A checklist of some of the basic principles, and pieces of information, to include in NVDA training. When facilitation is shared among a number of people at large convergences it can be easy to miss things! This has been crowd-sourced from NVDA trainers and CounterAct training.
Consensus is a nonviolent decision-making process that aims to create the best possible decision for the group. The input and ideas of all participants are gathered and synthesized to arrive at a final decision that is acceptable to all. Through consensus, we are not only working to achieve better solutions, but also to promote the growth of trust and respect within the group.
Overwork has heavy costs. Working longer hours is dangerous and ineffective. But poor management, the subconscious, workplace culture, and work volume, can each be a barrier to better workplace practices. Thankfully though, these barriers can be overcome.
Joel Dignam reviews Jo Freeman’s “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” which explores some of the key structural problems facing groups. Recognising that power dynamics are present in all groups Freeman proposes formal structures, transparency and accountability.
Making collective decisions and navigating conflict and are core activist skills. Conflict is usually viewed as an impediment to reaching agreements and disruptive to peaceful relationships. However, it is the underlying thesis of Consensus that nonviolent conflict is necessary and desirable.
Games are great for energising a group, lightening the mood, promoting playfulness, and building morale. This list is an excerpt from the Nonviolent Community Safety and Peacebuilding Trainers’ Manual which is also available for download on the Commons.
Group morale is a key contributor to the success of a group, increasing cohesion, reducing burnout and preventing activist turnover. Build team relationships; resolve conflicts and improve communication; and celebrate success.
A group’s culture can have a big impact on the likelihood of stress and burnout for members and staff. It’s possible to create a group culture that supports self-care, balance and sustainable work loads and patterns.
Many conflicts get worse than they actually need to be because the participants lose control of themselves and retreat into self-reinforcing patterns of attack and counterattack. Here are some suggestions, drawn from the literature of conflict resolution and psychotherapy, that can be used to de-escalate conflicts.
‘Feedback’ is a communication to a person or a group which gives that person information about how they affect others. It is important to be able to give feedback in such a way that people can hear it, take it in, evaluate it, and change behaviour which affects their relationship with others.
Active listening is a fundamental skill for peacebuilding and social change. It is more than hearing, it involves processing what has been heard and skilfully selecting a response. Active listening serves to encourage the person to tell more and most importantly, communicates to the person that you are interested and listening.
Insights about facilitation from the very challenging General Assembly process at Occupy Melbourne. This article will be of interest to facilitators and others learning about group process, as well as people keen to find out about the Occupy movement. These reflections were written two weeks after Occupy Melbourne kicked off in October 2011.
Joel Dignam reviews Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom’s ‘The Starfish and the Spider’. The book delves into ideas and language around decentralisation with useful examples from history, social movements and commerce. It also includes practical tips for putting decentralisation into practice.
Facilitators help a group to get where it needs to go, whether the focus of a gathering is information sharing, discussion, generating creative options, making decisions, team building or planning for action. Here are some tips and tricks for facilitation, to help you get the most out of your next meeting.
For volunteers or staff to be driven to do their work, it must be motivational, both ‘extrinsically’ and ‘intrinsically’. However, we often the intrinsic elements of the work. Read on to learn about how to design tasks to make them more intrinsically motivational. Your staff and volunteers will benefit!