I used this great little 4 minute video in a Group Facilitation Methods course in Brussels yesterday (to be repeated as a public course in Brussels in November), to launch a conversation on the role of the facilitator and to demonstrate the ToP Focused Conversation method in the process. The group of 18 were mostly staff members of a variety of European-level social NGO networks, supporting their member NGOs to learn, collaborate and campaign together. It produced a rich conversation and a great demonstration of the method, and many insights that we were able to refer back to again and again during the remainder of the course.
I shall certainly use the video and my conversation questions again, so I thought I would share them here for others to try as well. If you use them, please do let me know how it goes for you! I allowed 20 minutes for the conversation, which worked well for us. We pretty much followed the sequence of questions as shown below, although by the interpretive level the conversation has taken off such that I used the questions to steer the conversation rather than to stimulate it.
The video is by the International Institute of Facilitation and Change (IIFAC) and is now available also in Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Italian and Japanese. For more on the ToP Focused Conversation method, see the ICA:UK ToP method overview (pdf) and Brian Stanfield’s ‘Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the Workplace‘. When I first shared the video in an earlier post, I quoted John Miller of ICA Associates on his experience of using the video for a Focused Conversation with a high school class in Canada.
Objective level questions
1. What words and phrases do you recall from the clip?
2. What images do you remember?
3. What people or characters?
4. What else about the clip did you notice, such as sound, colour, design?
Reflective level questions
5. What particularly surprised or intrigued you in the clip?
6. Which ideas were most familiar to you?
7. What reminded you of your own experience of meetings that you have designed and facilitated, or participated in?
8. What other metaphors for facilitation come to mind for you?
Interpretive level questions
9. How well do these three metaphors capture the role of the facilitator in your experience? What would you add?
10. Which of these three dimensions is best understood and appreciated in your own situations?
11. What aspects of the facilitator role would you most like to learn and practice more? How?
Decisional level questions
12. What is one insight from this clip or conversation that will you take away and apply in your own work?
13. Who would you like to share this clip with?
See also Facilitation, and how it can add value.