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We utilize ToP Facilitation Methods to enable highly energized, productive, inclusive, and meaningful participation. Structured participation enables deeper levels of commitment, greater capacity for sharing wisdom, and ownership of decisions reached collectively. ToP Facilitation Methods enable groups to be more responsive to change and more creative in implementation. The methods encourage and develop broad-based initiative and responsibility. 

For inclusive participation to work, effective facilitation skills and methods are essential. Without methods, participation simply sides toward a lowest common denominator where anyone and everyone can say and do whatever they individually want. This often means that little is accomplished, and participants feel their precious time and energy have been wasted. Effective methods make it possible for inclusive participation to happen as a creative, productive, and empowering experience. 



Facilitation Methods Overview

Focused Conversation Method

The Focused Conversation Method creates a setting for meaningful communication. It is used to facilitate group discussions that allow participants to share diverse perspectives in a non-confrontational manner. Using this method helps people share insights and creative ideas on a common topic, issue, or experience. It creates an opportunity to broaden their perspectives and can reveal the existing level of consensus within a group. This method:

  • Provides a structure for clear dialogue and reflection

  • Probes beneath the surface to the depth of a topic

  • Encourages a diversity of perspectives


Consensus Workshop Method

The Consensus Workshop Method leads to consensus-based group decisions that respect diverse perspectives, create joint resolve, and inspire individual and group action. Individual participation is honored by focusing on the insight within each idea. Consensus is built step by step by helping people see new relationships among the data and acknowledging the level of group agreement at any given moment. This method:

  • Engages all group members

  • Organizes the group's ideas 

  • Reveals the consensus in large groups

  • Builds effective team partnerships

Action Planning Process

The Action Planning Process is an approach to planning for events or projects that already have group agreement. The process clarifies and delineates the tasks and aligns the creativity, capabilities, interests, and resources of the group. As the group decides on needed actions, roles, and responsibilities, the process builds group trust, support, enthusiasm, and consensus. The group creates an implementation timeline for meeting milestones and coordinating assignments. The Action Planning Process combines both the Focused Conversation Method and the Consensus Workshop Method. This method:

  • Visualizes the completed task

  • Analyzes the current situation

  • Focuses the group's commitments

  • Sets up clear forms of accountability

  • Develops a coordinated action timeline

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