Book News: March 23rd, 2011

By Craig and Patricia Neal.

‘Meetings are a waste of time’ is a sentiment many of us share, which is tragic, because meetings bring us together as human beings. To achieve the kind of meaning or breakthrough results most of us really yearn for when we gather, the key quality needed is authentic engagement: a genuine expression of what is true for us, and an attentive listening to what is true for others. Why it so often eludes us can be a matter of habit, distrust, lack of attention, or fear.

Craig and Patricia Neal’s new book shares for the first time the unique and powerful Art of Convening model. It has been developed in these gatherings and refined over six years of intensive training. It brings authentic engagement and meaning to any group brought together for any purpose.

Convening goes beyond facilitating. Convening creates an environment in which all voices are heard, profound exchanges take place, and transformative action results. The heart of this book is the Convening Wheel, a series of nine steps, or Aspects, that bring the practices and principles needed for authentic engagement together as a whole. The book provides exercises, stories, and questions to help you master both the inner and outer dimensions of this work, because in convening, the state of the Convener is equally as important as the physical preparations.

Convening works in any setting and can be adapted to virtually any group process.

Published by Berrett Kohler ISBN 9781605096681. $19.95