The lessons in Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation are the byproduct of years of facilitation, clarified through years of training other facilitators. There aren’t many things authors Sam Killermann and Meg Bolger enjoy more than facilitation — but facilitator training is up there.

In the foreword of the book, they write:

We have found that most facilitators spend a disproportionate amount of their time learning the content material they’ll be communicating, instead of how they’ll be communicating it. In some ways, that’s a good thing: facilitation is a difficult thing to teach, and is often better learned by experience, so folks focus on what they know they can learn from reading. But it’s not impossible to learn from reading, and creating this book was us rising to that challenge.

Facilitator Training

Their Train-the-Trainer visits are generally structured in the following way:

  1. Experience the curriculum (i.e., the material being learned) the trainers will eventually be training on, as participants.
  2. Dive into the content covered in that curriculum, focusing on (1) gaining a command of the knowledge required to facilitate it, and (2) the facilitation process through which that material was conveyed.
  3. Present key facilitation concepts (including concepts from Unlocking the Magic) and engage with how they can be used to catalyze more learning from the curriculum.
  4. Practice facilitation through controlled exercises designed to highlight the new lessons learned, conquer fears, and leave with a clear path forward on one’s facilitation journey.

You can read more about a particular type of Train-the-Trainer they offer at The Safe Zone Project, where they train others on facilitating conversation about gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ identities.

They are also passionate about facilitator training on a variety of other subjects, including (but not limited to) social justice education and training, confronting controversy and change, and any other training centered around engaging a group in difficult, but important dialogues.

For facilitator training, Sam and Meg can be reached through the publisher by emailing request [at] impetus [dot] pw.

In all Train-the-Trainer visits, Sam and Meg will offer copies of Unlocking the Magic to participants, as both a guide for the training, and a source of support for afterward. Because, as they wrote in the book…

No matter how long a train-the-trainer visit is, we never have enough time to explain and share all the nuanced choices we make as a facilitators, how we choose when to engage with antagonistic participants, or everything that is going through our minds the entire time (all the decisions we don’t make, as well as the ones we do).

We never get to all the magic tricks.


If bringing the authors to your organization or campus to train a group of facilitators isn’t what you’re in need of, but you’d still like to borrow their brains for a related project, they might be able to help. If your organization is one that is trying to make the world a more beautiful place for all of its inhabitants, they’d like to do what they can to help.

The concepts in Unlocking the Magic, are useful in a variety of capacities, and Sam and Meg are prepared to consult on how the lessons in the book can assist in:

  • Conflict resolution, mediation, and fostering healthy group dynamics;
  • New employee orientation;
  • Vision-clarifying and organizational goal-setting;
  • Project ideation, teamwork, and completion; and
  • Other situations where multiple people are engaged in a common purpose.

If you’d like to reach Sam and Meg about a possible consultation, they can be reached through the publisher at request [at] impetus [dot] pw.