Introducing the foundations of the Technology of Participation (ToP) approach, two powerful techniques for structuring effective conversations and building group consensus – 2 days
“As a diverse, transnational, multilingual membership network, successful meetings are key to our internal and external successes. Many of our staff mentioned Martin’s training as a highlight in their end of year reviews – several said it was the most useful training they had ever attended”
Eve Geddie, Deputy Director at Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
This course, in English, is scheduled in partnership with Social Platform, the largest platform of European rights and value-based NGOs working in the social sector; and in partnership with ICA:UK, the participation & development charity.
It is scheduled back-to-back with ToP Participatory Strategic Planning (November 21-22) to allow 2 or 4 days of training at once. If you are interested in the course but do not find dates to suit you, please contact me for alternatives.
Who this course is for
The course is for all those who want to be able to engage people more effectively to build shared understanding and consensus, including team leaders and managers within organisations, those working with Boards, management teams, partnerships and external stakeholders, youth and community workers and independent facilitators. This course has no pre-requisite, but is the pre-requisite for Participatory Strategic Planning. It is recommended both to newcomers to facilitation, and to experienced facilitators who are new to our approach.
Preparing for CPF certification? Meetings That Work, Group Facilitation Methods and Facilitating Client Collaboration together comprise the new ICA Associates ToP Facilitation Essentials Program that has been endorsed by the International Association of Facilitators for those preparing to become an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF).
Questions this course answers
“How can I have more purposeful & productive conversations, bring out the wisdom of a group, encourage feedback between people, and reach shared awareness in meetings? How can I generate and weave together a diverse range of ideas, develop creative solutions and build a group consensus?”
This course provides a structured introduction to the ToP Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop methods, which form the foundations of the ToP Action Planning method, Participatory Strategic Planning and other applications.
What you will gain
By the end of the course, you will
be able to identify when and how to use the Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop methods
have gained confidence in the use of these methods
have recognised and explored elements of participation, creativity, teamwork and action
have built links with others to promote future collaboration and support in the use of the methods
The Focused Conversation method provides a structured, four-level process for effective communication which ensures that everyone in a group has the opportunity to participate.
The Consensus Workshop method is a five stage process thatenables a facilitator to draw out and weave together everybody’s wisdom into a clear and practical consensus.
These methods have been featured in publications including:
Brian Stanfield’s ‘Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the Workplace‘,
Jo Nelson’s ‘The Art of Focused Conversation for Schools: Over 100 Ways to Guide Clear Thinking and Promote Learning‘, and
Brian Stanfield’s ‘The Workshop Book: From Individual Creativity to Group Action’
See also my own blog posts Four steps to a universal principle of facilitation and learning and Responding to changing situations and needs with ToP Consensus Workshop.
The course presents the two methods in a practical and participatory way. Each method is first demonstrated, then analysed and discussed, and then practiced in supportive small groups with guided reflection & feedback. Finally, participants plan how they will apply each method in their own situations.
What do participants say about this course?
93% of GFM participants rated the course 8/10 or higher. Comments from participants’ end-of-course evaluations included:
brilliant – a must-do if you want better, more effective meetings
provides two practical, easy-to-use methods to discover deep insights from diverse groups – useful tools for any group, organisation or community
benefits for experienced facilitator and novice alike
worth every penny – excellent content & great presentation
What your fee includes
Your fee includes a comprehensive facilitator's manual and one hour's free telephone coaching after the course.
Also included are refreshments, but not lunches during the course and not accommodation. A variety of places to buy a light lunch are available near the venue.
For further details
Please contact me with any questions or for further details. For in-house and tailored training, see ToP facilitation training at your place – and free places for you. and please contact me.
Transfers and Cancellations policy
Course cancellation – with 10 days’ notice. Please note, we reserve the right to cancel any course with no less than 10 working days’ notice, without liability for any consequential or indirect loss. In this case, we will let you know by email and refund your booking with no charge.
Booking cancellation – with over 15 days’ notice. If you let us know by email more than 15 working days before your course, then we can refund your booking less an administration charge of 10% of the course fee.
Booking cancellation – with 15 days’ notice or less. Unless you let us know by email more than 15 working days before your course, we regret that we cannot cancel your booking. In this case the full fee for the course will remain payable and no refund will be made. Also if for any reason you fail to attend a course that you have booked, the full fee for the course will remain payable and no refund will be made. We are, however, happy to transfer your booking to an alternative participant to attend the course that you have booked in your place. Please let us know as early as you can if you will be unable to attend, and if another delegate will attend instead.
Full payment must be received more than 10 working days before a course to guarantee your place.