Hello to the multitudes that read our blog. I am running a taster session for Talk Action on the afternoon of 7th May, in central London, near Old Street tube. The taster will cover elements of a working with conflict programme I’m developing for them. In the taster, specifically, we will explore states of mind, active listening and how to avoid escalating conflict and getting the most, rather than the least, out of a conversation.
I’ve been told I can have a few friends along for free – let me know. Soon.
Perry and I were delivering a day’s training on consensus for Talk Action yesterday. The day covered an overview of formal consensus (often simply called consensus or consensus decision-making) and an introduction to Crowd Wise. We rounded off with a ‘clinic’ – collectively troubleshooting a consensus-related issues for one of the group and trying to apply the day’s learning to that organisation’s needs.
One of the things that makes this training more interesting and perhaps challenging is that it draws in people from a wide range if backgrounds and organisations – those whose work involves participatory engagement, such as community workers and freelance and local authority planners; staff and volunteers for small charities and community organisations; staff from NGOs of varying sizes; as well as those with an activist or campaigning background. Yesterday we had participants from a local authority, Garden Organic, the Occupy movement, a local CVS support organisation, a network of residents associations and more.
This was the second time out for the training and we’d had a good clear out, de-cluttering the content and focusing on the experiential activities wherever we could. It seemed to go well, and there was a lot of energy and warmth at the end of the day.
Inevitably there are a couple of activities we will tweak again for next time. Our warm up activity produced less clear learning about consensus than last time. Similarly the clinic tended towards broad group dynamics topics where we had hoped it would be more obviously consensus-focused. Talk Action have the evaluation forms, and we’ll come back to you and share some headlines when we get a look at them. We’ll also let you know when the next course is running. Maybe see you there?
As an aside, Anna from Talk Action tweeted her way through the morning – not something I’m used too, but an interesting insight into what at least one participant was taking away from the course:
Rhizome don’t put on many open courses, though we do get asked. As it happens 2 of our facilitators are at work in an open course on Consensus Decision-Making next month, courtesy of the team at Talk Action.
We’ll look at the values that underpin effective consensual decision-making as well as at 2 models of consensus: formal consensus and Crowd Wise.
We’d love to see you there.