The Facilitator's Fieldbook: Step-by-Step Guides Checklists Samples and Templates

The Facilitator's Fieldbook: Step-by-Step Guides Checklists Samples and Templates

The Facilitator's Fieldbook: Step-by-Step Guides Checklists Samples and Templates

The Facilitator's Fieldbook: Step-by-Step Guides Checklists Samples and Templates


The Facilitator's Fieldbook has long been the go-to resource for novice and experienced facilitators alike. The book gives managers, trainers, and group leaders in any industry the step-by-step procedures, checklists, guidelines, samples, and templates they need to make any group work like a well-oiled machine.

Comprehensive and practical, The Facilitator's Fieldbook covers all the key areas including establishing ground rules; planning meetings and agendas; brain storming; resolving conflict; making decisions; and helping groups optimize their time. The completely revised third edition also provides new team-building exercises, as well as updated information on virtual meetings, mediation, strategic planning, and much more. Readers will find tips on maintaining the tone and flow of meetings, and guidelines for determining when to delegate projects to individuals rather than assembling a group.

Getting people to function together productively can be a challenge. With The Facilitator's Fieldbook, readers have the tools and knowledge they need to rise to the occasion.


The use of groups and teams in most aspects of organizational life has steadily risen over the past decade. The normal ups and downs of working in groups have brought elation and frustration to many, prompting an interest in learning how to help groups and teams operate effectively. Consequently, publications and workshops on teams, team development, and team facilitation have proliferated, offering an abundance of definitions and theories to choose from. The result? While some resources out there do offer solid guidance, in numerous cases this proliferation has led to oversimplifications, too many models, and unnecessary confusion.

We have written this book to clear up any confusion about one highly important topic in this age of participation: facilitation. As the domain of facilitation is helping people successfully work together in groups and teams, its art and science are not only critical to future achievements in organizations, but also integral to advancements in the societies that support those organizations. The more businesses and communities use participation, involving groups of people to plan, manage, and problem-solve, the more facilitation will play a role in their success. This has been true since our first edition in the 1980s and has only increased as the world of work has gotten more complex, organization forms have proliferated, and the involvement of more diverse stakeholders has become paramount.


In this Third Edition of The Facilitator’s Fieldbook, you will discover what facilitation is and what facilitators need to do. You will find a selection of resources—guides, worksheets, and samples— designed for facilitators at all levels of experience.

To keep the book’s contents as user-friendly as possible, we have organized the work of facilitation into three phases, with primary tasks and outcomes for each. This three-phase model frames the scope of what facilitators need to think about and do and what skills they must develop to be effective; it also creates an organizing structure for the many facilitation resources we have included. We have tried to be fairly comprehensive in our selection of resources, supplementing the basic facilitation material with more sophisticated methods for special situations and nontraditional facilitation challenges.

We hope that by bringing clarity to the task of facilitation and providing resources for immediate use, we will expand and improve the practice of facilitation. The word facilitate is derived from the Latin word facilitas, which means easiness. While working with groups has never been, and probably will never be, completely easy, we trust that The Facilitator’s Fieldbook will lend some quality of ease to facilitators and groups alike.

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