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Breaking Robert's Rules: The New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build Consensus, and Get Results Paperback – September 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195308365 ISBN-10: 0195308360

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195308360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195308365
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Lawrence E. Susskind and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank go to great lengths to show us the shortcomings of Robert's Rules and how its rituals of procedure and majority rule often produce a righteous majority and a highly dissatisfied minority...The writing is clear and jargon-free...you'll learn more than you'll ever need to know about assigning roles and responsibilities, group problem solving and holding people to commitments...It's the kind of book that has multiple markets, from executive groups to committees to neighborhood associations. Use this book to change the way you operate meetings and you'll see greater efficiency, effectiveness and sound decision making."--Training Magazine


About the Author

Lawrence E. Susskind is the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at M.I.T. and head of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School. An experience mediator, he is Founder of the Consensus Building Institute and author of Dealing with an Angry Public: The Mutual Gains Approach to Resolving Disputes (with Patrick T. Field) and The Consensus Building Handbook (with Sarah McKearnan and Jennifer Thomas-Larmer). Jeffrey L. Cruikshank is an experienced editor, the author of numerous of interest to managers, and published novelist. His first book collaboration with co-author Susskind was Breaking the Impasse, published in 1987.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By W. Graham on August 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book has great value whether you are a business owner, politician or public agency staffer, an environmentalist, a facilitator, mediator or any other interested party. It provides a simple, concise and easy-to-understand review of the consensus building process. From a communication perspective, consensus building lends itself towards helping any party in a negotiation develop a greater understanding and wider range of solutions that may be available on any given issue.

The authors frame the limitations of "traditional" Robert's Rules for running public meetings. These traditional methods tend to offer binary decisions (yes or no) which often limit discussion, stifle creativity, and almost always leave someone feeling "left out".

They offer a simple, easy-to-understand and concise method to "break the chains" of communication such that more creative alternatives to issues or problems may be offered and discussed. Through a more creative and contributed process, interested parties can craft decisions based upon informed consensus which lends itself towards more lasting agreements.

The book also offers an excellent treatise on facilitation or mediation techniques. It is useful no matter "what side of the table" you may be in any given issue. A list of Key Terms at the end of each chapter offer an excellent way to reinforce understanding.

Five stars and a great contribution!
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Frank L. Park, Jr. on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've always been perplexed by the fact that we run our meetings according to rules dreamed up by a military engineer more than 100 years ago. Maybe Roberts' arcane procedures about what can be discussed by whom and when worked once upon a time, but they don't make sense either in the modern business world or for making important policy decisions today.

I'm not sure that the consensus building approach spelled out in this book will necessarily work in every case, but it's clear, straightforward, and practical. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has gotten sick of going to meetings only to see the will of the majority frustrated by some shrewed parliamentarian manipulating the rules. Susskind offers a constructive alternative for people who just want to get the right thing done.
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By E on December 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book that truly gets to the nitty gritty about why our current standards for making decisions is ineffective and unfair. Also proposes some great solutions. If you are interested in this idea, look up the book We the People: Consenting to a deeper democracy. It tackles the tough issue and takes the solutions to the next level by outlining a revolutionary organizational model and decision making process.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James C Hunt on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read for people who want to participate in a working committee, rather than just preside on a stagnant, inactive, group of by-stander, slackers.
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