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The Little Book of Cool Tools for Hot Topics

Some subjects seem too hot for a group to discuss sanely. Not necessarily. The Little Book of "Cool Tools for Hot Topics" -- Group Tools to Facilitate Meetings When Things Are Hot shows how to help people hear each other when they feel like shouting; how to focus on the issues at stake rather than having a war of personalities; how to employ actual practices for better understanding (interviews, small-group discussions, role-reversal presentations); and how to move a group toward making a decision that all can honestly support. Lead author Ron Kraybill is a professor of Conflict Studies in the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. During the years of the South African political transition, he trained local, regional, and national leadership in negotiation and mediation skills and served as a training advisor to the National Peace Accord. Cool Tools is rich in anecdotes and practical how-to for any group faced with tension-filled decision-making.
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About the Author

Ron Kraybill has been a mediator, group facilitator, and trainer in peacebuilding skills since 1979. He was founding director of the Mennonite Conciliation Service from 1979 to 1988. From 1989 to 1995 he was dirctor of training at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, and he was appointed by the South African political parties as training advisor to the National Peace Accord during the national negotiations. He taught in th Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University from 1996 to 2006, including courses on group facilitation and on religion and conflict. In 2004 he established Riverhouse ePress, a Web and print publsher of conflict resolution materials located at In recent years Kraybill has served as a consultant and trainer for peace initiatives for the United Nations, the World Bank, USAID, and other organizations in Burma, Sri Lanka, India, Guyana, and elsewhere. His Masters of Divinity is from Harvard Divinity School, and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies is from Uth University of Cape Town.

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