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Improve Your Team Skills

Recommended Reading

Here is an alphabetical list, grouped by category of the best presentation, facilitation, and team building books on my bookshelves. For more up-to-date online resources, check out our Other Great Websites and our Video Library!


Charting Skills –  Engagement & InteractionExecutive Teams –  Facilitation Skills  – Games

HumorModels – PowerPointPresentation Skills – Process ToolsQuestions – Stories – Team Skills


Charting Skills

The Big Book of Flip Charts by Robert William Lucas, McGraw-Hill, 2000

Flip Charts: How to Draw Them and How to Use Them by Richard C. Brandt,  Pfeiffer & Co., 1989
An oldie but a goodie.  I used this book when I first started facilitating and it literally changed my life!  Okay, maybe not that dramatic but made my flipchart scrawlings legible.

Flip Chart Power: Secrets of the Masters by Bonnie Burn, Pfeiffer & Co., 1996

Fundamentals of Graphic Language: Practice Book by Graphic Guides, Inc., 1993

Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes & Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity by David Sibbet, 2010
Actually, anything David publishes is worth getting…. 

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Engagement and Interaction

Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action by Nick Morgan, Harvard Business Press, 2005
In my opinion, one of the best books on having an engaging mindset and being focused on the audience.

Instant Trainer by C. Leslie Charles and Chris Clarke-Epstein, McGraw-Hill, 1997
Although focused on the trainer, Leslie and Chris pack in lots of interactive ideas. Again, it’s focused on the trainer, but feel free to glean any ideas into your presentations.

Wake ‘em Up! How to Use Humor & Other Professional Techniques to Create Alarmingly Good Business Presentations by Tom Antion, Anchor Publishing, 1997
Great book full of ideas and examples.

When the Economy Changes, I’m Outta Here: Enhancing Employee Engagement Through Remarkable Communication by Pamela Jett, 2012

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Executive Teams

Executive Thinking: The Dream, the Vision, the Mission Achieved by Leslie Kossoff,  Davies-Black Publishing, 1999

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (J-B Lencioni Series) by Patrick Lencioni, Jossey-Bass, 2002

Navigating Change: How Ceos, Top Teams, and Boards Steer Transformation (Management of Innovation and Change) by David Nadler & Janet Spencer, Jossey-Bass, 1998

Teams At the Top by Jon Katzenbach, Harvard Business School Press, 1998

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Facilitation Skills

Art Of Facilitation by Dale Hunter, Anne Baily and Bill Taylor, Fisher Books, 1995

The Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the Workplace (ICA series) by Brian R. Stanfield, New Society Publishers, 2000

The Complete Facilitator A Guide by Barry J. Roberts and Kevin Upton, Howick Associates, 1994

The Complete Guide to Facilitation: Enabling Groups to Succeed by Tom Justice and David Jamieson,  HRD Press, 1998

Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Jossey-Bass Business & Management) by Sam Kaner, New Society Publishers, 1996
One of the founding fathers of facilitation, Sam’s book is a classic — visually appealing and highly useful.

The Facilitators’ Handbook by John Heron, Stylus Pub, 1990

Facilitator Excellence, Handbook: Helping People Work Creatively and Productively Together by Fran Rees, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 1998

Facilitating with Ease!, with CD: Core Skills for Facilitators, Team Leaders and Members, Managers, Consultants, and Trainers by Ingrid Bens, Jossey-Bass, 2000
A basic primer on facilitation. All of Ingrid’s work is full of practical tools and techniques.

High Impact Facilitation by Terry R. Bacon, International Learning Works, Inc., 1996

The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation (J-B International Association of Facilitators) edited by Sandy Schuman, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2005
A compendium of different competencies, skills, tools, and techniques of seasoned, professional facilitators such as myself. Check out my chapter (#28) on How to Build Your Expertise in Facilitation.

Managers as Facilitators: A Practical Guide to Getting the Work Done in a Changing Workplace by Richard G. Weaver  & John D. Farrell, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 1997

Masterful Facilitation: Becoming a Catalyst for Meaningful Change by A. Glenn Kiser, American Management Association, 1998

The Practical Guide to Facilitation: A Self-Study Resource by John D. Farrell, Richard G. Weaver, HRD Press, 2000

Principles of Facilitation: The Purpose and Potential of Leading Group Process and Best Practices for Facilitation by Dave Sibbet,  The Grove consultants International, 2002

The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches by Roger Schwarz, Jossey-Bass, 1994
This is the bible of facilitation. A little academic and esoteric at times, but well worth the read.

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Games

The Complete Games Trainers Play: Experiential Learning Exercises (V. 2: the Games Trainers Play Series) by Ed Scannell
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of books on icebreakers, warm-ups, team activities, games, etc. that may inspire you to try something different. All of Ed Scannell’s books in the Games Trainers Play series, The Big Book of Team Building Games, and the Big Book of Business Games.

