Small Group Facilitation: Improving Process and Performance in Groups and Teams

  • 3h 31m
  • Judith A. Kolb
  • Human Resource Development Press
  • 2011

Small Group Facilitation presents a new, research-based framework for facilitation along with plenty of how-to tools for putting into action. Unlike other resources, it focuses on the importance of group process. If you’re a veteran facilitator, you’ll gain tools for perfecting your craft. If you’re a beginner, you’ll gain a clear roadmap to success.

You’ll learn about the concept of small group facilitation and how groups work. You’ll also explore the eight key elements of the author’s innovative framework for facilitation:

  • Planning and organization: Learn the importance of planning and preparation.
  • Communication: Master active listening, paraphrasing and summarizing, questioning and other key skills.
  • Task: Improve your ability to keep the group focused, clarify purpose, establish ground rules, adhere to time frames and use technology and visual aids.
  • Relationships and climate: Discover new ways to support interaction and discussion, encourage involvement, use humor effectively, provide feedback and handle disruptive people.
  • Values and ethics: Learn the values that guide facilitation, specific ethical concerns facilitators often have and how to apply values to your job as facilitator.
  • Conflict: Delve into the types of conflicts that occur in small groups and the importance of focusing on interests rather than taking sides.
  • Creativity: Explore the process of creative problem-solving and ways you can encourage creativity.
  • Techniques: Define guiding principles for helping your group with decision-making and problem-solving.

Each chapter in this extremely readable resource begins with a bulleted list of key concepts, ends with a summary and references, and includes lessons learned from the author’s experiences facilitating groups.

About the Author

Judith A. Kolb is Associate Professor of Education in the Workforce Education and Development Program at The Pennsylvania State University (University Park Campus). She teaches group and team facilitation and other related courses in the Human Resource Development/Organization Development emphasis of study. Dr. Kolb has over 25 years experience working with groups and teams in a wide variety of contexts and fields including manufacturing, research and development, utilities, education, medicine, and business. Her articles on teamwork and facilitation have appeared in journals such as Human Resource Development Quarterly, Small Group Research, Journal of European Industrial Training, Journal of Business Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, Performance Improvement Quarterly, and Journal of Creative Behavior. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Denver in communication with a specialty in small group and applied organizational communication, a M.Ed. from Colorado State University in human resource development, and a B.S. from the University of Missouri in business education. Her background in communication, training, and business provides a useful lens for the study and practice of small group facilitation.

In this Book

  • Introduction to Small Group Facilitation
  • How Groups Work
  • Description of the Framework for Facilitation
  • Organization and Planning
  • Communication
  • Task
  • Relationships and Climate
  • Values and Ethics
  • Conflict
  • Creativity
  • Techniques
  • Techniques for Generating and Ranking Ideas
  • Techniques for Focusing on Problems and Solutions
  • Techniques for Strategic Planning
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