Little Book of Cool Tools for Hot Topics: Group Tools to Facilitate Meetings when Things Are Hot

Overview

With the right tools, no decision is too difficult to make. Author Kraybill, who helped to with the South African political transformation away from apartheid, shares anecdotes and practical how-to for any tension-filled decision making process.

Some subjects seem too hot for a group to discuss sanely. Not necessarily. The Little Book of "Cool Tools for Hot Topics" — Group Tools to Facilitate Meetings When Things Are Hot shows how to help people hear each other when they feel ...

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Overview

With the right tools, no decision is too difficult to make. Author Kraybill, who helped to with the South African political transformation away from apartheid, shares anecdotes and practical how-to for any tension-filled decision making process.

Some subjects seem too hot for a group to discuss sanely. Not necessarily. The Little Book of "Cool Tools for Hot Topics" — Group Tools to Facilitate Meetings When Things Are Hot shows how to help people hear each other when they feel like shouting; how to focus on the issues at stake rather than having a war of personalities; how to employ actual practices for better understanding (interviews, small-group discussions, role-reversal presentations); and how to move a group toward making a decision that all can honestly support.

Lead author Ron Kraybill is a professor of Conflict Studies in the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. During the years of the South African political transition, he trained local, regional, and national leadership in negotiation and mediation skills and served as a training advisor to the National Peace Accord.

Cool Tools is rich in anecdotes and practical how-to for any group faced with tension-filled decision-making.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ron Kraybill has been a mediator, group facilitator, and trainer in peacebuilding skills since 1979. He was founding director of the Mennonite Conciliation Service from 1979 to 1988. From 1989 to 1995 he was dirctor of training at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, and he was appointed by the South African political parties as training advisor to the National Peace Accord during the national negotiations.

He taught in th Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University from 1996 to 2006, including courses on group facilitation and on religion and conflict. In 2004 he established Riverhouse ePress, a Web and print publsher of conflict resolution materials located at www.RiverhouseEpress.com.

In recent years Kraybill has served as a consultant and trainer for peace initiatives for the United Nations, the World Bank, USAID, and other organizations in Burma, Sri Lanka, India, Guyana, and elsewhere.

His Masters of Divinity is from Harvard Divinity School, and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies is from Uth University of Cape Town.

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Table of Contents


Who Counts? What Counts? The Tools Say It All     3
About this Book     5
Basic Tools     7
The Role of the Facilitator     7
Circle Process     14
Interweaving Small-Group and Large-Group Discussion     17
Process Committee     23
Tools for Getting Started     26
Opening Circle     26
Circle Check-In: Three Feeling Words     27
Circle Energizer: Sound and Movement     28
Setting Baggage Aside     29
Tools for Gathering Information and Options     30
Circle on Personal Perspectives     31
Circle on Positions and Needs     32
Interviews in the Presence of the Whole Group     34
Interviews with a Listening Chair     36
Role Reversal Presentations     37
Appreciative Inquiry     38
Sort Cards     39
Sort Cards: Whole-Group Variation     42
Brainstorming     44
Brainstorming Variations     46
Tools for Dialogue     49
Conflict Spectrum     49
Samoan Circle     51
Fishbowl     54
The Spiral     55
No Crosstalk Dialogue     57
Open Sentences Dialogue     59
Circle of Allies     61
World Cafe     63
Polarity Management     67
Study Circles     74
Tools for Closing     77
Circle Wrap-Up and Evaluation     79
Circle for Evaluation and Closing: Keep and Change     80
Circle for Ending: Seven Words or Less     82
Conclusion     83
Suggested Readings     86
Endnotes     88
About the Authors     90
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