The FA Blog

Novice? Experienced pro? How the series works for you.

Each book in the series is designed to work for those who don’t have a lot of experience with meetings and also for those who do.

For instance, someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience organizing dialogues can pick up Understanding the Facilitation Cycle and learn enough to design and facilitate a simple dialogue. Each segment of the overall facilitation cycle is explained, the questions to ask in planning are laid out, and some “scripts” to be used during the process are provided.

The inspiration for this book was a nonprofit employee who attended an event we facilitated and told us that her organization was being asked to organize dialogues, was learning on the fly and had no money for training or to hire facilitators. As a result the “dialogues” they had scheduled were tightly controlled to avoid conflict and didn’t actually allow for dialogue so much as statements by the various parties. This in turn meant that they were missing the opportunities for new insights, understandings, and relationships that productive dialogue can bring about.

Yet when time, experience, and budget are all limited, the default choice is often to steer away from conflict towards what seems like a low risk (and ow value) strategy. Although there are many excellent summaries of specific processes and related procedures, the sheer number of permutations can be overwhelming. We wanted to provide a simple framework that could help beginning facilitators to get started.

Experienced facilitators can use this same framework to describe judgments made and to record results. This lets them pass on their knowledge to colleagues and clients.

(Image credit: Daniil Silantev on Unsplash)

50% off for the National Week of Conversation (through 5/21)

In honor of Law Day and the National Week of Conversation (April 21-28),  we have discounted the prices by 50% through May 21:

Understanding the Facilitation Cycle  For busy people about to engage a tough crowd on challenging issues. A quick, 20 page read. There are eight phases in the Facilitation Cycle. The first phase, Greeting, starts even before your meeting begins and before your participants come into the room. The last, Send Forth, magnifies the impact of your successful event for days and weeks after it has concluded. Current discounted price $3.99 (normally $7.99).
Dealing With Disruptors  What if you could make that disruptive energy productive? What if you could work with disruptors to increase understanding, broaden support, and build trust in your community? Dealing with Disruptors provides tools and a framework to make that happen. Current discounted price $4.99  (normally $10.99).
Navigating With 3D Evaluation: Public Dialogue for Results– Public engagement and dialogue can achieve valuable, lasting outcomes, but only when supported by ongoing, systematic analysis. This book shows you how to work with participants to set goals, engage everyone through a shared vision, maintain trust through common priorities and interim targets, navigate around obstacles like budget cutbacks and changes in political leadership, determine who is responsible for honoring the commitments made around the dialogue process, and demonstrate the value of your work.  Current discounted price $4.99 (normally $9.99).
We welcome your feedback!

Introduction to the Facilitation Analytics™ series

Why is it called “Facilitation Analytics”?

All of the books of address in some way how to facilitate dialogue, particularly public dialogue. The definition of “facilitate” is to make something easier or more convenient. Our tools help make the facilitation of dialogue easier by breaking down component parts of the overall process.  This allows the different factors and combinations of factors that help drive a successful facilitation to be identified, examined, and shared..

Many people rely on their intuition to facilitate meetings. It can take considerable time to gain enough experience to facilitate well. The frameworks we provide help both new and experienced facilitators to build their knowledge, share, and coordinate with others. For example,. if your intuition says “do A” and mine says “do B”, it can be hard without a framework to work out how to combine our insights and experience.  

FA provides a scaffold that can help those involved in a dialogue share their knowledge and experience  in spite of differences of background and especially when facing unfamiliar challenges. Once you’ve absorbed an analytical framework, you’re also in a better position to generalize and to adapt to new challenges and new constraints.

Do the books need to be read in order to be understood?

No, the books are modular, and each stands alone and also complements the others. We do suggest starting with Understanding the Facilitation Cycle, if you are new to dialogue.  Otherwise we recommend starting with the one most closely aligned with your immediate need.