San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Introducing the foundations of the Technology of Participation (ToP) approach, two powerful techniques for structuring effective conversations and building group consensus – 2 days
“I would recommend the course to others as something that can easily be used in practise for leaders, facilitators and participants of group meetings.
We learnt about distinguishing between reactions, emotions, thoughts, and then how to lead on to actions in yourself and in others. We worked on techniques that I have found useful in my work to do with getting from the idea stage to collectively putting together our propositions”.
Pierre Baussand, Director, Social Platform, Brussels.
This course, in English, is scheduled in partnership with Social Platform, the largest platform of European rights and value-based NGOs working in the social sector; and provided under license with ICA:UK, the participation & development charity. It is scheduled back-to-back with ToP Participatory Strategic Planning (November 9-10) to allow 1, 2 or 3 days of training at once. If you are interested in the course but do not find dates to suit you, please contact me for alternatives.
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 recommended for ToP Action Planning and a pre-requisite for ToP Participatory Strategic Planning. It is recommended both to newcomers to facilitation, and to experienced facilitators who are new to our approach.
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
What your fee includes
Your fee includes a comprehensive facilitator's manual and one hour's free telephone coaching after the course. Also included are refreshments, but not lunches during the course and not accommodation. A variety of places to buy a light lunch are available near the venue.
For further details
Please contact me with any questions or for further details – including how to commission a tailored course for your group and availability of scheduled public courses, in the UK and worldwide. See also ToP facilitation training at your place – and free places for you!
Transfers and Cancellations policy
Course cancellation – with 10 days’ notice. Please note, we reserve the right to cancel any course with no less than 10 working days’ notice, without liability for any consequential or indirect loss. In this case, we will let you know by email and refund your booking with no charge.
Booking cancellation – with over 15 days’ notice. If you let us know by email more than 15 working days before your course, then we can refund your booking less an administration charge of 10% of the course fee.
Booking cancellation – with 15 days’ notice or less. Unless you let us know by email more than 15 working days before your course, we regret that we cannot cancel your booking. In this case the full fee for the course will remain payable and no refund will be made. Also if for any reason you fail to attend a course that you have booked, the full fee for the course will remain payable and no refund will be made. We are, however, happy to transfer your booking to an alternative participant to attend the course that you have booked in your place. Please let us know as early as you can if you will be unable to attend, and if another delegate will attend instead.
Full payment must be received more than 10 working days before a course to guarantee your place.
When & Where
Martin Gilbraith is an independent facilitator, trainer and consultant based in London, UK. He is a Certified Professional Facilitator of the International Association of Facilitators, and former IAF Chair and IAF Europe Director. He is an ICA Certified ToP Facilitator (CTF), an Associate and former Chief Executive of ICA:UK and former President of the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI). He has been facilitating and training, specialising in ICA’s ToP facilitation methodology, since 1986.
Martin's LinkedIn recommendations include:
“I joined Martin for Group Facilitation Methods training in Brussels, 2 days packed with tips, tricks and hands-on exercises. It was great experience and, though I work as a facilitator with my clients, it gave me a boost to do more, using the ToP methods. I would really recommend anyone who has done facilitation, but need a refresher or inspiration, to join one of Martin’s sessions. He is inspiring, he checks with attendees that they are OK, and he follows up afterwards.” - Michael Nord, Principal, Facilitator, Strategist & Networker – April 26, 2016
“Martin trained the Chairs of the CENTR Working Groups on facilitation. The training was tailored to the needs of the trainees and was an excellent opportunity for our Chairs to explore the role of a facilitator and their own role(s) as Chairs. It provided them with valuable tools and techniques to make agenda-setting more efficient and meeting facilitation more effective – some have already been able to successfully implement what they learned. It was a pleasure to observe Martin lead the Chairs through a lot of content in a very light and involving way. I would recommend Martin to anyone who is looking for an engaged trainer and thorough listener.” - Nina Elzer, Policy Advisor at CENTR – February 16, 2016
“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) – February 1, 2016
“Martin is a very inspiring trainer, he is very skilled and knows how to facilitate facilitators in a structured and insightful way. I have been able to succesfully use his personal advice and facilitation techniques straight away!” - Miriam Elst, Facilitator Design Thinking and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, Lead UX researcher & strategist, Service designer – January 29, 2016
“Martin is a continuous source of inspiration for me. As a facilitator I really like the way he leads the group, and his ability to foster participation, sustain group discussion and achieve useful outcomes. As a consultant and trainer I’m always curious to see how he market his courses and services, how he designs his training and how he uses social media. As a colleague I appreciate a lot the work he does for the facilitators community, and his ability to create opportunities of peer learning and best practice sharing among facilitators.” - Gerardo de Luzenberger, Facilitator and trainer – January 28, 2016
“I went on a Group Facilitation Methods course run by Martin and found it really helpful. Martin established a really good group learning process and displayed mastery of his subject. I am very glad I went on it and very glad he ran it!” - Employee engagement, communication and change specialist – February 7, 2015
For a case study of virtual facilitation with the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) see How engaging can a large facilitated online session be?
Martin Gilbraith Associates Ltd. is a UK registered company #08583435.
If you are interested in these events and do not find dates or topics that suit you, please contact me for alternatives.