Open To Outcome: A Practical Guide For Facilitating & Teaching Experiential Reflection by Micah Jacobson and Mari Ruddy
This small book is filled with great content. The authors explain a brilliant sequence of five questions that can be used in many facilitation contexts. For me, the most valuable was understanding the power of when to use a closed-question. That’s right, a dichotomous yes/no question does have a role in facilitation, and it works beautifully when used well.
Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-thinking Techniques by Michael Michalko
This book is particularly useful if you need activities and tools to help your team be more creative or think differently. The book is packed with activities, fun anecdotes, goofy drawings, brain teasers, and stories. Recommended if you want to move beyond the brainstorm and generate ideas with some classic and modern techniques.
Tips & Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation by Jennifer Stanchfield
This is a great book if you need an overview on how to facilitate teams and activities, particularly using experiential education philosophies. The book includes some philosophy and theory, great insight into team dynamics and what team members need, and lots of activities and how to use them for certain situations. A few years ago I taught an undergraduate course in Experiential Facilitation at Fort Lewis College and this was one of the text books I used.
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo
When groups need to solve a problem, simply talking about it does not necessarily lead to a solution. Instead, try gamestorming. This book presents 80 “games” to help teams communicate better, think through ideas, generate insights, and reflect on past strategies. What I love is that each activity is presented in a way that makes it easy to see how to adapt it to your situation. I’ve used these activities with many teams. The results were new insights, ah-ha moments, and greater progress towards solutions.
Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes, and Idea Mapping can Transform Group Productivity by David Sibbet
Visuals are powerful. Slides are boring. It can be a conundrum at times. The solution – hand-written, hand-drawn, organic visuals that can be created either before the meeting or in the moment. This book describes dozens of activities that help take a group’s thinking and make it visual. It makes meetings more productive, more interesting, more creative, and more effective – the ideal balance for any facilitator. The good news is that these skills require no drawing ability. I have used Sibbet’s ideas and instruction to help me create more meaningful team meetings and workshops. Great resource!
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