Tools and techniques for facilitating participatory events.
Later this week I will be delivering a two-day training course that will help participants answer that question. My own answer would be a resounding “yes”, if by consensus we mean that all those present have contributed to the decision, own it and will act upon it.
The course teaches two techniques of group facilitation, based on the Technology of Participation: the Focused Conversation Method and the Consensus Workshop Method.
With emphasis heavily on classroom performance and real time feedback, participants will see the techniques in action, decode them and then try them out themselves.
If your aim is to get a group of people or a team to agree on a course of action – the “best” course of action – then facilitation is for you. The techniques can be used for looking forward – for planning, or for looking back – for reviewing.
I’m not usually one for over codifying the training I run, but these techniques, that follow a completely natural, spontaneous, human process have real benefits, revealing a great deal about both facilitator and the group.
When the key qualities for a facilitator are questions and silence, you know you are in for more than a top down “do it my way and do what I say” approach.
If you want to learn more about facilitation techniques I highly recommend ICA UK.