Summary of The Skilled Facilitator

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The Skilled Facilitator book summary

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Organizational psychologist Roger Schwarz understands people. He knows how they think, why they act as they do and how to encourage them to engage more productively as a group. He uses these insights to direct you through a series of meaningful, detailed steps you can utilize to run more effective and productive meetings. Schwarz illustrates these steps with numerous charts and highlights most lessons with a generous number of realistic dialogues. To help you become a better facilitator, he explains how to establish meeting ground rules and handle challenging participants. He also shares tips on how to set up the room, how to start and conclude each meeting, and how to engage participants in evaluating a meeting. Most important, he encourages you to look honestly at your thoughts and actions to improve your facilitation techniques. The book is sometimes repetitive and perhaps overly rich in psychological jargon, but getAbstract finds that it contains valuable wisdom that will help any facilitator become more effective.

About the Author

Roger Schwarz is an organizational psychologist and the head of Roger Schwarz & Associates, which helps firms use facilitative skills to improve their business practices.


Why Facilitate?

Many companies use teams to deal with today’s complex working world. Each group needs a facilitator to help it work more effectively and efficiently. As a facilitator, you are adopting a leadership role. This role can take several forms.

In the “Facilitator Role,” everyone accepts your authority to run the group, but you should withhold your opinions. As a “Facilitative Consultant,” you are an outsider who guides your clients toward better decisions. You can share expertise, suggest directions to take and perhaps initiate change. As a “Facilitative Coach,” you help members examine issues from a new viewpoint. As a “Facilitative Trainer,” you design training sessions with staff members’ input so the program meets their needs.

In the most challenging role, that of a “Facilitator Leader,” you run the meetings, share and explain your opinions, and encourage members to “identify any gaps or problems“ in how you made your decisions. To avoid problems, assume the appropriate role when you lead a group.

“Four Core Values”

To enhance team effectiveness, employ the “Skilled Facilitator” approach, which involves helping your group follow four...

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    D. B. 9 years ago
    Also see Michael Wilkinson, David Sibbet, Ingrid Bens and the International Assication of Facilitators.

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