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Extreme Facilitation: Guiding Groups Through Controversy and Complexity

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7593-7
304 pages
March 2005, Jossey-Bass
Extreme Facilitation: Guiding Groups Through Controversy and Complexity (0787975931) cover image


Extreme Facilitation picks up where other books on the topic leave off to present a revolutionary method that helps large, unwieldy, adversarial, and apparently dysfunctional groups achieve consensus and reach objectives on divisive and contentious issues no matter how long the group has been struggling. Throughout the book, expert facilitator Suzanne Ghais shows how extreme facilitation - which puts on the emphasis on creativity, flexibility, and customization - can change how group members interact with one another and how participants view the issues even in the most challenging and exceptionally difficult situations. Extreme Facilitation covers the preparatory phases of the process, including assessment, convening, and contracting. Ghais also offers vital information on process design and tips for handling situations that many facilitators find particularly challenging.
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Table of Contents



Part One: Foundations.

1. The Right Stuff: What It Takes to Be an Extreme Facilitator.

2. The Facilitator as Architect.

Part Two: Preparation.

3. Assessment: The Essential First Step.

4. Convening: Creating a Democratic Table.

5. Contracting: Setting Yourself Up for Success.

Part Three: Conducting the Process.

6. Process Basics: The Beginner’s Guide to Facilitation.

7. The Physical Capacity: The Foundation.

8. The Emotional Capacity: Welcoming and Working with Feelings.

9. The Intellectual Capacity: Facilitating Complex Issues.

10. The Intuitive Capacity: Sparking Insights and Ideas.

11. The Spiritual Capacity: Helping Groups Transcend Their Limitations.

12. Putting It All Together.


About the Author.


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Author Information

Suzanne Ghais is program manager at the internationally renowned conflict resolution organization CDR Associates. She has facilitated a wide variety of group processes in the organizational and public-policy arenas. She has worked with large and small corporations, government agencies at all levels, industry and business associations, educational and health care institutions, and nonprofit organizations.
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