It’s taken so long to get to this point simply because a book like this can never be finished. It is always in ‘beta’, always a work in progress and no amount of requests for cookie-cutter approaches to facilitation can stand up in the face of the messy, unpredictable and ever-changing world of actual facilitation with living, breathing humans.
Nonetheless, experience might count for something. If our experiences resonate for you – or even if they don’t, and simply get you thinking – then this book will have been worth it. In fact, it’s been worth it simply to gather our own thoughts, to spark some rather interesting conversations and to make our thinking accessible to others.
We’re giving it away, with a liberal Creative Commons licence, because that sits well with our philosophy of collaboration and connecting with people. If you download the book, we like to think of you as a collaborator and we’d like to hear from you. Indeed the whole process was a global collaboration – between Australia, the UK and USA – made possible by technology, particularly long Skype calls!
The linear format dictated by the book format gave us many sleepless nights. Facilitation is not linear. There may be some obscure logic in the format, but don’t take it too seriously. Start anywhere. Dive in.
The book is divided into five parts.
Part One: Why Facilitation? is about exploring the impact of facilitation and facilitators on groups, the qualities that make for good facilitators and some of the underlying philosophy that underpins our approach.
Part Two: Workshop Basics is about the necessary foundations of facilitating workshops.
Part Three: Beyond the Basics is about providing an understanding of how to engage people and use different approaches.
Part Four: Creative Facilitation explores some of the knowledge and understanding that helps facilitators step into complex, and sometimes difficult, situations. It also explores in more depth, elements of human behaviour and group dynamics.
Part Five: Resources provides suggestions for developing your own “toolkit” with what you learn from experience as well as useful links, resources and other information.
Stay tuned for some smaller companion eBooks that elaborate on our favourite topics.