Convergent Facilitation is a 3-phase process that makes it possible for groups to make decisions about matters of significance to all people with a stake in the outcome. Its aim is a decision that everyone can wholeheartedly embrace even if it’s not their preference.
The process lays the cornerstones of a productive meeting:
Convergent Facilitation generates decisions that stick because they have everyone’s wholehearted support. It works for quick emergency response, long-term team projects, ad-hoc task forces, and even highly polarized groups, like the longtime political enemies who recently used this process to pass landmark legislation in Minnesota. Read the case study.
Other facilitation courses teach participants how to set an agenda, brainstorm, prioritize, squelch dissent, and end a meeting on time. They don’t address the underlying reasons decisions don’t stick and change doesn’t happen—there isn’t enough trust for people to voice their real concerns, the conflicts people have aren’t addressed to anyone’s satisfaction, and people say they’re willing to compromise in the moment and then sabotage the decision later on.
Convergent Facilitators are taught how to embrace dissent and integrate it in the final decision in a way that works for everybody.
Workshops on negotiation and influencing teach participants the importance of compromise and how to strategically withhold information so they give up as little as possible to achieve their desired outcome in a zero sum world.
Convergent Facilitation gives participants strategies for sharing everything that matters to everyone involved and transcending a scarcity mindset to find breakthrough solutions that optimize resources in innovative and creative ways.
Sure. Our consultants use Convergent Facilitation to guide meetings for existing teams or for specific configurations of stakeholders. Whatever the topic or purpose of the meeting, we support everyone in clearly articulating what’s important to them, making clear requests about what would move the group forward, hearing fully any concerns that arise, and reaching decisions that attend to the needs of all participants and the organization as a whole. Our facilitation process creates accountability and follow-through without increasing stress.