How to successfully facilitate diverse groups

Create alignment when groups have different views by allowing everyone to participate.

When it comes to gaining consensus on decisions across diverse groups, using facilitation skills allows;

  • Broader team involvement

  • A common understanding

  • Focus on the preferred state

  • Alignment and ownership

So how do you successfully facilitate a diverse group of people, when there are such different perspectives and ways of thinking?

1. Listen to everything, defend nothing

A facilitator’s role is to remain neutral and listen to everything that is said and feed it back accurately to the group.

People come into a meeting from many different viewing platforms, for example;

  • Production

  • Marketing

  • Sales

  • Maintenance

  • Administration, so on

and they all see the world differently. However, it is the culmination of all these perspectives and interdependencies that provides a whole view of the situation.

A fundamental part of the RapidConsensus process teaches skills to allow all these diverse views to be heard in order to reach agreement across different stakeholders. This allows the group to work on the best information and knowledge available to them.

2. Be open to input

In order to do this the facilitator has to operate as an open conduit. This means you are 100% present and able to remain open to all the input from the group. Things will be said that you may or may not agree with. Yet to maintain the open dialogue you must not defend a view but treat all views with equal respect and space.

This allows everyone to participate, where no one way of thinking dominates the discussion. Similar to the concept of brainstorming ‘there are no bad ideas, where a suggestion may trigger another person to further add to comments and create insight.

By facilitating using the RapidConsensus Four Seasons Process, listening to all equally and engaging the group as a whole, you are bringing together a range of individuals who align towards the same end state. Through effective, neutral facilitation you achieve commitment from the entire group, ultimately this gains strong ownership and follow-through as a collective.

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