New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Our thanks to Helen Foss, First Unitarian Church, Wilmington, DE, for this outline.
Move to other tables for three rounds of table conversations:
For each round of table conversation, first reflect on the following two questions:
Then discuss your responses with your group, writing the following on chart paper:
Depending on the size of the group, these charts can be hung for sharing at the end.
I use this process in my business all the time—have used it with groups of up to two thousand. It has never failed me. It is important to have some music and to have flip chart paper for doodling. Four to a table works best if you can do it. I find the most powerful understandings come if you go back at least once—with the model suggested here I would go back at least twice to the "home table" so you can see what are common threads and interesting questions being asked. I also prefer—a preference thing for sure—to let the first conversation be very undirected—just explain policy governance, ends and let them talk about any reaction first—you get important and powerful stuff and people get to share any fears and resentments as well as hopes and dreams without too much structure. Then go to the more focused questions. Just my ideas—for what they are worth. But I agree it is a wonderful, energy giving, inclusive process.
—Carol Houseman, Houseman Consulting
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Last updated on Monday, June 20, 2011.
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