Building Consensus: Engaging Diversity Workshop

Abstract:

Invest in a process that brings people together for collaboration and ownership of decisions. Consensus building techniques bring out the best thinking of any group on shared concerns, and generate greater commitment to the decision made. Learn the attitudes, practices and skills that are essential for consensus building.

One Day Workshop Agenda:

Consensus-Beyond Majority Rule
Attitudes and Practices that Set the Stage
Multicultural History and Perspectives
Disagreement and Dissent
Facilitating the Consensus Process
Agendas and Minutes
Tools for Using Consensus

Objectives:

To define and identify the advantages of consensus decisions
To discuss the attitudes and practices necessary for consensus
To demonstrate the value of consensus when engaging groups with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and experiences
To practice making group decisions using consensus
To demonstrate ways to handle dissent and disagreement

Materials and Methods:

Using the book, Building Consensus: Conflict and Unity, you will develop basic knowledge and skills for working with groups in a consensus process. Demonstrations and practical exercises encourage you to practice working with a small group to make decisions by consensus.

Facilitator Skills Workshop

Abstract:

The facilitator (or clerk in a Quaker process) is the person designated to lead a group in the consensus process. Facilitators will learn how to keep a group focused on the issue at hand and on learning from each other. Practice skills in handling conflict, dissent and integrating differences for a true consensus.

One Day Workshop Agenda:

Consensus and sense of the meeting
Facilitator/clerk's role and key skills
Self assessment of gifts and barriers
Finding themes, recording minutes
Facilitating/Clerking a Meeting, and getting feedback
How to deal with conflict
Transferring skills

Objectives:

To clarify the role of facilitator/clerk using consensus and Quaker process
To assess gifts and barriers facilitators/clerks experience
To practice key skills for facilitators/clerks
To identify resources for dealing with dissent and conflict

Materials and Methods:

Using the book, Clerking with Joy and Confidence, as our primary resource we will work in dyads, small groups, and with the whole group to discuss the attitudes and practices required for clerking. Practical exercises help all participants develop and improve the essential skills used in a meeting for consensus decisions.

Friendly Consensus Workshop

Abstract:

Teens in middle and high school learn the values and practices that are the foundation of a consensus decision process. This workshop is interactive and uses dynamic demonstrations to engage students in learning the skills to move beyond majority rule. Teachers and youth leaders can participate in separate leader training workshops and in the workshops with teens.

One Day Workshop Agenda:

Consensus-what, why and how
Speak Out-What do you believe
Listen Up-What do others believe
Idea Diversity-How many views are there
Teamwork-What role do you play
Team Plan-What can you do together to serve

Objectives:

To demonstrate five skills needed to make decisions using consensus To practice each skill in interactive group exercises To plan and implement a service project applying the skills learned for consensus

Materials and Methods:

Using the book, Friendly Consensus: Speak, Listen, Unite, for discussion and small group exercises, we will work with partners, in small groups and as a class to practice the skills for consensus decisions. A Teacher's Manual provides instruction in six detailed lesson plans designed to accompany the student workbook and planned for one class hour per lesson.

Facilitating Sustainable Agreements

Abstract:

The facilitator is the person designated to enable a group to work effectively for sustainable agreements. Facilitators learn how to keep a group focused on the issue at hand and on learning from each other. Skills in handling conflict, dissent and integrating differences for a true consensus are demonstrated and practiced.

One Day Workshop Agenda:

Principle and practices of building sustainable agreements
Facilitator's role and key skills
Techniques and tools for generating diverse ideas
Dealing with difficult dynamics
Building a framework for inclusive solutions
Reaching closure and agreement

Objectives:

To identify participatory values and practices
To clarify the role of facilitator
To assess facilitator skills
To practice using tools for generating ideas
To identify techniques for dealing with dissent and conflict
To practice skills needed to reach closure and agreement

Materials and Methods:

Using the book, Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, as our primary resource we will work in dyads, small groups, and with the whole group to discuss the attitudes and practices that build sustainable agreements. Practical exercises help all participants develop and improve the essential skills needed to facilitate a group working for sustainable agreement.


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