Topics for Mini-lessons on Consensus Process
At the beginning of their meetings, FG Portland has a little mini consensus lesson at the beginning of their monthly meeting. At FG Vancouver, we instead do a 5 minute overview of consensus for beginners. Maybe in future we will experiment with mini lessons.
These are some potential topics for future lessons (adapted from Portland):
- Beyond the queue: other ways facilitators guide conversation.
- Understanding others' concerns. (Basically, listening techniques. The quick moral of this one is: the point is less to defend your point and "win" than to understand the other's position and concern and make sure it's addressed.)
- Preparing to present.
- What's a clarifying question?
- Pulling together an agenda.
- Subcommittees. (when to create them, giving authority, reporting back, dissolving them - or not)
- What to do if you don't feel understood.
- Capturing conversation in the minutes.
- Brainstorming. (when it's appropriate, basic groundrules)
- Stand asides vs. blocks. (ah, the ol' standby, but always relevant)
- When to call the question.
- Listening skills
- How to cultivate and express trust in the midst of controversy
- How to win friends and influence people