Facilitation is one of those odd skills, or activities, where it is very hard to define, but you tend to know when it is being done well, or indeed badly.
Viv McWaters and Johnnie Moore are two people who can definitely be described as great facilitators, and they have collected together their combined thinking and experience on the topic into a free e-book, Creative Facilitation.
Here’s a quick synopsis of each section of the book, from their website:
Part One: Why Facilitation?
We explore the impact of facilitation and facilitators on groups, the qualities that make for good facilitators and some of the underlying philosophy that underpins our approach.
Part Two: Workshop Basics
The foundations of facilitating workshops.
Part Three: Beyond the Basics
…is about providing an understanding of how to engage people and use different approaches.
Part Four: Creative Facilitation
…explores some of the knowledge and understanding that helps facilitators step into complex, and sometimes difficult, situations.
Part Five: Resources
…provides suggestions for developing your own “toolkit” with what you learn from experience as well as useful links, resources and other information.
To get Creative Facilitation for free, you just have to sign up to their email newsletter. It’s a great resource, and given that the emails tend to be very useful as well, it’s a bit of a win-win.