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Effective Group Facilitation in Education
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Effective Group Facilitation in Education
How to Energize Meetings and Manage Difficult Groups



© 2004 | 224 pages | Corwin

Practical pointers for maximizing meetings and motivating team members!

At their worst, meetings can waste time, lack focus, foster a combative spirit, or be just plain boring. At their best, meetings can be a positive, dynamic experience that nurtures individual strengths while inspiring teamwork to successfully accomplish an established task. The fate of a meeting lies in the skill of the facilitator, and this easy-to-use guide has all the tips and tools necessary to make you shine in this challenging role.

Anyone charged with navigating a group of people toward a desired objective will benefit from this book's indispensable features, which include:

  • Templates for easy implementation at every stage of the facilitation process
  • Straightforward tactics for managing difficult participants and emotionally charged situations
  • Realistic examples to help you avoid pitfalls
  • Surefire methods for delegating in a meaningful and respectful manner

From pre-meeting preparation, to the meeting's critical first few minutes, to its conclusion and beyond, this manual provides step-by-step guidance for the entire facilitation process. It is packed with proven do's and don'ts based on psychological principles, research, real-life experience, and field-tested best practices. The user-friendly strategies focus on such key areas as team building, brainstorming, motivating, overcoming problematic situations, reaching goals, and assessing results.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. What am I Getting Into?
Why do We Get People Together to Meet?  
When Do We Use Teams?  
The Impact of a Facilitator on the Effectiveness of a Group  
The Unique Position of a Group Facilitator  
Internal Versus External Facilitators  
Characteristics of Effective Facilitators  
Your Mission as a Facilitator  
Summary  
 
2. Get Ready, Get Set...
The Importance of Planning to a Successful Session  
Factors to Take Into Consideration When Planning Meetings  
Breaking the Meeting Tasks Into Parts  
Planning for the Effective Delivery of Directions  
Summary  
 
3. Go
Setting the Proper Tone for a Meeting  
The Use of Music  
Foundation-Setting Activities  
Good News  
The Use of Framing  
Active Learning Strategies  
Watching Team Member Behaviors During the Start of a Meeting  
Opening the Session  
Setting Norms and Ground Rules  
Summary  
 
4. Connecting All Members of the Team
Interdependence/Community and Its Importance to Team Operation  
Community  
Team Building  
Conflict Resolution  
Conflict and Chaos  
Protecting Team Members During the Decision-Making Process  
Protecting Team Members When Announcing the Results of Their Decisions  
Keeping Uninvolved Stakeholder Groups Informed About Decision Progress  
Summary  
 
5. Reaching Peak Performance: Connecting Their Minds
The Need to Minimize/Maximize Energy  
Diagnosing Group Energy  
Working/Processing Combinations  
Grouping and Regrouping Strategies  
Other Group Processing Strategies  
Summary  
 
6. Working the Brain
Brainstorming Techniques  
Brainstorming Strategies and Ideas  
Summary  
 
7. Reaching the Goal
The Problem with Goals  
Typical Issues Inhibiting Goal Implementation Success and Facilitator Implications  
Other Important Considerations for Success in the Goal Process  
Summary  
 
8. Putting On Your Oxygen Mask
Important Factors for Facilitators to Track  
Importance of Self-Protection  
Understanding Your Role as the Group Facilitator  
Use of Positive Presuppositions  
Gesturing  
Use of Charts, Papers and Other Visuals to Deflect Anger  
Use of Positioning in the Room  
Developing an Exit Plan  
Reflect Emotions/Content Back to the Group  
Summary  
 
9. Transforming a Difficult Group
What is a Difficult Group?  
Problem People  
Identification Strategies  
Starting a Session  
Music and Difficult Groups  
Foundation-Setting Activities  
Framing  
Use of an Agenda  
Summary  
 
References
 
Index
Key features
  • Research based, using adult development and learning, cognitive coaching, Essential Elements of Instruction, brain and neural-linguistic studies, and power and influence
  • Includes practical strategies from the field, using experienced facilitators
  • Demonstrates how to adapt strategies to specific situations

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1: What Am I Getting Into?


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