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Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Imagine meetings where everyone is heard and all people matter.

Picture organizations that embrace all voices and are committed to justice, equity and opportunity. Imagine businesses, nonprofits and the public sector creatively engaging people in thousands of ways—seeking their best ideas, empowering the silenced, and building communities where all are treated with dignity
Paperback, 2nd edition, 262 pages
Published October 12th 2021 by Emerald Lake Books (first published August 10th 2019)
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Avory Faucette
Jun 11, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: source-review
Facilitator Mark Smutny wrote this book with the stated aim of helping facilitators transform the often lackluster energy of meetings into the more vibrant mood of break time, drawing from his experience as a facilitator in nonprofit, church, and corporate contexts. He offers some solid guidance towards that aim, but the editing is a bit clumsy and I found the title misleading—yes, the techniques in this book point towards inclusion, but “radical” is a bit of an overstatement. While leaders in c ...more
Todd Cheng
Mar 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to develop better tradecraft in collaboration this is a quick read on the topic. It is not an exhaustive as “Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-making” but “Thrive” provides a high level foil to the importance of approaching facilitation with mature practice. ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent. It combines theory, practice, and narrative in a manner that is accessible and usable. It would be good for novice and experienced facilitators, alike. It led me to reflect on my cultural assumptions, my position of white privilege, and the unconscious assumptions that I carry into meetings. It also gave me ideas for new icebreakers, better agendas, and ways to include persons with disabilities. I highly recommend it. Buy one for yourself and some for your colleagues. You ...more
Dora Okeyo
Oct 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love the practicality of this book and that's because it can suit two kinds of people; the professional facilitator and the one who loves to have a conversation and the latter may be more.
The major take-aways I got from this book was on the importance of listening, engaging people in dialogue and above all, in not just getting people to interact or communicate but going beyond just talk into action- especially on the topic of strategic plans and management in organizations.
I can't wait to try
Jodilyn Owen
Nov 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
At the heart of this book are tools that allow you to run meetings that truly provide space and voice to every meeting participant. It sets aside notions of who has ideas that matter and opens the floor for the talents, gifts, skills, and imagination of every person to rise in service to your organization or initiative. We have used the strategies in this book in meetings with parties that have a long history of contentious relationships and seen the magic unfold--everyone contributing, having f ...more
Terra Fletcher
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend. Practical. Easy to read. Excellent list of further reading to add to my TBR list.

As a professional speaker, I found this book very valuable. The chapters that interested me were on structuring an agenda, setting ground rules, and flexible roles in meetings. I will be using the fogging technique when faced with criticism. I will apply the mutual invitation techniques and make sure all voices are heard. I appreciated the info on strategic planning facilitation as well, as I'd lik
Oct 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An important book focusing on embracing diversity, making the most out of meetings, and ensuring voices are heard. I enjoyed this book, and found it beneficial for employees and business owners/ operators.
Plenty of practical examples.
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Dr, Mark Smutny’s book Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings is an outstanding resource to help you have not only successful meetings but also meetings where everyone has input in the meetings and their voice in heard. If you have to facilitate meetings, this book is a must-have for you!
Jan 08, 2022 rated it liked it
Solid beginner guide to facilitating meetings complete with a facilitator check list!
Paiman Chen
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great facilitators commit to being inclusive and even-handed.
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Dr. Mark Smutny is a professional facilitator, diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, workshop leader, coach, author and founder of Civic Reinventions, Inc. His career spans several specialties including nonprofit leadership in senior transportation services, homelessness and affordable housing services, small business development and community organizing. He is an ordained minister in the P ...more

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“I believe in the radical equality of all human beings. No human is of greater or lesser value than anyone else. The word “radical” has in its beginnings the word “root,” meaning what is foundational. I believe the commitment to radical equality is the root, or foundation, of inclusive meeting practices and fair facilitation.” 0 likes
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