Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision Making

by Sam Kaner, Lenny Lind, and others. Jossey-Bass, 2014.

Organizational consultant Sam Kaner and his fellow authors have an entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit that permeates this comprehensive resource to teach the nuts and bolts of facilitating group decision-making. The teachings are in four parts: basic values related to group decision-making, essential ideas and behaviors for facilitators, helping groups reach “sustainable agreements,” and achieving a conclusion. Chapter contents include communication, brainstorming, group and facilitator difficulties and undercurrents, setting agendas with results in mind, and consensus. Many ideas and hints are illuminated in easy-to-use charts, graphs, and illustrations. Some counter less collaborative styles of decision-making; others teach facilitators specific skills, such as how to teach a group to reframe an issue or how to develop closer group relationships. This more than 300-page volume may look overwhelming; however, the depth and breadth of information in it is not to be missed by leaders from any religious tradition.