The Skilled Facilitator

July 20, 2008
by Jeroen de Miranda

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

Amazon reviews at: Author: Roger Schwarz.


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:


Amazon review .

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

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More on Facilitation at this blog!

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Web 2.0 and Management


Great Business Podcast Series – Manager-Tools, Harvard Business Review, David Maister

March 22, 2008

I highly recommend these Podcast series:

Manager Tools

Harvard Business Review

David Maister

Here is a site where you can find other great podcast series:

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Using the DiSC-model for improving your feedback

March 18, 2008


Improve Your Feedback

This podcast is showing how to use the DiSC model in feedback.

It serves as a good comparison of the four communication styles!

Core message: modify your feedback to the natural communication style of your team member!

‘Speak French when in Paris, speak Italian when in Rome’

February 15, 2008


Mark Horstman

Mike Auzenne and Mark Horstman have created great weekly podcasts:

“… to become a more effective manager and leader…..”

“ … learn specific actions you can take TODAY to improve your management performance….

Index to all podcasts

Using the ‘Management Trinity’….. :

  • One on Ones
  • Feedback
  • Coaching

…. will immediately make you a much better manager

One on Ones:



Basic Manager Tools principles:

  • one on one
  • feedback
  • coaching
  • delegation
  • running effective meetings

For some of the podcasts you have to register to the site.

Podcasts, by Category:
One on Ones
Self Development
Time Management

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Understanding Change Management: ‘Our Iceberg is Melting’

February 10, 2008

Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter talks about his book “Our Iceberg Is Melting” with a familiar friend (in a YouTube video), see below.

This is a great book, telling you a story

More on my new blog ‘Innovation and Social Media’!

You will understand how to apply Change Management in your own business situation when you have read it!

The eight steps for change!

  1. Establish a Sense of Urgency
  2. Form a Powerful Guiding Coalition
  3. Create a Vision
  4. Communicate the Vision
  5. Empower Others to Act on the Vision
  6. Plan for and Create Short-Term Wins
  7. Consolidate Improvements and Produce Still More Change
  8. Institutionalize New Approaches


What other tools can help you with Change Management programs:

Business Strategy and Change Management:

Other resources on Change Management:

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Do you have experiences and ideas on Change Management? Please feel free to use the comment field below!

The favorite books of

January 24, 2008


The favorite books of worth a look !

The books of this list that I like best are:

  • Influence by Robert Cialdini : my post
    Best way to understand compliance strategies

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

January 19, 2008 recommends this book! – I have read it, and I think it is very useful.

You will better understand all compliance techniques used by people trying to persuade you in doing something.

Here are the compliance rules – with statements that characterize them!

  • Commitment and Consistency – “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” – Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Social proof – “When all think alike, no one thinks very much” – Walter Lippman
  • Liking – “The main work of a trial attourney is to make a jury like his client” – Clarence Darrow.
  • Authority – “Follow an expert” – Virgil.
  • Scarcity – “The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost” – GK Chesterton.

The Psychology of Persuasion

For more information: a great review at Amazon.

A great mindmap that summarizes the book and this podcast of Mr. Cialdini (relating to this book).

Other books on this blog

Free mp3 with interview with Robert Cialdini (free subscription to site required)

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