ToP Facilitation Methods—Online Intensive

Nine 2.5-hour modules

COURSE OVERVIEW

Explore, learn, and practice three key processes for activating group participation virtually, in the acclaimed ToP flagship course modified for the virtual world. This intensive experience will transform your approach to facilitating groups and meetings.

The Technology of Participation (ToP ®) is a world-renowned collection of structured facilitation methods that transform the way groups think, talk, and work together. They enable highly energized, inclusive, and meaningful group collaboration that leads to successful outcomes. ToP supports genuine participation, which leads to long term commitment and quality outcomes, as well as more effective teamwork. Developed and refined by the Institute of Cultural Affairs, ToP Methods recognize and honor contributions from all group members, identify commonalities, and pool contributions into useful patterns – all while welcoming diversity and minimizing conflict.

This course provides an intensive pathway to applying ToP methods, face-to-face or online. This unique format is for individuals who want training that includes both an understanding of these methods alongside hands-on experience with ToP Methods in order to deepen their capacity and confidence to use them in their work.

SCHEDULE AND FORMAT

The class meets 2.5 hours for three mornings each week. It covers one method each week:

  • Week 1: Focused Conversation – a structured approach to meaningful conversations to increase awareness of differing perspectives and foster a deeper understanding of any topic.
  • Week 2: Consensus Workshop – a method to leverage collective thinking to enable individuals to expand their perspectives, identify areas of group agreement, and gain comfort in moving forward with practical and creative solutions.
  • Week 3: Action Planning – the integration of both the focused conversation and consensus workshop methods in a dynamic process to enable any group to create actionable plans that include ownership, timelines, and success measures.

This comprehensive three week, 9-module course provides the knowledge comprehension and skill practice necessary to apply a rich learning experience back on the job immediately. The curriculum includes structured reading reviews, active participation, discussion, and debriefing of professionally-led demonstrations.

Participants then design processes, facilitate groups outside of class with a group of their choosing, and report back on their experience. Coaching, provided in small groups and personally for each participant, includes written feedback on facilitation designs and tips for adapting the online tools provided for each situation.

GOALS

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate ability to design and facilitate the three foundational ToP methods.
  2. Model neutrality while facilitating the three methods, honoring all participant ideas with equal respect.
  3. Identify foundational elements of creating participatory environments online and in-person.
  4. Create physical or online materials for supporting facilitative methods.

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