If you’ve ever dreaded attending a meeting – or watched in dismay as your group collapses into conflict – know that a methodology known as Convergent Facilitation offers you possible solutions.
It’s based on one simple experience: that people come together at the level of their underlying principles, needs, aspirations, and dreams, not at the level of their surface positions.
Convergent Facilitation is a highly efficient decision-making process developed by Miki Kashtan from the principles of Nonviolent Communication. It enables you to look beneath the surface and find the essence of what’s important to different stakeholders, and bring it together into one set of principles that lead to proposals and ultimately decisions. As a result, it readily produces solutions and decisions that everyone can embrace.
This method is uniquely effective, because it:
- Taps into a group’s shared purpose, and leads to decisions that everyone truly supports – without sacrificing productivity, efficiency, and forward momentum.
- Is very versatile: it may be used for fast emergency responses, for breaking through bottlenecks, or collaborating throughout the life cycle of a long-term project.
- Gives you tools to address power differences to increase the chances that everyone at the table can offer their needs, ideas, and concerns and speak frankly about what really matters to them. It even works with highly polarized groups, like the longtime political enemies who used Convergent Facilitation to pass landmark legislation in Minnesota.
Who It’s For
If you work with groups that make decisions and need to collaborate effectively, this course is for you.
- Team leaders: Reap the benefits of whole-hearted collaboration; create genuine buy-in at all levels; enjoy a more cohesive team that makes better decisions informed by stakeholder needs.
- Community organizers and activists: Learn to bring people’s core concerns to the surface and reach consensus decisions where no one is marginalized – all while avoiding long, draining, and divisive meetings.
- Facilitators: Zoom in on the source of conflicts, and learn transformative, practical options that work even when your group seems completely stuck.
- Mediators: Receive new tools to help any number of parties work towards breakthrough solutions, using a process that is transparent to all.
What You Can Take Away
- Practical, step-by-step process for discovering breakthrough solutions to problems, including those that seem unsolvable.
- Strategies that help people transcend conflicts, stretch beyond their initial positions, and embrace a decision that attends to everyone’s needs.
- Many ways of keeping a meeting moving forward without leaving anyone behind.
- Opportunities for ongoing coaching and development. Miki is passionate about cultivating a community of practice around Convergent Facilitation and her other work, and is launching the Nonviolent Global Liberation Apprenticeship Program and Learning Community for practitioners who are serious about using her approach. This will be an opportunity for you to connect with peers for many purposes, including coaching from Miki and others.
For more details, read this case study for a start-to-finish view of the Convergent Facilitation process and its transformative results.