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Posts with the Tag “facilitation”

Bereavement Support Groups: Breathing Life into Stories of the Dead

Bereavement Support Groups: Breathing Life into Stories of the Dead is a must-read for therapists, grief counselors, facilitators, and anyone who has lost a loved one. This book fills the gap between the challenges to conventional grief psychology and the practice of bereavement counseling. The deceased person has often been left behind in counseling conversations, requiring the bereaved to distance themselves from honoring memories that could soothe their heartache. Ironically, the stories about the dead person have not featured prominently in the grief experience. The […] (continue)

Group Works Deck: A Pattern Language Tool

This deck of 91 full-color cards distills the core wisdom of the field: what skilled facilitators do over and over again to make things work. The content is more specific than values, and less specific than tips and techniques, cutting across existing methodologies with a designer’s eye to capture patterns that repeat. The deck can be used to plan sessions, reflect on and debrief from them, provide guidance mid-stride, and share responsibility for making the process go well. In addition to the card set (which […] (continue)

Group Decision Tips

Each of Craig Freshley’s free Group Decision Tips is a quick one-page read that helps improve group efficiency, productivity, and creativity. At www.groupdecisiontips.com you can view a complete index of over 150 Tips and download PDF handouts of your favorites. Freshley is an NCDD blogger, and has shared some of his tips on the NCDD Community blog. Each Tip begins with a principle – a core concept, and ends with a practical tip – something that you and your group can do to bring more […] (continue)


Debategraph is a social enterprise that combines argument visualization with collaborative wiki editing to make the best arguments on all sides of every complex public debate freely available to all, and continuously open to challenge and improvement by all. It was co-founded by Peter Baldwin and David Price, who have been collaborating on Debategraph’s development on opposites sides of the world over the last five years –  and is evolving continuously towards the fulfilment of our long term vision for a new form of public communication. For a […] (continue)

Forums for the 4th: The NIF network at age 25 (NIF Report)

This 3-page report summarizes some of the themes that Joyce Hanna encountered as she contacted and interviewed a wide variety of people connected with the National Issues Forums (NIF) network of people who convene and/or moderate deliberative forums or workshops around the country. Joyce Hanna, a moderator, convener, trainer and observer of public deliberation, began her involvement with NIF in 1985. (continue)

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes in Consensus Process and How to Avoid Them

Tree Bressen, an NCDD Supporting Member and expert in facilitation and consensus, just released a new 2-page handout to assist those involved in the current Occupy movement, which has been using a consensus decision-making process. Tree noted in her email about this extremely timely, useful resource that “a two-page quick handout can’t replace a training, but it can help in the meantime.” You can download the handout at http://treegroup.info/topics/Top-10-Consensus-Mistakes.pdf (I’m also including it below as a valuable archive and resource). (continue)

Clearness Committee

The following text by Parker J. Palmer is excerpted from the Center for Courage & Renewal website at www.couragerenewal.org. This group communication method invented by the Quakers in the 1660’s protects individual identity and integrity while drawing on the wisdom of other people. People who wish to make significant use of the Clearness Committee process are urged to read Chapter VIII, “Living the Questions,” in Parker J. Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2009). There you will […] (continue)

Dialogue Versus Debate

This 2004 table was adapted by NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher from a paper prepared by Shelley Berman, which was based on discussions of the Dialogue Group of the Boston Chapter of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR), and from the Public Conversations Project’s much-used Distinguishing Debate from Dialogue table. (continue)

Virtual Meetings: Design with the ‘Distracted Participant’ in Mind

Here is a wonderful summary by Geoffrey Morton-Haworth of a January 2011 discussion in NCDD’s LinkedIn group on ground rules and best practices in virtual facilitation.  The discussion was started by group member Martin Pearson with the subject “Groundrules necessary to make the best of virtual meetings,” and is also posted on Geoffrey’s yalaworld.net site at this link. Martin wrote that he was starting to use Skype more for meetings, and asked group members if they have created specific ground rules for their own virtual […] (continue)

The League of Extraordinary Trainers

The League of Extraordinary Trainers are eight highly seasoned practitioners who have designed and presented some of the most powerful and recognized training in public participation, collaboration, consensus, high stakes communication, and facilitation in the world today. (continue)