February 1, 2005

News & Opinion: Book Review: The Secrets of Facilitation

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 10:28 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Great meetings isnt that an oxymoron?
When was the last time you attended at a really great meeting? Or put another way, when was the last time you felt deeply listened to at a meeting?
Thats what I thought.
I am a meeting facilitator and a coach (same thing only coaching is one-on-one instead of working with a group.) In this work I strive for three things: clarity, deep listening, and results. I just read a book that teaches the foundation skills necessary to bring these elements into meeting facilitation. The book is The Secrets of Facilitation, by Michael Wilkinson. While the primary audience is meeting facilitators, anyone who leads a meeting (or sits in a meeting and would like to influence from the side) could benefit from this book.
This book provides basic communication skills that encourage others to contribute. The skills are powerful and practical and best yet, actionable. It is written clearly and in a flexible manner. Its easy to pick and choose the sections that make sense to you. It also has checklists at the end of each chapter that you can use as shortcuts.
If youre thinking, "Im not a facilitator," I invite you to consider, facilitation is simply talking to others in a manner that encourages the other person (or people) to open up and contribute. So whether you are involved in large-scale meeting or one-on-one conversations its good to have skills that promote great conversations.