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Extreme Facilitation picks up where other books on the topic leaveoff, to present a revolutionary method that helps large, unwieldy,adversarial, and apparently dysfunctional groups achieve consensusand reach objectives on divisive and contentious issues no matterhow long the group has been struggling.
Throughout the book, expert facilitator Suzanne Ghais shows howextreme facilitation—which puts the emphasis on creativity,flexibility, and customization—can change how group membersinteract with one another and how participants view the issues evenin the most challenging and exceptionally difficult situations.Extreme Facilitation covers the preparatory phases of the process,including assessment, convening, and contracting. Ghais also offersvital information on process design and tips for handlingsituations that many facilitators find particularlychallenging.
This groundbreaking book offers suggestions for the facilitatorwho must cultivate a strong presence, trustworthiness, andcreativity, and have a clear understanding of the group's goals,needs, culture, and external conditions, such as pressures,requirements, and constraints. The extreme facilitator draws on awide range of techniques that are driven by the needs of the group,not by the techniques themselves. To be truly effective, thefacilitator must call on all of the group's physical, intellectual,emotional, intuitive, creative, and spiritual capacities.
Extreme Facilitation will help both experienced facilitators andthose new to the process become more confident and competent whenfaced with the most daunting challenges.
Part One: Foundations.
1. The Right Stuff: What It Takes to Be an ExtremeFacilitator.
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 toFacilitation.
7. The Physical Capacity: The Foundation.
8. The Emotional Capacity: Welcoming and Working withFeelings.
9. The Intellectual Capacity: Facilitating Complex Issues.
10. The Intuitive Capacity: Sparking Insights and Ideas.
11. The Spiritual Capacity: Helping Groups Transcend TheirLimitations.
12. Putting It All Together.
About the Author.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2007
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 21, 2006
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.