Teaching CP: Teaching Group Facilitation Skills

Resources for teaching Group Facilitation Skills

I highly recommend Mapping Dialogue: Essential Tools for Social Change, published by the Taos Institute, see
It concisely reviews diverse approaches to dialogue, helping the reader understand the virtues and drawbacks of each method for one's particular purpose at hand.

John M. Bryson and Anne R. Carroll, Designing Participation Processes Fieldbook, St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service, CD version, 2006

Marilyn Friend & Lynne Cook in 1992 (NY: Longman).  It's called "Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals," and though the examples tend to be about school-community relations, it has much broader applicability.

Though not specifically community oriented, the following two resources do focus on the task dimension of facilitation:

Schwarz, R. (2002). The skilled facilitator (rev. ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 Schwarz, R., Davidson, A., Carlson, P., & McKinney, S. (2005). The skilled facilitator field book. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 A few other more accessible suggestions:

Hunter, D., Bailey, A., & Taylor, B. (1995). The Zen of groups. Tucson, AZ: Fisher Books.

 Hunter, D., Bailey, A., & Taylor, B. (1995). The art of facilitation. Tucson, AZ: Fisher Books.

 Hunter, D. (2009). The art of facilitation (Fully revised). Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

 Si Kahn.  He was founder and head of Grassroots Leadership, centered in NC.  His first little book on organizing is a gem but seems to be out of print.  More recent is  Creative Community Organizing: A Strategy Manual for Rabble-Rousers, Activists and Quiet Lovers of Justice.  His organization has a project in New Mexico, so that might add relevancy for your students.  See:

We've used "Facilitating with Ease<>" by Ingrid Bens in our work with community organizations and found the workbook very useful and well received. Its packed with tools and techniques for facilitating group interactions in a variety of contexts. 

I also recommend anything from the Institute of Cultural Affairs <> (ICA) for the more advanced user. I frequently consult their book "The Art of Focused Conversation<>" when planning discussions, workshops, action planning, and organizational consultations.

Justice and Jamieson, The Facilitator's Fieldbook is comprehensive and will be a good resource for anyone to have over the years.

Kansas Leadership Center:

Center for Community Support and Research

 And, of course, the Community Toolbox at


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August 16, 2010
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