download Skilled

of 431

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)


a guide to facilitation

Transcript of Skilled

  • The Skilled FacilitatorA Comprehensive Resource for Consultants,

    Facilitators, Managers, Trainers,and Coaches

    New and Revised

    Roger Schwarz

  • 00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page xvi

  • Schwarz shows us how to become more transparent in our work with clientsin a way that builds client effectiveness.

    Mary Beth ONeill, consultant, coach, and author of Executive Coachingwith Backbone and Heart

    Roger Schwarz has written the perfect book to transform mediators into skilledfacilitators. It is all here: the theory, the practical suggestions, the guidelines,the analysis of groups. The only thing better than this book is the book and theworkshop.

    Zena D. Zumeta, president, Mediation Training & ConsultationInstitute/The Collaborative Workplace

    The book arms you not only with skills for the workplace but with skills forlife. At Conoco, Rogers approach has had a signicant impact on our businessand functional leadersits far more than a guide for facilitators.

    David Nelson, manager, organization developmentand Conoco University, Conoco, Inc.

    Every group facilitator should be grounded in the values, assumptions, andprinciples underlying the practice of group facilitation. Thankfully, in TheSkilled Facilitator, Roger Schwarz addresses these matters thoughtfully, coher-ently, and more comprehensively than in any other book for group facilitators.

    Sandor P. Schuman, editor, Group Facilitation: A Researchand Applications Journal, and moderator, The ElectronicDiscussion on Group Facilitation

    As a new entry to the facilitation eld, I wanted to nd out what the industrythought was the best resource for combining theory with the practices of facili-tation. I submitted my request to the largest online discussion forum for active,professional facilitators. Roger Schwarzs book The Skilled Facilitator was by farthe favorite choice of people in the profession. I am ordering my copy now!

    Malcolm Dell, former executive coordinator,Woodnet Development Council, Inc.

    00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page i

  • The expanded, revised edition provides new, innovative approaches andinsights not only to professional facilitators but also to those who want to usefacilitation skills to be effective leaders, consultants, or coaches. Roger makesfacilitation skills and techniques understandable and usable. These skills areparticularly important in labor-management relations and other settings inwhich leaders must generate commitment rather than compliance andwhere mutual understanding is critical to productive relationships.

    Robert Tobias, former president, National Treasury Employees Union, andprofessor of public administration, American University

    People with group and team expertise often referred to Roger Schwarzs rstedition of The Skilled Facilitator as the facilitators bible. The enhanced revisededition will easily retain that title. The millions who have to cope with ineffec-tive meetings on a daily basis would be wise to quickly acquire and absorb thekey points. Merely using the list of behavioral ground rules would so enhancethe effectiveness of their meeting process that it would pay for the book manytimes over. Using the rest of the ideas in the book would generate signicantbottom-line return through swifter, higher-quality, more easily implementeddecisions at all levels of the organization.

    Michael M. Beyerlein, director, Center for the Study of Work Teams,and professor of industrial/organizational psychology,University of North Texas

    Roger Schwarzs approach goes far beyond the typical techniques andstrategies to focus on core values that enable multiple parties with differentperspectives to work together effectively. As part of the most comprehensiveand long-standing education reform agenda in the country, which includesbusiness leaders, school board members, school council members, parents,students, and state-level policymakers, thirty-ve high-level leaders in Ken-tucky have received training in using facilitative skills as leaders. They reportthat they work more effectively because of the Skilled Facilitator framework.

    Carolyn Witt Jones, executive director,Partnership for Kentucky Schools

    00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page ii

  • The Skilled FacilitatorA Comprehensive Resource for Consultants,

    Facilitators, Managers, Trainers,and Coaches

    New and Revised

    Roger Schwarz

    00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page iii

  • Copyright 2002 by Roger Schwarz.

    Jossey-Bass is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy-

    ing, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the priorwritten permission of the Publisher or authorization through payment of theappropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood

    Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 750-4744. Requests tothe Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Depart-

    ment, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012,(212) 850-6011, fax (212) 850-6008, e-mail:

    Jossey-Bass books and products are available through most bookstores.To contact Jossey-Bass directly, call (888) 378-2537, fax to

    (800) 605-2665, or visit our website at

    Substantial discounts on bulk quantities of Jossey-Bass booksare available to corporations, professional associations, and otherorganizations. For details and discount information, contact the

    special sales department at Jossey-Bass.

    We at Jossey-Bass strive to use the most environmentally sensitive paperstocks available to us. Our publications are printed on acid-free recycled

    stock whenever possible, and our paper always meets or exceeds minimumGPO and EPA requirements.

    Jossey-Bass also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Somecontent that appears in print may not be available in electronic books.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataSchwarz, Roger M., date

    The skilled facilitator: a comprehensive resource for consultants, facilitators,managers, trainers, and coaches / Roger Schwarz.New and rev. ed.

    p. cm.(The Jossey-Bass business & management series)Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-7879-4723-7 (hardcover: alk. paper)

    1. Communication in management. 2. Communication in personnelmanagement. 3. Group facilitation. 4. Teams in the workplace.

    5. Conict management. I. Title. II. Series.HD30.3.S373 2002

    658.4036dc21 2002007934


    HB Printing 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page iv

  • The Jossey-Bass

    Business & Management Series

    00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page v

  • To Kathleen, Noah, and Hannah,

    with whom I learn about compassion . . .

    and who bring so much to my life

    00-J2283-FM 6/6/02 12:14 PM Page vi


    Preface to the Revised Edition ix

    Acknowledgments xvii

    The Author xxi


    1 The Skilled Facilitator Approach 3

    2 What Makes Work Groups Effective? 17

    3 The Facilitator and Other Facilitative Roles 40


    4 Understanding the Theories That Guide Our Actions 65

    5 Ground Rules for Effective Groups 96

    6 Diagnosing Behaviors That Enhance or Hinder GroupEffectiveness 136



    7 Deciding Whether, How, and Why to Intervene 161

    8 How to Intervene 175

    9 Using the Ground Rules to Intervene 195

    10 Using the Skilled Facilitator Approach with Other Processes 215

    11 Beginning and Ending Meetings 233

    12 Dealing with Emotions 246


    13 Contracting: Deciding Whether and How to Work Together 271

    14 Working with Another Facilitator 296


    15 Serving as Facilitator in Your Own Organization 315

    16 The Facilitative Leader 327

    Resource A: Current and Previous Ground Rules 345

    Resource B: Sample Planning Meeting Letter 349

    Resource C: Guidelines for Developing an Effective Contract 353

    Resource D: Sample Agreement for Basic Facilitation 365

    Resource E: Sample Agreement for Developmental Facilitation 369

    Resource F: Guidelines for Using Experiential Exercises and Self-KnowledgeInstruments 373

    Resource G: Questions for Cofacilitators 377

    Resource H: Guidelines for Contracting with Your Manager 381

    References 385

    Index 391




    It has been eight years since I wrote the rst edition of The Skilled Facilitator.The book has been successful. Many people have told me they used it to im-prove their work and regularly consult it. I feel good about that.When I started to revise the book, I knew I wanted to introduce some new

    topics, expand others, and reframe others. As I began to write, I found that mythinking about the core ideas of The Skilled Facilitator has not changed; if any-thing, I now believe more deeply in the approach. I have also thought moredeeply and broadly about some issues, including how to integrate The SkilledFacilitator with other methods.

    But I myself have changed since the rst edition. I have become aware of andappreciate more than ever the emotional side of facilitation, particularly the rolethat compassion plays in being a skilled fac