Forward: Gary Rush
Publisher: Technics Publications, LLC; First edition (2014)
Book review by: David Haertzen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The ability to lead productive meetings and training workshops is the mark of a top professional, so I was happy to have an opportunity to review this book and make improvements to my approach. The book is packed with information that shows how to prepare for, conduct and follow up on meetings and workshops.
First, the process of facilitation is presented through use of a Facilitation Framework. The facilitator follows steps of preparing for the engagement, facilitating the meeting or workshop and then following up. Detailed explanations of each step are provided including: activities, checklists, competencies and examples.
Second, the author addresses the topic of adult learning through workshops. Learning is facilitated by connecting with the multiple forms of intelligence that people have. The book shows how to design learning experiences that touch intelligences such as logical, visual and musical. I am sure that workshops led by Artie Mahal are energizing and full of learning.
Third, workshop tools and the workshop environment are addressed. Over thirty tools are presented ranging from variations of brainstorming to "Six Thinking Hats". Details about the tools are provided later in the detailed Tools Library appendix. Options for set up of the environment include: seating patterns, equipment, supplies and food. Detailed checklists are an aid to consistent success.
Fourth, special situations such as cross-cultural facilitation and virtual facilitation are described. Both of these are timely topics, as we work with off shore team members from multiple cultures. Finally, a great list of resources enables the readers to add depth of knowledge.
If you want to improve your meeting and facilitation skills, this is an excellent book. Like many other books the reader will learn by applying the author's recommendations. Facilitator's and Trainer's Toolkit by Artie Mahal will be a valuable addition.