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How can you make collaborative decisions efficiently?

Barb Bickford

Oct 7, 2022


Recenly, I invited people to create a word cloud (above) that describes heavenly meetings. The question is: how can meetings be not only collaborative but also short AND peaceful AND efficient AND respectful AND....?

Now that's a Wicked Question! (A Wicked Question poses two seemingly opposed and equally desirable outcomes). Here are a few more Wicked Questions:

-- How might you lead a meeting that surfaces everyone's needs and leaves everyone feeling energized and supported?

-- How can you collaborate thoughtfully without sacrificing productivity?

-- How might people — even longtime enemies — transform conflicts into creative dilemmas they feel motivated to solve together?

Miki Kashtan asked herself questions like these and, over time, resolved them by developing a decision-making process called Convergent Facilitation (CF).

I first learned about Convergent Facilitation from a case study about how Miki worked with the Minnesota State Legislature to resolve gridlock on child custody legislation and helped stakeholders draft bills that passed nearly unanimously.

Hey, I live in Minnesota. I know people whose lives were deeply affected by those former child custody laws. How Miki had the presence, skill and commitment to resolve those conflicts -- that inspired me!

I’ve been learning and applying CF since then. I appreciate how CF helps me as a person, not just as a leader of groups making decisions. It helps me focus on holding the needs of everyone and makes all my meetings and conversations more effective. It has transformed my attitude toward conflict.

Would you like to have more presence, skill and commitment as a meeting leader, especially during conflicts? You can! Sign up for the Convergent Facilitation Intensive being offered online on October 22 and 23, 2022. You’ll not only learn about CF, but you will also learn facilitation skills you can use in any meeting.

I’ll be volunteering at the CF Intensive to help people learn these skills. I hope to see you there!

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