Published: July 5, 2017   Updated: July 5, 2017

It’s hard to find a book that captures the nuances of facilitation. Even harder still, to find one that you actually enjoy reading. Mark Collard’s book “Serious Fun” is that book.

Serious Fun a book that will fast track your learning and understanding of the facilitation process. Serious Fun centers around Mark’s “difference model” which is the framework that he uses to build programs that can make meaningful, lasting impact – something I believe all facilitators are after. Not only is his model simple and straightforward but throughout the book he peppers in summary pages and wonderful little graphics to ensure that key learnings don’t get lost.

If that wasn’t enough, this book may be one of the best books for getting real questions answered in succinct, thoughtful and helpful ways. Throughout the book and in a dedicated chapter, Mark addresses and directly answers questions he’s received from other facilitators throughout the years. Questions like:

  • How do I set goals effectively?
  • How do I get everyone to participate?
  • When do I know to stop an activity?
  • How do I break up cliques in workshops?

And so many more. All answered with thoughtful, nuanced and tactical advise.

My Favorite Thing About This Book

Is how many different useful types of insights and points of inspiration it filled me with. Open it up one day and perhaps you’ll feel inspired to add an unofficial start to your program. Tomorrow maybe it is a renewed appreciation for icebreakers. The next it’s the ways you can bring more intention to your planning process. So much jedi-level facilitation insight goodness.

Quotes for Inspiration

Fun disarms people, because it often involves a lot of unself-conscious activity.

I fervently believe that if people are not having fun, or do not feel valued or there’s any chance they could look foolish in front of others, they will find it very difficult to willingly and fully engage in your program, no matter the purpose…

Nobody is, or should be coerced to do anything they don’t want to do.

I Recommend This Book for…

  • New facilitators who want to fast track their knowledge of key concepts like the full value contract, challenge by choice, and learn important questions to ask themselves when developing a program.
  • People who run meetings and want practical tools to increase fun and therefore increase the likelihood of their program having impact.
  • Seasoned facilitators who want a go-to reference/reminder of what goes into making truly powerful programs, particularly those who are curriculum creators and program developers.

Written by Meg Bolger

I'm one of the co-facilitators of FacilitatingXYZ and co-author Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation. I'm a social justice facilitator and gender/sexuality educator. As a recent PNW transplant I love to cook, listen to podcasts, and check to see if the mountain is <a href="https://twitter.com/ismtrainierout?lang=en"out .

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