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Group Facilitation Methods Online

Group Facilitation Methods Online


Powerful methods to facilitate and build consensus

Group Facilitation Methods Online Brochure

Pre-Requisite : None *

*Group Facilitation Methods or GFM Online is a prerequisite for most other ICA courses
GFM Online is part of the Professional Facilitator Program, the ToP Facilitation Essentials Program, and the Live Interactive Online Training program for which discounts apply.

Move beyond “seat-of-the-pants” facilitation and reliance on instinct, to use the most powerful facilitation methods and processes available. Learn step-by-step approaches to clear thinking, sound decisions, solid consensus and open dialogue.

Group Facilitation is a foundational course for professional facilitators and will give you a thorough grounding in facilitation practice of two core facilitation methods

Focused Conversation Method
Consensus Workshop Method

Six 2-hour sessions are Monday, Tuesday and Friday of two consecutive weeks, providing ample offline preparation and practice time. Offline includes 2 ½ hours of participant preparation, reading and application exercises. It is taught by a lead trainer and a technical lead who will acquaint you with the necessary technology.

Each method contains a real practice session

You will prepare and lead a facilitated an event of each method. You will set up and facilitate a Focused Conversation during the first week and a Consensus Workshop during the second week. You will need at least 3 more people for this live practice session. You may lead these sessions in your workplace, with a volunteer group or with your family.
The whole course involves

  • 12 hours class time
  • 1 hour methods practice
  • 2 hours reading
  • 2 hours of homework and preparation

Your commitment

We will expect you to make a commitment to full time participation in the online sessions. You will practice the Focused Conversation Method and the Consensus Workshop Method in a real setting. You will need to secure the commitment of at least 3 people willing to be participants in TWO one hour face-to-face practice sessions.  This will happen between the second and third session of each module. These people need not be in the course.

Please note that this course does not teach online facilitation. We are using online technology to teach the same group facilitation methods that are taught in the face-to-face course.

Course Details

Materials – eBooks and eManuals will be sent to you when you register.

2020 Sessions

Special Four Day session – May 11-14, 2020 10 am ET.  Link to the Special Four Day Agenda.

June 1, 2, 5, and  8, 9, 12 from  1-3 pm ET

Nov 2, 3, 6, and 9, 10, 13 from 1-3 pm ET


Participants in this course almost always experience a breakthrough in practical ways to engage any group and get great results. Methods can be used in planning, conferences, problem solving, discussion groups, conflict resolution, interviews and training.

Focus group energy on common goals

  • Enable groups to form consensus
  • Facilitate solid commitment to results
  • Encourage group creativity

Build motivation and improve morale

  • Help groups resolve conflict
  • Build respect and trust in groups
  • Create lively effective teamwork
  • Generate positive interaction

Make groups more productive and effective

  • Conduct easier, faster meetings
  • Save time and money on meetings
  • Involve participants in discussions

The Introduction Session is designed to familiarize you with the software. It prepares you for this online experience; so we can use our course time on the methods. It is a one hour session.

Week 1 – Focused Conversation Method

Session 1

  • Opening and Introductions
  • Demonstration Conversations
  • Theory Overview
  • Small Group Exercise: Levels of Thinking

Homework: Scrambled Question Exercise

Session 2

  • Opening
  • Debrief of Scrambled Questions Exercise
  • How to Design a Conversation
  • Small Group Practice: Design a Conversation

Homework: Lead a Focused Conversation and Reflect on Experience

Session 3

  • Opening
  • Reports on Conversation Practice
  • Extended Theory
  • Small Group Practice: Lead an online conversation (observed)
  • Final Evaluation
  • Closing

Week 2 – Consensus Workshop Method

Session 1

  • Opening
  • Introductions
  • Overview of Consensus Workshop Method
  • Demonstration Workshop
  • Reflection on Experience
  • Theory Overview

Homework: Design a Focus Question

Session 2

  • Opening
  • Reports on Focus Questions
  • Extended Theory
  • Small Group Exercise: Plan Steps of a Workshop

Homework: Lead a Consensus Workshop and Reflect on Experience

Session 3

  • Opening
  • Reports on Workshop Practice
  • Extended Theory
  • Small Group Practice: Lead an online workshop (observed)
  • Final Evaluation
  • Closing
Technical Requirements
  • High-speed internet access
  • A USB computer headset with a microphone

  • Experienced facilitators by reinforcing what you are already doing well and pointing out those areas that need work.
  • New facilitators by starting you out on a solid foundation with best practices used by professional facilitators around the world.
  • Executives, managers and other leaders by acquainting you with key facilitation skills that will immediately enhance your leadership capacity.
  • Consultants by showing how to engage your clients more effectively in discussions and solutions.
  • Presenters and trainers who will get new practical tools that will enhance the adult learning principles they know are important.

Learn two powerful methods to enhance all your facilitation.
The Focused Conversation Method provides a structure for clear dialogue and reflection, probes beneath the surface to the depth of a topic, safely encourages a diversity of perspectives and leads to decisions.

  • Gets everyone participating
  • Encourages a diversity of perspectives
  • Provides a structure for positive dialogue
  • Gets beneath the surface of a topic
  • Builds common understanding

The Consensus Workshop Method provides a respectful way to move a group toward consensus on important topics that everyone wants a breakthrough.

  • Involves each group member
  • Gets all the ideas into the mix
  • Focuses the group consensus
  • Builds an effective team partnership
  • Enables you to facilitate large groups

I very much enjoyed the course, and have already found the learnings to be quite useful.  One simple, but powerful, change that I’ve noticed is that I now have much greater awareness of “structure” in conversations; I see evidence of what I learned, either its presence, or its need and the lack thereof, around me all the time!
Gary, Toronto
I really valued the training we received from ICA and the course you delivered online. We leveraged it a lot when I was at the University of Alberta.
Trina Innes, Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, Edmonton
Thank you again for contributing effectively to our training curriculum aimed at developing the interpersonal skills of both staff and management.
Mary-Jane Jarvis Haig, Director, Development Support, Information Services, Hudson's Bay Company
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Powerful methods to facilitate and build consensus

Move beyond reliance on instinct with the two most powerful facilitation methods available on dialogue and consensus.

Additional information


March 30 – April 2, 2020, May 11 – May 14, 2020, Start Jun 1, 2020 COURSE FULL, Start Nov 2, 2020, July 6 – July 9, 2020


4 Day Online, Online