Group decision making is not for the faint of heart. Participation can degenerate quickly into irrelevant tangents, power coalitions and false consensus. As a result, groups often give up on collaborative approaches and fall back on majority voting or deferring to authority. Learn the facilitation skills needed to avoid the pitfalls of group decision making.
• The pros and cons of participatory decision making.
• The phenomena of group discussion; when people start talking and stop listening.
• What is consensus and six alternatives to consensus as a decision making approach.
• Using dialogue and avoiding debate as precursors to discussion.
• Facilitation skills for large and small group decision making.
• Review of listening skills needed for effective discussion.
• Recognizing "false consensus" and what to do when consensus fails to develop.
• How to get through the "Groan Zone" when progress bogs down.
• Specific skills for when emotions run high.
• Analysis tools for complex decisions.
• Special considerations for strategic planning.
• Variations on the classic problem solving steps.
• Video case study analysis.
Benefits and Learning Outcomes
- Decide when and when not to use participatory approaches to decision making
- Plan a meeting agenda that fosters efficient use of time
- Facilitate difficult discussions while avoiding false consensus