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Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation Paperback – January 28, 2016

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation is more than just another book on group dynamics or interpersonal skills. There are no wasted pages; and yet, as packed full of valuable information as it is, it manages to feel less like a manual and more like a personal conversation with two people who are clearly both knowledgeable and genuinely passionate about the topic.

With no shortage of memorable analogies and helpful examples, the book is written with refreshing wit, humor, empathy and a compelling voice.

Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation is sure to provide new and seasoned facilitators alike with a good dose of inspiration, focus and solid know-how, along with renewed enthusiasm for facilitation and its endless potential to bring about positive change."

--Erik Tyler, Mentor, Speaker, Facilitator and Author of The Best Advice So Far

About the Author

Sam Killermann is a comedian and social justice facilitator who got his start in university orientation and first-year programs. His primary role in life now is as Director of Creativity for hues, a global justice collective, in which he writes, performs, speaks, and makes things. Sam is the co-creator of TheSafeZoneProject.com, where his favorite way to spend time is training facilitators, and he’s the author of A Guide to Gender, which opened as a best-seller in gender on Amazon. Sam earned his bachelor’s from Purdue and master’s from Bowling Green, and enjoys riding his bicycle around sunny Austin, TX, where he counts himself lucky to live.

Meg Bolger is an social entrepreneur and facilitator passionate about the process of engaging in social justice work. She founded Pride for All, an organization that creates projects and services focused on sparking social justice conversations. She's the co-creator of TheSafeZoneProject.com, where she enjoys helping folks create sustainable gender and sexuality education programs. Meg graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. and Bowling Green State University with a M.A. She enjoys flying around the U.S. to helping schools and organizations develop facilitators, all while getting asked if she's old enough to sit in the exit row.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Impetus Books; 1 edition (January 28, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989760235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989760232
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a professional social justice facilitator, I believe Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation is a must read for any educator looking to lead better dialogues. This book is one of the first, and certainly the most comprehensive, works on the subject of facilitation and is an invaluable resource for me in my development as a facilitator. The concepts in this book are a playbook for effectively guiding groups through meaningful dialogue and I know that I'll return to it time and again throughout my career. I highly recommend this book to all social justice facilitators, educators, social workers, HR directors, or anyone who engages groups of people in meaning-making conversations.
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This is a really excellent book full of useful information. Though it is directed at facilitators, trainers, and also managers, can also get a lot of benefit from reading this book. On top of that, the writers have a sense of humor that had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. Highly recommended to anyone who has to teach or direct groups of people.
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I currently work in higher education and have spent a lot of time on both sides of the facilitation table (both as a facilitator and participant). What I appreciate about Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation is how intelligently it is broken up in to concepts, and then how well these concepts are explained (pay special attention to the footnotes - they're a treat). I also find it to be valuable to have a lot of the facilitation "best practices" I have learned over the years in a short book that is not only easy to read, but also easy to understand and utilize in my work (thanks to the numerous, well-written examples). While Sam and Meg focus a lot of social justice facilitation, the practices are truly applicable to all types of workshop, seminar, presentation, and discussion facilitation. I've only had the book for a week, and I'm already using it to brainstorm effective discussion questions to use with my RA team for an upcoming team building activity. I believe that anyone could learn something about facilitation from this book, no matter if they have never facilitated a workshop before or if they are facilitating their 1000th. I expect this book to become a permanent part of my library as I continue through my career path as an educator.
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Loved it. Would write it again.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewer: Full-time social justice and leadership educator with six years of facilitation experience in higher education, including two years in student affairs. I am friends with one co-author of the book, Meg Bolger, and was provided a free copy with no obligation to submit a review.

Initial Thoughts: I love Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation, and plan to use it as I mentor and coach student and staff facilitators moving forward.

Utility: I used the back page to keep a running list of ideas of how exactly I can use this book in my work. These include: Facilitation Magic mini-workshop series for my facilitation team, our first facilitator book club book, a new curriculum development building workshop, and a "Leading with Love" workshop incorporating Facilitation Magic and bell hooks' All About Love, among other ideas.

Most Appreciated: Sam and Meg's honesty and vulnerability throughout the writing process is palpable and incredibly refreshing. The book itself is an inspirational social justice praxis project. Just check out the four ways you can access the content, and the intentional use of pronouns! I also feel strongly that Facilitation Magic is an excellent beginner's guide to incorporating social justice concepts into a facilitation style while not attempting to be a comprehensive guide to social justice or facilitation.

Inspiration: Sam and Meg clearly take a lot of their inspiration from Brene Brown, and any fans of her work will see the influence throughout Facilitation Magic. Kathy Obear's work on navigating triggers is also highlighted in chapter 9, and in my view her work is distilled and easily digestible in this book.
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Format: Paperback
Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation by Sam Killermann and Meg Bolger is a great introduction to some of the key tips for social justice facilitation. The book is a quick and easy read, breaking down complex concepts (like Obear's work on the triggering event cycle) into digestible nuggets of knowledge. The authors present a number of concepts that were familiar to me already, but in ways that were compelling and useful as reminders of their importance. Reading these portions (like the importance of the "Yes, and..." rule) helped me to reflect on my own practice and how effectively I utilize those strategies to act as an effective facilitator rather than a hostile lecturer.

Other concepts were new to me, particularly the "roundabout" of strategies to step away from the triggering event cycle and the discussion of ways to question more effectively. These practices are definitely ones I will be incorporating into my work with facilitation, but also my one-on-one interactions with students.

Overall, this book was a useful and fun read that achieved its goals: not to be a comprehensive resource, but a valuable set of tools and tips that are accessible to any facilitator looking to improve their skills.
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