The Pfeiffer Book of Successful Team-Building Tools: Best of the Annuals (Essential Tools Resource) edited by Elaine Biech, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 2001
I contributed to this book – so what’s not to like about it?

Team Energizers: Fifty Practical Team Activities (The Extraordinary Team) by Kristin Arnold, QPC Press, 2003
50 practical team activities that I have personally used during a facilitated session.

90 World-Class Activities by 90 World-Class Trainers edited by Elaine Biech, Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer, 2007
I contributed to this book – which puts me in the category of a “World-Class Trainer”!  This is the best of the best….

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Humor

Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away by Jeanne Robertson, CPAE, CSP
Jeanne is not only humerous, but she shares her process on finding humor in the world around us.

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Models

The Power of the 2 x 2 Matrix: Using 2×2 Thinking to Solve Business Problems and Make Better Decisions by Alex Lowy and Phil Hood, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2004
Has over 50 classic models for strategic, organizational, and personal decision making.

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PowerPoint

The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides (Voices That Matter) by Garr Reynolds

slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Renolds, New Riders Press, 2008

The Visual Slide Revolution by Dave Paradi, Communications Skills Press, 2000

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Presentation Skills

How to Write and Give a Speech: A Practical Guide For Executives, PR People, the Military, Fund-Raisers, Politicians, Educators, and Anyone Who Has to Make Every Word Count by Joan Detz, St. Martins Griffin, 2002
Joan gives step-by-step instructions to create an effective presentation.

The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up and Own the Room by Timothy J. Koegel, Greenleaf Book Group, 2007
A good, solid foundation in presentation basics.

I Can See You Naked by Ron Hoff, Andrews and McMeel, 1992
An enjoyable read that covers the do’s and don’ts in a humorous way.

Paid to Speak by National Speakers Association, 2011.
A compendium of best practices to set you on the road to success as a professional speaker!

Public Speaking for Success by Dale Carnegie and Arthur Pell, Penguin Books, 2005
This is the bible for public speaking.

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte

Speaking is an Audience-Centered Sport by Marjorie Brody, Career Skills Press, 1998
An excellent primer on speaking to audiences large and small.

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Process Tools

The Memory Jogger II: A Pocket Guide of Tools for Continuous Improvement and Effective Planning by Michael Brassard & Diane Ritter, Goal/QPC, 1994

The Memory Jogger Plus + Featuring the Seven Management and Planning Tools by Michael Brassard, GOAL/QPC, 1989 

The Facilitator’s Toolkit by Lynn Kearny,  HRD Press, 1995

Quality Toolbox by Nancy Tague, ASQC Quality Press, 1995

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Questions

Brave Questions: Building stronger relationships by asking all the right questions by Alan R. Zimmerman, Zimmerman Communi-Care Network, Inc., 2003
One of my favorite books to shake up my thinking on asking a great, provocative question.

75 Cage Rattling Questions to Change the Way You Work: Shake-Em-Up Questions to Open Meetings, Ignite Discussion, and Spark Creativity by Dick Whitney and Melissa Giovagnoli, McGraw-Hill, 1997
One of my favorite books to shake up my thinking on asking a great, provocative question.

The Conversation Piece Collection (Includes The Conversation Piece, The Mom&Dad Conversation Piece, and The Christmas Conversation Piece) by Bret Nicholaus and Paul Lowrie, Ballantine Books, 1992
One of my favorite books to shake up my thinking on asking a great, provocative question.

Making Questions Work: A Guide to How and What to Ask for Facilitators, Consultants, Managers, Coaches, and Educators by Dorothy Strachan, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2006
One of the best books on using questions effectively.

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Stories

Eloquence in Public Speaking: How to Set Your Words on Fire by Kenneth McFarland, Prentice-Hall, 1961
Written by one of the most eloquent professional speakers in the U.S. You won’t be able to put this book down.

The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative by Stephen Denning, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2005
A must read for anyone needing to tell a story within a corporate setting.

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Team Skills

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Simon and Schuster, 1989

How to Make Meetings Work! by Michael Doyle & David Strauss, A Jove Book, 1982

Mining Group Gold: How to Cash in on the Collaborative Brain Power of a Group by Thomas Kayser, Serif Publishing, 1990

Team Basics by Kristin Arnold, QPC Press, 1999
My very first book and, as the title implies, a basic book about how to be a great team!

The Team Handbook: How to Use Teams to Improve Quality by Peter Scholtes,  Joiner Associates, 1988

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization (Collins Business Essentials) by Jon Katzenbach,  Harvard Business School Press, 1993

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