INTRODUCING BONFIRE

A compendium of useful information, organized into categories, written by working experts in the field so that that you can find the help you need to plan and facilitate meaningful group processes.

Just imagine the contribution you could make to a better world through better meetings!

The ideas contained in The Bonfire Collection point the way toward motivated teams… clear direction… truthful communication… amazing results.

“Look at it this way: Every meeting is a priceless opportunity to surprise ourselves with just how much we can achieve together.”

– from Meeting Together by Lois Graessle, George Gawlinski, and Martin Farrell

Quick tips and deep thoughts to help you and the groups
you work with get better outcomes with less stress

As a facilitator, you want the best for the groups you serve. Your intention is to:

  • Align the interests of the group´s leadership with the divergent passions —and often the short attention span— of the team members
  • Motivate apathetic, disinterested, or cynical participants to give the meeting a chance (they are SO tired of meetings)
  • Help the boss who wants to control the outcome of a discussion to open up to the ideas of the rest of the team
  • Call forth the collective intelligence of the group

And yet, despite your commitment and careful preparation

  • Key meeting participants arrive late – or not at all
  • The discussion veers off track
  • Conflicts erupt
  • Some participants talk a lot while others are silent
  • A party is going on next door
Sometimes you just want to throw up your hands in despair and walk away. But you hang in there because you know that if you can hold the vision of a positive outcome a little longer, the group is likely to find the way forward.

I have been in that place. It is a real test of our courage and commitment to the group.

Even though I have been facilitating since 1993, every time I step into the role of “process leader,” I encounter new challenges. The learning never stops. Every group and every meeting has its own special character and reason for being. My commitment, like yours, is to see the group through the difficult patches and provide the support that will help them come together —and stay together— in a common cause.

“A leader is someone who assumes responsibility for transforming reality.”

WITH A LOT OF HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

One of the ways I survived these real life challenges is by cultivating a circle of peers who are willing to share their wisdom. These facilitators live all over the world. I learn from them through their writing, teaching, and, whenever possible, watching them work.

In 2003 I began asking some members of this far-flung tribe to share their experience in Bonfire, the online publication published by the International Institute for Facilitation and Change until 2010. Everyone I asked said yes, because they want all of us who work with groups to thrive. Their generous contributions have now been collected into a single volume, ready to be the resource you trust to keep your meetings on track and help your group to function at the top of its game.



Why “Bonfire?”

In “Sitting in the Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity” Arnold Mindell calls fire “the price of liberty”. Speaking to those who are seeking a way out of the oppression and violence that characterizes much of human interaction, he says:

“Creating freedom, community and viable relationships has its price. It costs time and courage to learn how to sit in the fire of diversity. It means staying centered in the heat of trouble. And it demands that we learn about small and large organizations, open city forums, and tense street scenes. If you step into leadership or facilitatorship without this learning, you may spend your time recapitulating the blunders of history.”

Like all the work of the International Institute for Facilitation and Change, Bonfire is part of our response to the exigencies of the present time. It is an invitation to gather, to question, and to learn together in order to stop repeating the mistakes of the past and to find a better way to use fire.

“Any person who works with others, be it face-to-face or virtual, needs facilitation skills.”

– Gary Rush, Certifed Professional Facilitator, founder and president of MGR Consulting, Chicago

       

The Bonfire Collection is a reference guide that provides answers to questions that facilitators need to ask about:

  • Facilitation skills, challenges and tools
  • Meetings and how to make them less boring, more productive
  • Participatory processes to engage everyone in the room
  • Conflict – ways to recognize and respond to its many faces
  • Consensus – Traps and tips
  • Leadership in a participatory context
  • Interviews and inspiration

135 articles by 31 authors from around the world

Averge reading time for each expert contribution is 2-5 minutes

Meet the Authors

Available in English and Spanish in three formats


PDF

Download to your computer. Browse at your leisure. Print the pages you want Hyperlinks make navigation easy

E-book

Portable, Hyperlinked table of contents to take you directly to the articles you want to read

PRINT

Durable 3-ring notebook
With tabs separating the sections.
Great for quick reference.
Take out the pages you want to read at home or on the road.

“The leaders of the new millennium will not be those who make effective decisions on their own, but rather those who can make possible,facilitate and favor decision-making based on the experience, knowledge and conscience of the whole system…”

-Katia del Rivero Vargas, Visión Sistémica, México

Come closer. Feel the warmth.

The Bonfire Collection is a great resource for you if:

  • You lead groups without ever having received any formal facilitation training
  • You are a new facilitator just learning the ropes
  • You are an experienced facilitator hungry for new ideas
  • You read the many of the pieces when they were originally published and would love to have them all in one place
  • You have taken training from IIFAC and want more inspiration
  • You hope to take IIFAC training someday, but need help NOW

Prices shown in US Dollars

Great content, conveniently organized so you can find what you need

  • Facilitation
    • Introduction
    • Skills
    • Challenges
    • Tools
  • Effective Meetings
    • Introduction
    • Agendas
    • Ground Rules
    • Opening
    • During
    • Decision Making
    • Closing
    • Roles
  • Conflict
  • Consensus
  • Other Participatory Processes
    • Introduction
    • Techniques
  • Leadership
  • Interviews and More







Prices shown in US Dollars

Order your copy of The Bonfire Collection today and get immediate access to the wisdom and experience of 31 professional facilitators from around the world – including me! We are all invested in your success. We want to help unleash the power of the groups you serve.

The world needs your passion and skill as a group facilitator!

All the best,

Beatrice Briggs
Director, IIFAC