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Posts with the Tag “must-have books”

The Handbook for Working With Difficult Groups

The 2010 book, “The Handbook for Working With Difficult Groups: How They Are Difficult, Why They Are Difficult, and What You Can Do About It,” edited by Sandor Schuman, is written for group facilitators, team leaders, and group members — people who are concerned with how people and groups can work together more effectively. (continue)

Democracy as Discussion: Civic Education and the American Forum Movement

Using primary sources from archives around the country, William M. Keith’s book Democracy as Discussion traces the early history of the Speech field, the development of discussion as an alternative to debate, and the Deweyan, Progressive philosophy of discussion that swept the United States in the early twentieth century. Available at Amazon.com. (continue)

Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future

“I believe we can change the world if we start talking to one another again.” With this simple declaration, Margaret Wheatley proposes in her 2002 book that people band together with their colleagues and friends to create the solutions for real social change, both locally and globally, that are so badly needed. Such change will not come from governments or corporations, she argues, but from the ageless process of thinking together in conversation. “Turning to One Another” encourages this process. Part I explores the power […] (continue)

Collective Decision Making Around the World

Is public deliberation rare? How widespread has it been? Are deliberation's organic practices at the very core of collective decision making? Did it exist before governments developed? The case studies included in Collective Decision Making Around the World begin to answer these questions. The research suggests, rather paradoxically, that deliberation may have been widespread throughout the world and throughout history. Taken as a whole, the case studies also show that deliberation is both fragile and powerful. It can be destroyed by top-down politics, but like a sturdy plant, if eradicated in one area, it reseeds itself in another. (continue)

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together

Isaacs is a colleague of organizational learning guru Peter Senge (who wrote the introduction) and one of the founders of MIT's Organizational Learning Center. He also directed MIT's Dialogue Project, on which this book is based. Isaacs argues that organizational learning cannot take place without successful dialogue. (continue)

Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners

This 242-page handbook by Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas (2007) is a joint effort of CIDA, International IDEA, OAS and UNDP, receiving valuable input from a wider network of organizations (including NCDD). This handbook is the result of a joint initiative to provide decision-makers and practitioners with a practical guide on how to design, facilitate and implement dialogue processes. It combines conceptual and practical knowledge, while providing an overview of relevant tools and experiences. NCDD highly recommends this handbook. (continue)

Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation

Ellinor and Gerard draw upon their combined 50 years of experience in organizations to show how dialogue can change the way we work by widening information arteries so that employees at every level begin to think along 'leadership' lines and take responsibility for how their actions affect the whole organization. Leading companies including Levi Strauss, Shell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and AT&T are unleashing the wellspring of power that flows naturally from the trust, mutual respect and spirit of inquiry that are at dialogue's core. (continue)

Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!

Weisbord and Janoff - creators of the Future Search method - offer ten principles that will allow you to get more done in meetings by doing less. The key is knowing what you can and can't control. You can't control people's motives, behavior, or attitudes. But you can control the conditions under which people interact, and you can control your own reactions. Based on over 30 years of experience and research, the authors show exactly how to establish a meeting structure that will create conditions for success, efficiency, and productivity. Equally important, they offer advice for making sure your own emotions don't get in the way - for knowing when to "just stand there" rather than intervene inappropriately, unproductively, or futilely. (continue)

Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (3rd Ed.)

The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making is the best available training manual and sourcebook for facilitators, managers and leaders who want to encourage full participation, promote mutual understanding, and help groups build inclusive, sustainable agreements. It presents more than 200 valuable tools and skills and places them in the context of a lucid, realistic model of the dynamics of group decision making. The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making will help all facilitators improve their diagnostic judgment and increase their repertoire of methods and skills for supporting groups to make sounder, saner decisions. (continue)

Breaking Robert’s Rules

Every day in communities across America hundreds of committees, boards, church groups, and social clubs hold meetings where they spend their time engaged in shouting matches and acrimonious debate. Whether they are aware of it or not, the procedures that most such groups rely on to reach decisions were first laid out as Robert's Rules more than 150 years ago by an officer in the U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers. Its arcane rituals of parliamentary procedure and majority rule usually produce a victorious majority and a very dissatisfied minority that expects to raise its concerns, again, at the next possible meeting. Breaking Robert's Rules clearly spells out how any group can work together effectively. (continue)

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