FoCuSeD™ Facilitation Games | Reviews PDF Print E-mail

Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan, Author, Facilitator, Teacher


Top 10 reasons why I strongly recommend Gary’s book:


  1. The book is well organized to permit understanding of the big picture and easy retrieval of a specific activity for immediate use.
  2. The mind maps at the beginning of each section provide an excellent overview in an effective graphic form.
  3. The consistent and user-friendly layout of the book enhances its readability and application.
  4. The first two chapters provide a solid foundation that is both theoretical and practical.
  5. All the PETs in the book are authentic and relevant to the challenges and opportunities presented to facilitators.
  6. All the PETs are easy to use. You do not need a PhD to figure out how to get the maximum benefit out of these activities.
  7. All the PETs are flexible. Each activity includes many useful variations. The activities can be easily modified to suit the facilitator’s needs and the participants’ preferences.
  8. The book contains extremely useful references to different types of valuable resources.
  9. All the activities are intellectually stimulating. They are not mindless fluff.
  10. Gary obviously knows what he is writing about. It is clear that he has been in the firing lines and he is continuously in touch with the real world of corporate teams.

Other Comments:


  • If I ever invent a time-travel machine, I would use it to make Gary Rush’s book available 20 years earlier so that I could have used it when I started my career as a facilitator.
  • I have met some excellent facilitators who lack writing skills. I have met effective writers who could not conduct a facilitated session even if their life depended on it. Gary is an anomaly who is a good, clear, and precise writer who is also a flexible, engaging, and practical facilitator.
  • Gary is an oxymoron: He is a practical theorist, a pragmatic thinker, an articulate practitioner, a serious gamer, and a sharing entrepreneur.
  • Gary’s PETs will make you look good.
  • The dynamic world today is into participation, teamwork, and collaboration in all aspects from designing widgets to toppling despots. Gary’s has provided a handbook on how to facilitate tomorrow’s revolutions.

Izzy Gesell, Author, Improv Master, Speaker, Teacher


What an engaging and valuable book to have. This is a handbook that no one who works with groups should be without. Among the benefits here that I’ve seen nowhere else:


  1. Clear, cautionary and concise explanation of why, when and how to use PETs. A wealth of material that can be used in almost any situation
  2. Explicit connections between individual PETS and the emotional flow of group process. Not only which games to play but also how those games affect the relationships of the participants.
  3. It’s very encouraging to realize that once a PET is used, it can then serve as a basis for personal adaptation by ANY facilitator. These PETS are not ends in themselves, they can be springboards for individual customization

Lauren Riley, Facilitator at Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company


Often, we as facilitators can feel like we’re juggling. We’re juggling the logistics, the output, the necessary tools for the session and... of course,… time! Then add the human element of the team and the juggling act only grows more intricate. You as the facilitator don’t know if this team has ever worked together or if they even get along with each other. These types of unknowns can destroy a session if you don’t have the right tools and that’s where FoCuSeD™ Facilitation Games, by Gary Rush, CPF can help you get back and stay on track.


FoCuSeD™ Facilitation Games is a very valuable resource to help a struggling team or facilitator understand what may be missing from their collaboration as well as providing proven techniques to mitigate the gap.


This resource is clearly organized so the facilitator can quickly pinpoint the issue and address it with the right participant engagement tool (PET) for the situation. This book walks the reader through the process of identifying the need for a PET, selecting the right PET and applying the PET in a way that is most effective.


The book gives the facilitator a clear understanding of the time required to ensure that the PET can work as well as the right questions to pose to the team as they work through the exercise. Should you need a team to get to know each other, there’s a PET for that. There are additional tools to generate ideas, get creative, make decisions, work together, understand each other, manage focus/perspective and manage workshop norms.


All of the details are included for each type of PET you might need. The ideal number of people, time required, tools required and potential outcomes are specified to gage where your team is and where they might potentially be after a PET is successful. The book clearly defines where you and the team are in the workshop process. You can be in divergence, struggle or convergence as these are all normal phases when you bring a team together to create an optimal solution.


This guide is a powerful tool to include in your tool belt, whether you are brand new to facilitation or a long time professional. Managing conflict in a group is not easy but this guide can help you get the best possible results with confidence.