& General Group
Works: A Pattern
Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings. How is it that some
meetings bring life to your soul, while others make you wish you'd never
stepped in the room? What happens at the best group sessions that
makes them productive, fulfilling, sometimes even magic? This
beautiful, coherent, evocative card deck is the result of a multiyear
collaboration among facilitators from diverse organizational
backgrounds. It can be used for learning, planning, debriefing, and in
the moment of a meeting for extra support. Amazing resource. www.groupworksdeck.org
Institute. Tom Atlee's fabulous website on how our
society can work more wisely for the good of all also includes
summaries of over a dozen group process methods at www.co-intelligence.org.
for Voting and Democracy. If you are going to vote
on something instead of using consensus, first check out this site with
information on proportional representation, instant run-off, preference
voting, and other systems, at www.fairvote.org.
at Work has an excellent resource list with
links to bunches of professional networks, collections, other websites,
Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD). Do
you want to build a world based on dialogue? So do the people at NCDD,
and they are providing networking and resources to make it possible. thataway.org/ncdd
Intentional Communities Association (NICA).
Maintains resource pages on meetings and group process at their
Schutt, long-time activist, has a dozen short
papers (1-12 pages each) on cooperative decision-making, many
downloadable as PDF documents over the web and the rest available for
the cost of copying and postage. See the list at www.vernalproject.org/RPapers.shtml.
Contact Randy at PO Box 608867, Cleveland, OH 44108; email@example.com.
"Five-Fold Path of Productive Meetings" is a free
59-page bonus chapter that was edited out of her book The
Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups.
Overall an excellent overview.
for Change. Wonderful collection of tools and
exercises, includes topics such as diversity, strategy, nonviolence,
and more. trainingforchange.org
See BOOK LIST page.
process, philosophy, and life practice grounded in research
demonstrating that focusing on what's working and aspirations for the
future achieves more and does it faster and more sustainably than
of Hosting: Although
Art of Hosting is more a syncretic collection of methods than a method
in itself (relying heavily on several other methods listed here), it
also brings its own sensibility to how those methods are used,
including an emphasis on the human relationships involved and a strong
bias toward co-facilitation and team hosting.
Jim Rough and Associates. Excellent 4-day trainings in a
high-energy approach to releasing group
creativity for problem-solving. 1040 Taylor St., Port Townsend, WA
98368; 360-385-7118; jim@ToBe.net;
sequence for taking representatives of a community through a collective
design process in one weekend, capable of moving past old polarizations
to focus on what this collection of people can accomplish together now.
Capturing a group's expression in pictures drawn in the moment, instead
of or in addition to words.
Space: A simple
method capable of supporting large numbers of people to self-organize
their own sessions around their own passions within a short
time. Core principle: take responsibility for what
Participants tell their stories, and actors act them out, with
cathartic and surprising results.
Work: Also known
psychology, this approach integrates conflict resolution, archetypes,
dreamwork and bodywork into a powerful mode of individual and group
change, also called worldwork. 2049 NW Hoyt St., Portland, OR 97209;
Highly respected for convening effective dialogue on inflamed issues
such as abortion, gay marriage, and African soldiers' return home from
war. Their trainings are excellent.
46 Kondazian St., Watertown, MA 02472; 617-923-1216; www.publicconversations.org.
for Cultural Affairs (ICA). Offers
trainings in US cities and internationally, with three different
modules. (Note that their "consensus" method refers to a
process of card-storming, clustering, and labeling, not
consensus in the traditional meaning of
that word as a decision rule and method.) ICA/Chicago,
4750 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60640; 312-769-6393; icausa.memberclicks.net/.
of the Oppressed: Mode developed by Augusto
Boal and others that dissolves the divide between actors and audience;
scenes can be played, replayed, interrupted to experiment with new
outcomes, etc., all driven by the participants.
Start with the idea of rotating small groups, add food, drawings, a
cozy café atmosphere, and well thought out questions.
that Reconnects: Joanna
Macy has pioneered an impressive array of well-designed exercises for
helping people move through their difficult emotions about the state of
International Association for Public
Also has regional chapters that offer classes and other events.
International Association of Facilitators
(IAF). Sponsors an
annual conference, publishes a journal. 7630 W. 145th St., Suite 202,
St. Paul, MN 55124; 612-891-3541; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Community at Work.
Workshops in facilitation skills, building
sustainable agreements, organizational development and more. Community
at Work, 1 Tubbs St., San Francisco, CA 94107; 415-641-4840; email@example.com;
International Institute for Facilitation and
in Spanish and English. IIFAC, Domingo Diez 1589, Plaza Corporativa
#113, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico 62250; +52 (777) 102 2288; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Facilitation Institute (Myriam Laberge &
Brenda Chaddock) offers classes in facilitation face-to-face and online
in Canada. 604-943-9133; http://www.masterfulfacilitation.ca.
WEBSITES WITH POINTERS TO LOTS MORE RESOURCES
Of particular interest is the
Group Skills Page
Facilitation listserv Resource page
Information for and about nonprofits.
Contains links to specific items on effective groups and training, as
well as spiritual growth and other topics.
Another large listing of websites.
Work911 is a free directory of the work-related articles available
on the Internet. Categories related to group process include Meeting
Management, Decision-Making, Conflict, and Facilitation.
Tree Bressen, facilitator and teacher,
has been assisting intentional communities, nonprofits, and other
organizations with group process since 1994. Pages from her website are
available for copying and distribution free of charge as long as you
continue to include these credit lines and contact information.