The Skilled Facilitator


by Jeroen de Miranda

I am reading ‘The Skilled Facilitator’: this is a great in-depth book on facilitating groups!

Amazon reviews at: http://tinyurl.com/5a83db. Author: Roger Schwarz.

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This book will really help me to become a better facilitator of groups. It contains a complete Systems-thinking based approach to facilitation.

Core statement: ‘The facilitator’s main task is to help the group increase effectiveness by improving its process and structure’.

It complements some of the ideas of Manager-Tools in a great way! There are some similar ideas; e.g. on WWWTALA sessions; dealing with emotions; setting the Agenda of meeting etc.
Of particular interest is the model for Interventions in groups.

It is highly recommended reading! You can find more at the site of Roger Schwarz; a summary statement from this website:

‘ (…) The Skilled Facilitator Approach: Outcomes and Key Features

Whether you are working with another person, a group or team, or an organization, The Skilled Facilitator approach will help you create the following outcomes:

  • Decisions that get better results
  • Decisions that people actively support
  • Decisions that save time
  • Better relationships – at work and in your personal life
  • More personal satisfaction and less stress
  • Learning that allows you and others to adapt and change where most others can’t

To achieve these outcomes, the Skilled Facilitator approach has a number of key features:

  • Exploring and Changing How We Think
  • The Group Effectiveness Model
  • A Clearly Defined Role
  • Applicable To a Wide Range of Roles
  • Explicit Core Values
  • Ground Rules for Effective Groups
  • The Diagnosis-Intervention Cycle
  • Non-Judgmental Thinking
  • A Process for Agreeing on How to Work Together
  • A Systemic Approach ‘

Has anybody read this book? Or other books on group facilitation? Please feel free to comment / contribute to this post!

The Skilled Facilitator Field Book has lots of practical examples and applications of TSF:

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Amazon review .

Bottom line: ‘The Skilled Facilitator’ is a great book on group facilitation!


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