Ever joined a community group or activist coalition that spent a lot of precious time just trying to reach consensus?
If you work with groups that struggle to make decisions or collaborate effectively, this workshop is for you. You’ll receive intensive training in Convergent Facilitation, a unique decision-making process developed by Miki Kashtan based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication.
Convergent Facilitation taps into a group’s shared purpose and leads to decisions that everyone truly supports – without sacrificing productivity and forward momentum.
The method is versatile: use it for fast emergency response, breaking through bottlenecks, or collaboration throughout the life cycle of a long-term project. It gives you tools to address privilege and power differences, and it even works with highly polarized groups, like the longtime political enemies who recently used Convergent Facilitation to pass landmark legislation in Minnesota.
Why it’s free
Past Convergent Facilitation workshops have offered scholarship or “pay what you can” options, and still the course fees were a barrier for people coming from grassroots, low/no-budget organizations. We want activists and community-based groups to get their hands on this powerful toolkit, so this time we’re running a FREE two-day course.
Who it’s for
- Activists and community organizers: Learn to surface people’s core concerns and reach consensus decisions where no one is marginalized, while avoiding long, draining, divisive meetings.
- Facilitators: Zoom in on the source of conflicts, and learn transformative, practical options that work even when your group seems completely stuck.
- Team leaders in organizations: Reap the benefits of whole-hearted collaboration: better decisions informed by stakeholder needs, buy-in at all levels, and a more cohesive team.
What you can take away
- A practical, step-by-step process for discovering breakthrough solutions to problems that seemed unsolvable
- A strategy that helps people transcend conflicts, stretch beyond their initial positions, and embrace a decision that attends to everyone’s needs
- Many ways to keep a meeting moving forward without leaving anyone behind – and without reinforcing power gaps
- Opportunities for ongoing coaching and development. Miki is passionate about cultivating a community of practice around Convergent Facilitation. In 2016, she plans to offer coaching calls and/or other forms of support for people who are practicing and developing these facilitation skills.
Want more details? Read this case study for a start-to-finish view of the Convergent Facilitation process and its transformative results.
About the trainer
Miki Kashtan is Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration, and has helped people work together better in community groups, nonprofits, corporations, and government agencies, among others. Miki’s teaching focuses on hands-on practice and examples from participants’ real lives, so you’re prepared to use the Convergent Facilitation framework as soon as you return to work.
Session 1: Introduction to Convergent Facilitation
Saturday, Feb 20, 10am-5pm | Open to all
Learn a three-stage model of collaborative decision-making and the key facilitation skills for each stage. Bring your own examples of real-life group decisions or conflicts to explore how Convergent Facilitation could work in your situation.
Session 2: Building Your Convergent Facilitation Skills
Sunday, Feb 21, 10am-5pm | Prerequisite: Session 1 or a previous Convergent Facilitation training
Build skills for transparency, efficiency, handling power differences, and increasing trust at every stage of the process. This session is dedicated to deepening and practicing the Convergent Facilitation framework, and will be guided by the needs and interests of participants.
“Convergent Facilitation hits that sweet spot of efficiency and effectiveness. It honors different viewpoints but doesn’t let meetings get bogged down in endless conversations and arguments.”
Leslie Becknell Marx, facilitator and trainer
Image credit: “Share and Explore” by Denise Carbonell / CC