Fairness is a strategy posing as a need

Convergent Facilitation is a decision-making framework created by Miki Kashtan that allows groups to find break-through solutions to problems that previously seemed unsolvable. This post is part of a series documenting my learnings and reflections from attending Miki’s training on this framework.

Our society holds compromise to be both a virtue and an essential aspect of living together in harmony. But it’s a false harmony, the silence that comes from acknowledging that we’ve lost hope of meeting our needs. It’s the false peace of separation, full of tension and frustration, ready to boil over into violence—physical or otherwise—at any moment. Continue reading Fairness is a strategy posing as a need

Appeals to “fairness” divide people because they don’t accept difference

Convergent Facilitation is a decision-making framework created by Miki Kashtan that allows groups to find break-through solutions to problems that previously seemed unsolvable. This post is part of a series documenting my learnings and reflections from attending Miki’s training on this framework.

During the training, Miki demonstrated Convergent Facilitation (CF) with a scenario: we played the role of employees of an organisation which has offices on two coasts. We were split equally between the two offices, and we were meeting to decide the location of our next conference.

Miki started by asking for an opinion on the location of the conference. The first person to answer said that it would be fair to hold the conference to be on the West coast, because it was on the East coast last year. At this point Miki paused the role-play to drop some wisdom: beware fairness, justice, and equality. It’s almost impossible for fairness to be noncontroversial, so we need to find an “essence” that doesn’t mention fairness. Continue reading Appeals to “fairness” divide people because they don’t accept difference

Convergent Facilitation taps into abundance to find solutions that consensus models can’t access

Convergent Facilitation is a decision-making framework created by Miki Kashtan that allows groups to find break-through solutions to problems that previously seemed unsolvable. This post is part of a series documenting my learnings and reflections from attending Miki’s training on this framework.

In Convergent Facilitation (CF), the facilitator invites a group facing a problem to find a solution that everyone in the group is willing to live with. This is more ambitious than it sounds, because it draws on the mindset of abundance to transcend people’s polarised positions and find a solution that works for everyone.  Continue reading Convergent Facilitation taps into abundance to find solutions that consensus models can’t access

Build community by organising events in the “gift economy” style

This winter I tried something new: I organised an event in the “gift economy” style. Inspired by ancient gift cultures, gift economy means offering an event (or other work) as a gift instead of exchanging it directly for money. At the end of the event people connect with their gratitude and give in a way that fits for them—either with money or with non-monetary gifts. The idea is to promote community, connection, and gratitude by moving away from transactions. Continue reading Build community by organising events in the “gift economy” style

Use pair writing to collaborate with subject matter experts

I’ve written a post on the GatherContent blog about pair writing:

Pair writing is a technique for collaborating on content in real time. Instead of exchanging drafts or correcting with a red pen, two people sit down together to write. You can use it to help content specialists collaborate with subject matter experts, or to include managers in the writing process, or to get input from colleagues when you need help. It builds understanding and trust, speeds up publishing processes, and creates content that meets user needs.

Learn practices for building trust in groups: my new gift-economy-style evening course

I’m leading a new evening course where people learn to create safe spaces using techniques from facilitation, conflict resolution, and improvisational theatre. Instead of charging a fee, I’m offering the course “gift economy” style.  Continue reading Learn practices for building trust in groups: my new gift-economy-style evening course

How to facilitate when you’re the expert: podcast conversation with Penny Walker

In this podcast with my friend and colleague Penny Walker, we discuss the challenge of facilitating discussions when you’re the expert. Penny is an independent facilitator specialising in sustainable development. She also presented at #dareconf mini last year.  Continue reading How to facilitate when you’re the expert: podcast conversation with Penny Walker

When people don’t engage in meetings, reframe your objectives to give them choice

When we go into meetings aiming to change people’s minds, they often object because their need for choice isn’t met. If we reframe our objectives to include finding solutions together, we can facilitate in a way that meets each person’s need for choice. Continue reading When people don’t engage in meetings, reframe your objectives to give them choice

My adventures learning to help groups make decisions that work for everyone. A blog by Jonathan Kahn