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Extreme Facilitation: Guiding Groups Through Controversy and Complexity / Edition 1

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BECOME AN Extreme Facilitator

"Extreme Facilitation is the next-generation book on facilitating successful meetings. Based on Ghais' extensive experience as a facilitator, from corporate boardrooms to unruly public meetings, the book presents highly useful approaches and strategies for unleashing the creativity of both facilitators and groups. Extreme Facilitation is a resource for both novices and experienced facilitators for designing customized meetings, bringing out the best in participants, and learning how to be centered under trying circumstances. I highly recommend it."
—Christopher Moore, mediator; author,The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict

"Provocative, realistic, and cutting edge! This book should be in the hands of policy makers and practitioners alike."
—John Paul Lederach, professor of international peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame; author, The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace

"Extreme Facilitation is essential reading for anyone interested in becoming a first-rate facilitator."
—Bernie Mayer, partner, CDR Associates; author, Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787975937
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Ghais is program manager at the internationally renowned conflict resolution organization CDR Associates. She has facilitated a wide variety of group processes in the organizational and public-policy arenas. She has worked with large and small corporations, government agencies at all levels, industry and business associations, educational and health care institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

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Table of Contents



Part One: Foundations.

1. The Right Stuff: What It Takes to Be an Extreme Facilitator.

2. The Facilitator as Architect.

Part Two: Preparation.

3. Assessment: The Essential First Step.

4. Convening: Creating a Democratic Table.

5. Contracting: Setting Yourself Up for Success.

Part Three: Conducting the Process.

6. Process Basics: The Beginner’s Guide to Facilitation.

7. The Physical Capacity: The Foundation.

8. The Emotional Capacity: Welcoming and Working with Feelings.

9. The Intellectual Capacity: Facilitating Complex Issues.

10. The Intuitive Capacity: Sparking Insights and Ideas.

11. The Spiritual Capacity: Helping Groups Transcend Their Limitations.

12. Putting It All Together.


About the Author.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011


    As a facilitator for the past 10 years, I thought I had read the most important noteworthy books on the topic...until I picked up this book. Ghais takes a unique perspective on facilitation, expressing them in a cohesive way that is useful for anyone who deals with conflict, trains, or works with people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    As Good As It Gets

    I love this book! I teach facilitation & have recommended Extreme Facilitation (EF) to my students. If you are an experienced facilitator, EF's insights will improve your practice. If you are a new facilitator or just thinking about learning the facilitator's skill set, EF will help you understand what the craft is all about. If you are a manager, or work with community/non-profit organizations, and have not used the services of a facilitator, EF will change your mind. Extreme Facilitation is important because once you know and use the facilitator's skills, you will save time, money & avoid a lot of the pain involved in getting two or more people to work out their differences & unite toward a common goal. Ms Ghais accurately demonstrates in words what a facilitator does and the benefits of using these skills. Her descriptions of the practice of facilitation, particularly of its role in conflict resolution, have a realness not found in many books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    On a Scale of 1-5, This Book is a 10

    You don't generally think of books like this as 'page-turners', but I could not put it down. In Extreme Facilitation, Suzanne Ghais has moved away from the cookbook (techniques-based) view of facilitation found in many other books and training materials, and has captured the core principles that underlie successful facilitation in extreme situations. For example -- there are no 'difficult' people in a group rather people's 'difficult' behaviors reflect needs or interests that have not yet been identified or adequately addressed. Once these needs or interests are understood by the group and dealt with, the 'difficulty' usually passes. I started reading the book while stuck on a process design for a complicated project. The book's direct and insightful approach unlocked my creativity and allowed me to trust my instincts -- ie, the book facilitated my own thinking in the same way that 'extreme facilitation' empowers difficult groups to work together productively. Ms. Ghais' approach to the topic is transformative.

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