Where can I find organizing and group facilitation training?
May 6, 2014 7:23 PM   Subscribe

I've recently assumed a role that calls on me to do some serious community-building and group facilitation and I'm feeling pretty unprepared. I'd love advice on possible trainings -- workshops, conferences, methods, even online resources. I'm open to anything really, from the micro of how groups form and interact, to more zoomed out training on the development of large communities and even social movements.

To give a few examples, I'm aware of the Art of Hosting, which is in line with what I'm thinking. I'm also kicking myself for missing the deadline to the next eight-day strategic evaluation at the James Lawson Institute. I also know a few labor organizers who talk highly of the work of Marshall Ganz, and he seems fantastic, but I won't be in Boston anytime soon.

Beyond that, though, I'm a bit clueless. Any advice would be great!
posted by vecchio to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Midwest Academy Grassroots Organizing Workshops (GROW)

Irvin Yalom's book The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. I know, I know, you're presumably not conducting group therapy - but it'll give you some insights about group processes and it's an enjoyable read.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:46 PM on May 6, 2014

Check out Starhawk's Empowerment Manual. It's a great resource for community leadership and self-governance systems. I've used it myself for community-building, and it's really well put together. You may also consider getting training in non-violent communication. So much of group facilitating is about languaging, and NVC can really help to manage the flow of conflict within the group. Then you can take the whole group through some NVC explanations and exercises - they are super helpful.
posted by ananci at 7:46 PM on May 6, 2014

I'm a big fan of Dan Iacofano's work at MIG, all detailed with great clarity in their book Meeting of the Minds. The workshops and related materials by David Sibbet and his colleagues at The Grove have helped many of my colleagues.
posted by carmicha at 7:48 PM on May 6, 2014

What is your training budget? Columbia Teachers College in NYC offers an organization development course which covers these topics and more.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:39 PM on May 6, 2014

Interaction Associates pretty much wrote the book on this field. They offer public workshops in Boston and San Francisco.
posted by TDIpod at 10:28 PM on May 6, 2014

+1 on Midwest Academy. They also have a handbook with great information. I also hear good things about the PICO model, and they have a resource page here.
posted by slidell at 10:56 PM on May 6, 2014

Not training, but my go-to book on the subject is the Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision Making.
posted by elmay at 6:51 AM on May 7, 2014

Response by poster: Great, these are all sincerely helpful. Thanks everyone!
posted by vecchio at 7:05 AM on May 8, 2014

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