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Educate: Tips for using ToP Methods

Bite sized insights from masters in the use of ToP Methods.

Using Multiple Intelligences in Facilitation

Eliciting Creativity through Using Multiple Intellligences in Facilitation   Above is a graphic representation of nine intelligences identified by Howard Gardner, with a tiny summary of what each is about. Howard Gardner[1] at first identified seven intelligences (starting at 11 o’clock and moving clockwise in this image), and then broadened his work to include two

Adapting your Facilitation Plan to the Needs of the Group

Robin Parsons had to adapt a facilitation plan several times to the evolving needs of her group, which resulted in transformational change for the group. Here is her story: In December 2017, I was working with a group (through my consulting client) that was coming together to explore a process. I had the opportunity to

Planning an Agenda Item

This process is specifically designed for planning one agenda item:  however, the basic structure can work for a whole meeting as well, adding in more tools for each stage. The basic structure follows the ORID thinking process to develop clarity, insight, and consensus. A worksheet is available in our Meetings that Work course. Articulate the

Focused Conversation for Resolving a Dispute

This focused conversation for resolving a dispute is not intended to be used "as is".  It is a template to allow you to create your own questions, using the flow.  However, one of our colleagues, faced with a client's long-standing dispute and no time to prepare, used it right from the page and his client

Working Assumptions for Creating a Positive Atmosphere

Creating a Positive Atmosphere by Sharing Working Assumptions Many years ago, I was asked to facilitate a planning retreat with a group that had taken 3 years to build enough consensus to have a consensus-building retreat. I knew this group might be challenging, so I took a long time to think through what I thought

Promoting Culturally Respectful Communication

Culturally Respectful Communication From the workshop on Facilitating Reconciliation between Settlers and Indigenous People at the IAFNAC Conference in Ottawa, May 2018 These ideas came from a group of 20 people, indigenous and settlers, Canadian and American, as well as several other nationalities, all of whom answered the question: What can we do as facilitators

Tips for Effective Project Management Part 2

Last month we started our discussion on Tips for Effective Project Management,  focusing on the importance of Defining the Scope of Work, Designing a Meaningful Contract, Creating a Practical Schedule of Events and Defining A Positive Working Relationship. In this edition of the newsletter, we continue our discussion by bringing focus to the importance of

ToP Competency: Tips for Effective Project Management: Part 1

Dave Strong, CTF & Jerry Mings, CPF, CTF Building and maintaining a positive client relationship involves taking the time to work with a client to develop a shared understanding of what is required for a successful facilitated event or series of events. A facilitator brings a careful eye to how to build a constructive experience

What Do Clients Really Need, Anyway?

One of the earliest challenges that confronts a facilitator is to discern what a potential client and group really need. Very few clients, in my experience, can tell you succinctly and clearly what results they want from a facilitation event. Often a client is confused, or has a hard time articulating what they really want,

Understanding The Decisional Level: Coming to Conclusion

This is the fourth article focusing on the levels of the Focused Conversation Method. Decisional questions draw the conversation to a close by summarizing, stating next steps, or articulating a profound insight. Level 4, the DECISIONAL level, focuses on resolution, direction and action. It draws together all of the information, reactions and exploration of the

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