By Tree Bressen, Handouts for presentation(s) at the 2009 Cohousing Conference
Checking for Agreement
5 Principles of Facilitation
Handling Inappropriate Blocks in a Consensus Process
Consensus Decision Making
Consensus and Facilitation Resource Sheet
- Building Consensus: Conflict and Unity. (2001) Monteze Snyder, et al. Basic overview from a Quaker
perspective. Earlham University Press, $15.00
- Building United Judgment: A Handbook for Consensus Decision Making. (1981) Michel Avery, et al.
Explains why, when and how to use secular consensus process effectively. This book, originally published by
the Center for Conflict Resolution, has been reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community (see below).
- Consensus Through Conversation: How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions. (2006) Larry Dressler.
Straightforward information clearly presented; misses some nuance but its simplicity makes this short book very
appealing as an overview. Berrett-Koehler, $12.00; www.consensustools.com.
- Introduction to Consensus. (2000) Beatrice Briggs. Set of basics for workshops. Also available in Spanish.
- On Conflict and Consensus: A Handbook on Formal Consensus Decisionmaking. (1987) CT Butler & Amy
Rothstein. Formalizes procedural steps for decision-making method. Full text available for free on the internet.
- Food Not Bombs Publishing, PO Box 853, Burlington, VT 05402; 800-569-4054; www.consensus.net. $14 ppd.
Sharing Consensus: a handbook for consensus workshops. Sweet, homespun booklet filled with Quaker
anecdotes, written by a man who uses no name. Available c/o Nova Land, 128 Hidden Springs Lane, Cookeville,
TN 38501. $5.00 suggested donation for copying and postage.
- Extreme Facilitation. (2005) Suzanne Ghais. Well-balanced, solid, realistic. Jossey-Bass, $40.00.
- Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. (1996) Sam Kaner. Lots of handouts, information
presented visually. Community at Work, $24.95.
- Great Meetings! Great Results. (1997) Dee Kelsey & Pam Plumb. Nice overview, very accessibly written.
Hanson Park Press, $29.00.
- A Manual for Group Facilitators. (1977) Brian Auvine, et al. Clear writing, practical approach, covers many
key topics. This book, originally published by the Center for Conflict Resolution, has been reprinted by the
Fellowship for Intentional Community (see below). $19 ppd.
- Meeting of the Minds: A Guide to Successful Meeting Facilitation. (2001) Daniel Iacofono. Includes nice
illustrations and a great section on graphic recording. MIG Communications, $29.95.
- Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. (1999) Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila
Heen. Clear information for laypeople, variety of examples, realistic—highly recommended. Penguin, $14.00.
- Head, Heart & Hands: Lessons in Community Building. (2004) Shari Leach. Specifically geared toward
cohousing groups. Wonderland Hill Development Company, $20.00 ppd.
- Playing Along: 37 Group Learning Activities Borrowed from Improvisational Theater. (1997) Izzy Gesell. In
most books of this type i find only a few useful exercises for groups; in this book i marked over a dozen. PO Box
962, Northampton, MA 01061; 413-586-2634; http://www.izzyg.com/palong.htm. $24.95.
- Alpha Institute. Caroline Estes and Lysbeth Borie teach an excellent 6-day course every summer. Alpha Farm,
Deadwood, OR 97430; 541-964-5102; alinst [at] pioneer [dot] net; www.pioneer.net/~alpha/ai-info.html.
- Community at Work. Workshops in facilitation skills, building sustainable agreements, organizational
development and more. Community at Work, 1 Tubbs St., San Francisco, CA 94107; 415-641-4840;
- Institute for Cultural Affairs (ICA). Offers facilitation and group process trainings in US cities and
internationally. ICA/Chicago, 4750 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60640; 312-769-6393; www.icaworld.org.
- Jim Rough and Associates. Great 4-day trainings in “Dynamic Facilitation,” a high-energy approach to
releasing group creativity for problem-solving. 1040 Taylor St., Port Townsend, WA 98368; 360-385-7118;
jim [at] ToBe [dot] net; www.ToBe.net.
- Process Work Center. Also known as process-oriented psychology, this approach integrates conflict resolution,
archetypes, dreamwork and bodywork into a powerful mode of individual and group change, also called
worldwork. 2049 NW Hoyt St., Portland, OR 97209; 503-223-8188; www.processwork.org.
- Public Conversations Project (PCP) does high quality dialogue work on issues such as abortion and gay
marriage. Excellent workshops, also publishes free dialogue guidebook. 46 Kondazian St., Watertown, MA
02472; 617-923-1216; www.publicconversations.org.
Organizations & Other Resources
- Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC). North American network for people interested in cooperative
living. In addition to offering many of the books listed on the reverse, FIC also has audio tapes and reprint
packets available on decision-making, leadership, and consensus and facilitation specifically. FIC, RR 1 Box
156, Rutledge, MO 63563; 660-883-5545; fic [at] ic [dot] org; www.ic.org.
- National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). Wonderful network, their blog alone contains
zillions of useful postings on grants, training opportunities, and more. Check it out at: www.thataway.org.
- My website: www.treegroup.info. Offers documents for free use including articles on decision-making and
facilitation, handouts, longer version of this resource list, links to selected sites, and more.
- Appreciative Inquiry Commons. AI portal site: http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/.
- Co-Intelligence Institute. Tom Atlee’s fabulous site on how our society can work together more wisely for the
good of all includes summaries of dozens of group process methods: www.co-intelligence.org.
- Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA). Resource pages on meetings and group process at
www.ic.org/nica/Process/meeting.html are out of date but still useful. Contact NICA at 4106 224th Street SE #1,
Bothell, WA 98021; nica [at] ic [dot] org.
- Randy Schutt, long-time activist, has a dozen short papers (1-12 pages each) on cooperative decision-making,
many downloadable as PDF documents over the web and the rest available for the cost of copying and postage.
- See the list at www.vernalproject.org/RPapers.shtml. Contact Randy at PO Box 608867, Cleveland, OH 44108;
rschutt [at] vernalproject [dot] org.
- Seeds for Change (UK). One of my favorite sites on consensus: clear, values-based, thorough, and includes
extensive historical and multicultural references—wow! http://seedsforchange.org.uk/free/consens.