Introducing the foundations of the ToP approach, two powerful techniques for structuring effective conversations and building group consensus – 2 days, or 8 x2 hour sessions online
“Meetings are a key part of what we do. 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, and there was a clear consensus that we should work with him again.”
Eve Geddie, Deputy Director at Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
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 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’
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
I am pleased to offer this course online in partnership with ICA:UK.