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Lemons to Lemonade

Lemons to Lemonade
Resolving Problems in Meetings, Workshops, and PLCs

August 2013 | 200 pages | Corwin
"Garmston and Zimmerman have written a book that is the perfect blending of theory and research with very practical, user-ready techniques for facilitating meetings AND for dealing with specific challenges. I would LOVE to see this kind of training offered for administrators!"

—David Chojnacki, Executive Director

Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools

No more unproductive meetings! The complete guide to getting the most out of every gathering of educators.

Do your meetings spiral angrily out of control? Or simply not make the most of the participants' talents? Lemons to Lemonade by Robert J. Garmston and Diane P. Zimmerman is the playbook you need to promote civil, productive discourse, detailing:

How to prepare yourself to facilitate the discussion and keep it on task

Best practices for squashing conflict without wounding pride

Methods for dealing with "frowners," "interrupters," "subject-changers," "humorists," and other time-waster types

With this book, you will never waste another opportunity for problems to get solved by the combined powers of capable minds.

About the Authors
To Intercede Is To Lead  
Why Read This Book  
Problem Locater  
Chapter 1. The Novice to Expert Journey
We All Begin as Novices  
Accomplished Means Competent  
Highly Accomplished Expert  
Proficiency Scale  
Attributes of the Expert  
Chapter 2. Building Personal Confidence
Connecting Mind and Body  
1. Breathe  
2. Try Progressive Relaxation  
3. Walk  
4. Center Yourself Physically  
5. Over Prepare. Over Prepare  
6. Address the Stress of Conflict  
7. Check Your Negative Predictions at the Door  
8. When Stuck, Move  
9. Maintain Your Identity as a Facilitator  
10. Monitor Your Need to Know  
11. Take Care to Arrange the Room  
12. Create a "Circle of Excellence"  
Chapter 3. Intervention Principles
Principles Guide Decisions  
1. Compassion  
2. Precise Language  
3. Congruence  
4. From Low to High Risk  
Chapter 4. Deciding to Intervene
Establish Meeting Standards  
Set Working Agreements  
Evaluate Working Agreements  
Clarify Tasks  
Intervene as Necessary  
Deciding to Intervene with an Ad Hoc Group  
Intervening Preemptively  
1. Is the Agenda Relevant?  
Plan the Beginning  
Cluster Reports  
Mix Strategies  
2. Is Engery Waning?  
Around the Room and Back Again  
Card Partners  
The Card Stack and Shuffle  
3. Are Emotions Ratcheting Up?  
First Turn/Last Turn  
4. Might the Group be Heading Toward Conflict?  
Deciding When to Intervene  
1. Is Intervening Important?  
2. Am I the Best Person to Intervene?  
3. Are My Observations Accurate?  
4. Will It Be Quick or Take Time?  
5. Can the Group Learn From It?  
Chapter 5. Common Group Issues
Getting Attention  
Attention First  
Common Signal  
Physical Proximity  
Verbal Proximity  
Redirecting Engagement  
Join a Whole Table That is Off Task  
Refocus Serial Storytelling  
When Workflow is Hampered  
Address a Refusal to Follow Directions  
Assist with Difficulty Transitioning  
Address Uneven Finishes with Group Work  
Engergize a Quiet Group  
Managing Your Emotions  
Positional Thinking--Power Struggles  
From Positions to Interest  
Chapter 6. Managing Common Challenges
Low Engagement  
Silent Participants  
Distruptive Group Members  
Broken Records  
Long-winded Speakers  
Inappropriate Humorists  
Latecomers and Early Leavers  
Side Talkers  
Cell Phones and Texting  
Chapter 7. Strategies for Advanced Facilitation
1. Group Conflict  
Existing State--Desired State  
2. Demoralizing External Events  
Desired State  
Third Point  
Redirect Resistance  
Pace and Lead  
Structured Interviews  
3. Disputes  
Stop the Dispute Early  
Verbalize the Issue  
Acknowledge Each Position  
Identify the Sources of Information  
Check Perceptions  
Reframe the Conflict as an Asset  
4. Dissenting Views  
Paraphrase Partner  
Pace the Emotion  
Redirect the Attack  
Reframe the Opposition  
Help Groups Utilize Styles  
Assumptions Wall  
Brainstorm Questions  
Disperse to Agree  
5. Personal Attacks  
The Six-Step Response  
Step Between Opposing Members  
Change the Narrative  
Enlist the Group in Solving the Problem  
6. Challenges to the Leader  
Process Commercial  
Engage With More Intensity  
Engage With Less Intensity  
Request Civility  
7. Subgroup Manipulation  
Decision Matrix  
Values Decision Matrix  
Require a Quorum  
Pace, Lead and Poll  
One-Minute Advocacy  
Alternate Microphone Advocacy  
8. Sabotage  
9. Irresolvable Conflict  
Polarity Management  

"Reading Lemons to Lemonade is like having an expert at your side for every human occasion. Brilliantly to the point, Garmston and Zimmerman anticipate and deal with every issue imaginable when it comes to working with groups. Cycling in and out of principles and practical solutions (including providing sample responses) the authors have provided a succinct and comprehensive guide for becoming experts at working with people in all situations."

Michael Fullan, OC Professor Emeritus
OISE, University of Toronto

"Garmston and Zimmerman have written a book that is the perfect blending of theory and research with very practical, user-ready techniques for facilitating meetings AND for dealing with specific challenges. In particular, I appreciated the focus on reflection, the notion of the levels of expertise, and the many concrete examples of specific facilitating challenges. I would LOVE to see this kind of training offered for administrators!"

David Chojnacki, Executive Director
Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools

"Given that there is continuing turnover in educational leadership, it seems critical that effective practices be revived and renewed in order to sustain their impact.  This book addresses that need not by simply reintegrating, but by refining and amplifying effective practices.  More importantly the purpose of this book is to further the effectiveness of those 'being led,' and the interventions offer clear and powerful guidance for leaders wishing to amplify collective thinking power of a group."

Mark Cary, Retired Principal

"This book's major strengths include: its focus on an area that needs much support, its use of cognitive coaching as the basis for strategies and techniques, and the focus on strategies and minimizing theoretical ideas."

Dr. John F. Eller, Professor
St. Cloud State University

"Before I opened this book, I tried to predict what I would find based on the authors’ prior writings. Here’s what I thought:  The book will offer sage yet practical advice in response to common challenges faced by school leaders. It will offer specific and transferable processes and strategies to enhance individual and collective performance. It will be enjoyable to read.

Indeed, that is just what I found. I predict that you will too!"

Jay McTighe, Educational Consultant

"I thought this was great! I got so many good ideas to help me become a better facilitator."

Robbie Schranz, Literacy Coach
Waupun Area School District

"Anyone who is in the position of facilitating team meetings will find Lemons to Lemonade: Resolving Problems in Meetings, Workshops, and PLCs,  an incredibly useful resource. Authors Robert J. Garmston (co-founder of the Center for Cognitive Coaching) and Diane P. Zimmerman (a teacher, principal, superintendent and leadership trainer) share strategies and protocols for managing 'the unexpected occurrences that crop up when groups of people work together.' They seek to help readers use these events 'to build group cohesion, productivity, and learning.'
The strategies shared in
Lemons to Lemonade help facilitators understand the needs of particular groups and address specific group dynamics in order to ensure collaborative efforts are fruitful and enjoyable for participants."

Lyn Hilt, Elementary Instructional Technology Integrator/Coach

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

Chapter One

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ISBN: 9781452261010