• Toby Sinclair

Best Facilitation Books For Leaders


Unconventional Leadership Books

Facilitate, Don't Force


A collection of the best facilitation books. Conversations in the workplace can be messy and chaotic. Learning a few facilitation techniques can help you and the team navigate this uncertainty more effectively.


You can find a link to each of the best facilitation books below. You'll also find many of these summarised in this collection of book summaries.


I'd love to hear your suggestions on LinkedIn too.


  1. Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders

  2. The Secrets of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups

  3. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

  4. Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making

  5. Training from the Back of the Room!: 65 Ways to Step Aside and Let Them Learn

  6. Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

  7. The Workshop Survival Guide: How to design and teach educational workshops that work every time

  8. Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

  9. The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of Innovation

  10. High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out

  11. The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

  12. Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity

 

📚 Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders

by Jean Tabaka


Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders

To succeed, an agile project demands outstanding collaboration among all its stakeholders. But great collaboration doesn’t happen by itself; it must be carefully planned and facilitated throughout the entire project lifecycle. Collaboration Explained is the first book to bring together proven, start-to-finish techniques for ensuring effective collaboration in any agile software project.






📚 The Secrets of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups

by Michael Wilkinson


The Secrets of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups

This expanded edition includes new chapters on facilitating virtual meetings, cross-cultural teams, and large groups and conferences. It also provides a series of strategies for engaging teams, additional information about making meetings more productive, and further guidance on preventing dysfunctional behavior. In addition, the book contains a wealth of fresh case studies and an ancillary website with must-have tools and techniques for both the beginner and the seasoned facilitator.





📚 The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

by Priya Parker


The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker shows us how to ensure that however, we meet, it's a truly transformative experience. An expert on organizing successful gatherings whether in conference centres, crisis zones or her living room, Parker sets forth a human-centred approach to gathering that can help us create meaningful, memorable moments - large and small, for work and play.






📚 Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making

by Sam Kaner


Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making

This fully updated edition of The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making guides readers through the struggle and the satisfaction of putting participatory values into practice, helping them to fulfill the promise of effective group decision-making. With previous editions already embraced by business and community leaders and consulting professionals around the world, this new book is even more insightful and easy to use.




📚 Training from the Back of the Room!: 65 Ways to Step Aside and Let Them Learn

by Sharon L. Bowman


Training from the Back of the Room!: 65 Ways to Step Aside and Let Them Learn

This innovative resource introduces 65 training strategies that are guaranteed to deliver outstanding training results no matter what the topic, group, or learning environment. Now, trainers can replace the traditional "Trainers talk; learners listen" paradigm with a radical new model for designing and delivering instruction: "When learners talk and teach, they learn."





📚 Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

by Esther Derby, Diana Larsen


Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

Derby and Larsen show you the tools, tricks, and tips you need to fix the problems you face on a software development project on an on-going basis. You'll see how to architect retrospectives in general, how to design them specifically for your team and organization, how to run them effectively, how to make the needed changes, and how to scale these techniques up. You'll learn how to deal with problems, and implement solutions effectively throughout the project--not just at the end.




📚 The Workshop Survival Guide: How to design and teach educational workshops that work every time

by Rob Fitzpatrick, Devin Hunt


The Workshop Survival Guide: How to design and teach educational workshops that work every time

Most workshops don't work. They fail to deliver real results and they fail to keep the audience energetic and engaged. They're stressful to run and painful to attend.


Designing and running a brilliant workshop is easier than you think. It's not about flashy showmanship or natural charisma. Instead, it's about following a set of clear, simple rules for structuring and arranging the day.





📚 Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo


Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

This book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. The authors have identified tools and techniques from some of the world's most innovative professionals, whose teams collaborate and make great thingshappen. This book is the result: a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace. Find out why -- and how -- with Gamestorming.




📚 The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of Innovation

by Henri Lipmanowicz, Keith McCandless


The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of Innovation

Smart leaders know that they would greatly increase productivity and innovation if only they could get everyone fully engaged. So do professors, facilitators and all changemakers. The challenge is how. Liberating Structures are novel, practical and no-nonsense methods to help you accomplish this goal with groups of any size.







📚 High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out

by Amanda Ripley


High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out

High conflict is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority, and everything we do to try to end the conflict, usually makes it worse. Eventually, we can start to mimic the behavior of our adversaries, harming what we hold most dear.







📚 The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

by Juanita Brown


The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

The World Cafe is a flexible, easy-to-use process for fostering collaborative dialogue, sharing mutual knowledge, and discovering new opportunities for action. Based on living systems thinking, this innovative approach creates dynamic networks of conversation that can catalyze an organization or community's own collective intelligence around its most important questions.





📚 Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity

by David Sibbet


Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity

Visual Meetings explains how anyone can implement powerful visual tools, and how these tools are being used in Silicon Valley and elsewhere to facilitate both face-to-face and virtual group work. This dynamic and richly illustrated resource gives meeting leaders, presenters, and consultants a slew of exciting tricks and tools, including