Facilitating Authentic Participation: Transformative Steps to Empower Groups

Facilitating Authentic Participation: Transformative Steps to Empower GroupsAbout Facilitating Authentic Participation

All too often, asking any group to work together without effective
facilitation is a shortcut to disaster — James M. Campbell

In this revealing step-by-step guide, now available from Amazon, master group process facilitator James M. Campbell takes you behind the scenes of the usually hidden planning and diagnostic process leading up to the “magic” of guiding a group process that allows the group’s deepest wisdom to be shared in a feasible action plan that everyone is motivated to accomplish.

What may look simple, effortless, and easy to accomplish is the culmination of an intensive series of consultative stages of preparation requiring the listening, analytical, and collaborative skills of a master facilitator.

This is the text that shares the process that the author taught in university-level courses in Europe after a lifetime of innovative process work with groups on four continents.

Jim has written elsewhere:

…people know that participating in creating their destiny is an essential
part of their humanity… The process whereby people are enabled to experience
this combination of the freeing of their humanity and the ownership which
generates commitment and motivation is truly transformative.
By the force of their own experience people realise that they can participate in
creating their future and the future of their organisation or community.

Thus people experience themselves as responsible for their destiny, and so
resignation and despair are transformed into hope and belief-in-self.
People’s anger and frustration at their disenfranchisement is transformed
into energy invested in creating their destiny.

This conviction—that authentic participation is transformative—has been the foundation of Jim’s work as a facilitator.

Praise for Facilitating Authentic Participation

Not just driving the process or holding the space, responsible facilitation requires skillful care and attention to the whole of the facilitation cycle. In this book Jim Campbell, a pioneer of our profession, draws on fifty years of diverse experience in the field to share practical examples and models, tools and tips to empower you, your clients and your groups—not least, as you navigate the too-often-overlooked early phases of the facilitator’s role, before the process is designed or the space is opened. A comprehensive and invaluable resource, highly recommended!

Martin Gilbraith, IAF Certified Professional Facilitator; former Chair of the International Association of Facilitators; former President of the Institute of Cultural Affairs International.

Just as the students in All Hallows College found Jim Campbell’s facilitation courses to be life- and career-enhancing, so too will the readers of this manual find much food for thought as they prepare to facilitate groups. In this new, so-called ‘post-truth’ age the facilitator who appreciates the need for responsible and ethical facilitation will find this manual extremely useful.

—Margarita Synnott MTh, facilitator in adult education (retired), All Hallows College, Dublin.

This is a book about being a disciplined facilitator. It is step by step guide to embracing the task of caring; for a client, the task, the process, the group, and oneself. It is really about what it means to fully love the whole journey of enabling the creativity that is released in the short time of actually being ‘on stage’. It is a serious advanced book for those who are learning the art of facilitation. Jim has taken his years of diverse experiences and distilled it into the essence of facilitation Mastery.

—Jack Gilles has been doing Strategic Planning and Leadership Development for over 35 years, 22 of which were in India. He has also done work in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Zambia, Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia. Most of his work has been with the Private Sector. He resides in Mexico.

A comprehensive context for facilitation, plus great practical tools for every stage of the facilitator’s work, grounded with stories of experience at every stage. Anyone planning to become certified as a facilitator—or just to become a highly competent facilitator—will benefit from Jim’s experience.

—Jo Nelson, IAF Certified Professional Facilitator; ICA Certified ToP Facilitator; founding member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF); ICA Associates, Inc., Toronto.

Learning the facilitation cycle and its corresponding processes has given me a set of transferable skills that I will carry through my personal and professional life.

—Elizabeth McBride MSc, Personal and Leadership Coach and Facilitator, Dublin.

From the Author

There are many people and groups who have made it possible for me to do what I have done as a facilitator. I learned the basics of facilitation working with my colleagues in The Ecumenical Institute (EI) and the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA). Every group I ever worked with taught me more about being a facilitator, always challenging me and keeping me searching for how I could do better with the next group. The hundreds of people who trusted me in training sessions asked probing questions and pushed me to understand more deeply and more clearly the task of being a facilitator. Strangers on trains and airplanes asked me what I did and then: What does a facilitator do? While checking my passport, a U.S.A. Immigration officer asked me what I did, and when I told him I was a Group Process Consultant asked me what that involved, resulting in a ten-minute conversation. This book is dedicated to all of them, for they all shaped me and enabled me to learn and grow as a facilitator.

About the Author

As one of the pioneers who helped define and develop the professional field of process facilitation, James M. Campbell has practiced and taught facilitation skills at the university level since 2004. He has designed and facilitated group process work in North America, Europe, Africa, and Latin America for local community groups, international corporations, United Nations agencies, and in the NGO sector, including groups such as CARE International in the Balkans. He was a planning consultant with the administration of ICTY (the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia).

Jim’s undergraduate teaching and his writing of this book based on his university courses is the capstone of a lifetime of work in the developing field of facilitation across four continents around the world.

Jim extended the International Association of Facilitators’ outreach in Europe and Middle East region starting in 1996. He has served on the IAF’s Global Board and was the European Regional Representative during the four years when the IAF’s European membership grew from around seventy-five to almost five hundred. He has contributed to IAF’s publications.

As a staff member of The Ecumenical Institute and the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Jim was instrumental in facilitating EI/ICA’s work with local community leadership in comprehensive socioeconomic reformulation, beginning with the Fifth City Human Development Project on Chicago’s West Side and extending the Fifth City Model to work with rural and urban communities in Kenya and Brazil.

Jim is a key contributor in developing the Technology of Participation (ToP)®, ICA’s proprietary structured facilitation methods for group work that draws upon more than a half century of experience in facilitating group processes, forging community consensus, developing locally based community organizations, and teaching imaginal education and group process methods in fifty nations around the world.

A native of western Pennsylvania, USA, Jim is a graduate of Pennsylvania’s Edinboro University. He joined the staff of The Ecumenical Institute after teaching high school in Iquique, Chile for three years. After his recent retirement as the director of the ICA’s Brussels office, Jim returned to Latin America where he lives with a Columbian family and pursues writing, consulting, training, and teaching. His memoir, A Journey of Beginnings, is now available from Amazon.

Also by Jim Campbell – Parish Pastoral Councils: A Formation Manual, 30-Sep-2010; and ICA Belgium articles.