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook

"This is one of the best field books I have ever read. The advice is derived from sound research and theory, and it is crafted in a clear–cut, concrete, detailed, and highly useful way. It focuses on the important everyday skills of practice, including some of the most difficult issues that challenge the user."
Chris Argyris, James Bryant Conant Professor of Education and Organizational Behavior, emeritus, Harvard University; author, Reasons and Rationalizations: The Limits of Organizational Knowledge

"Roger Schwarz and his coauthors are meticulous in their guidance for facilitators, consultants, coaches, and leaders everywhere. They dissect our encounters with each other and help us recognize what works, what doesn′t, and what we might do about it. This is a book to return to again and again."
Geoff Bellman, author, The Consultant′s Calling and Your Signature Path

"Anyone who strives to lead more effectively will find this book a treasure trove of tips and tools. Whether you′re an executive or small team leader, a parent or a politician, The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook will be the reference you reach for to increase your capacity to lead."
Karen Thomas–Smith, global training and development director, SAS

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Editors, Authors, and Contributors.


Part One: Understanding the Skilled Facilitator Approach.

1. The Skilled Facilitator Approach (Roger Schwarz).

2. The Group Effectiveness Model (Roger Schwarz).

3. Using Facilitative Skills in Different Roles (Roger Schwarz).

4. Understanding What Guides Your Behavior (Roger Schwarz).

5. Ground Rules for Effective Groups (Roger Schwarz).

6. The Diagnosis–Intervention Cycle (Peg Carlson).

7. Thinking and Acting Systemically (Anne Davidson).

8. Contracting with Groups (Roger Schwarz).

Part Two: Starting Out.

9. Jointly Designing the Purpose and Process for a Conversation (Roger Schwarz, Anne Davidson).

10. Process Designs (Anne Davidson).

11. Basic Facilitation: What Can Be Accomplished? What Cannot? (Peg Carlson).

12. Do the Math: Creating a Realistic Agenda (Peg Carlson).

13. Beginning Meetings: Introductions and Guidelines for Working Together (Anne Davidson).

14. Introducing the Ground Rules and Principles in Your Own Words (Sue McKinney).

15. Using the Group Effectiveness Model (Anne Davidson).

16. Helping Group Members Focus on Interests Rather Than Positions (Peg Carlson).

17. Developing Shared Vision and Values (Anne Davidson).

18. Helping Groups Clarify Roles and Expectations (Anne Davidson).

19. Using the Skilled Facilitator Approach to Strengthen Work Groups and Teams (Anne Davidson).

20. Using the Ground Rules in E–Mail (Roger Schwarz).

Part Three: Deepening Your Practice.

21. Ways to Practice the Ground Rules (Anne Davidson).

22. Some Tips for Diagnosing at the Speed of Conversation (Peg Carlson).

23. Opening Lines (Roger Schwarz).

24. Reducing the Skilled Facilitator Jargon (Roger Schwarz).

25. Now What Do I Do? Using Improv to Improve Your Facilitation (Roger Schwarz, Greg Hohn).

26. Ground Rules Without the Mutual Learning Model Are Like Houses Without Foundations (Sue McKinney).

27. Writing and Analyzing a Left–Hand Column Case (Roger Schwarz).

Part Four: Facing Challenges.

28. Holding Risky Conversations (Anne Davidson).

29. Exploring Your Contributions to Problems (Roger Schwarz).

30. Moving Toward Difficulty (Sue McKinney).

31. Responding to Silence and Interruptions and Enabling Members to Talk to Each Other (Roger Schwarz).

32. Raising Issues In or Out of the Group (Roger Schwarz).

Part Five: Seeking Your Path.

33. Finding Your Voice (Anne Davidson).

34. Being a Mutual Learner in a Unilaterally Controlling World (Sue McKinney).

35. Introducing the Skilled Facilitator Approach at Work: Pitfalls and Successes (Sue McKinney).

36. Bringing It All Back Home, or Open Mouth, Insert Foot (Peter Hille and the Staff of the Brushy Fork Institute).

37. A Carp in the Land of Koi (Susan R. Williams).

Part Six: Leading and Changing Organizations.

38. Daily Challenges of a Facilitative Leader (Tom Moore).

39. Learning to Live Our Philosophy (Betsy Monier–Williams).

40. Helping a Team Understand the System They Created (Roger Schwarz).

41. “I Can’t Use This Approach Unless My Boss Does” (Roger Schwarz).

42. How to Stop Contributing to Your Boss’s and Your Own Ineffectiveness (Roger Schwarz).

43. Developmental Facilitation (Anne Davidson, Dick McMahon).

44. Guidelines for Theory–in–Use Interventions (Anne Davidson, Dick McMahon).

45. Introducing the Core Values and Ground Rules (Jeff Koeze).

46. From Learning to Lead to Leading to Learn (Joe Huffman).

47. Reflections of a Somewhat Facilitative Leader (Jeff Koeze).

48. Integrating the Skilled Facilitator Approach with Organizational Policies and Procedures (Roger Schwarz, Anne Davidson).

49. 360–Degree Feedback and the Skilled Facilitator Approach (Peg Carlson).

50. Implementing a 360–Degree Feedback System (Bron D. Skinner).

51. Do Surveys Provide Valid Information for Organizational Change? (Peg Carlson).

52. Using the Skilled Facilitator Approach in Different and Multiple Cultures (Anne Davidson).

Part Seven: Integrating the Skilled Facilitator Approach in Your Worklife (and Non–Worklife).

53. The Drama Triangle: A Unilateral Control Program for Helping Others (Dick McMahon).

54. Using Creative and Survival Cycles to See and Shift Mental Models (Guillermo Cuéllar).

55. The Skilled Facilitator Approach and the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (Anne Davidson).

56. Applying the Skilled Facilitator Approach to a Systems Thinking Analysis (Chris Soderquist).

57. The Facilitative Coach (Anne Davidson, Dale Schwarz).

58. Becoming a Facilitative Trainer (Sue McKinney, Matt Beane).

59. Being a Facilitative Consultant (Harry Furukawa).

60. Using the Skilled Facilitator Approach as a Parent (Peg Carlson).

61. Running for Office in a Unilaterally Controlling World (Steve Kay).

62. Using the Facilitative Leader Approach in Public Office (Verla Insko).

Afterword: Some Important Lessons (Roger Schwarz, Anne Davidson).



About Roger Schwarz & Associates.

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Roger Schwarz is an organizational psychologist and president of Roger Schwarz & Associates ( He is the author of the best–selling book The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches. Schwarz facilitates groups and consults, coaches, and speaks on facilitation, facilitative leadership, and developing effective teams and organizations.

Anne Davidson, Peg Carlson, and Sue McKinney are consultants with Roger Schwarz & Associates, a leadership and organization development consulting firm, which is dedicated to helping people think and act differently so they can improve their business results and relationships.

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