We often do not know what we know until we voice it in the presence of others. To achieve the best results possible, the group must decide together that all ideas and thoughts brought forth will be treated with respect, will not be rewarded or criticized. These nuggets of information and knowledge should be allowed to “be”.
Using questions for clarification or to carry a thought to the next level is encouraged. After all, this method worked very well for Socrates and for many others who have employed it for centuries so that it still lives today.
Participants should feel that they are in a place where anyone and everyone can take the floor. A place where trust and respect are the tenets that guide the facilitator in leading the conversation. That no suggestion is too outlandish or anyone’s is better or worse than the next person.
When this type of trust and respect is achieved, there is no telling what the collective mind of this group can achieve! Challenges that may have once held people back for decades, are met with transformative solutions to deliver services and products, say, or whatever the group assembled wants to tackle.
People leave buzzing about the possibilities that can be achieved, and new and different friendships and collaborations are built around a shared goal of wanting to put some new strategy into focus and play.
It’s at this level of experience that people freely decide together they will reconvene at a specific time in this connected place, where ideas and new ways of thinking are welcomed and encouraged.
Gloria Ferris, Regional Director, The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) and Community Organization Consultant and Contractor.
Gloria is community change consultant is a former Cleveland Metropolitan School teacher and retired BP oil credit analyst who seeks to change how civic and social organizations work together. Read More.
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