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Strong facilitation

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Strong facilitation

  1. 1. STRONGFACILITATION DURING MEDIATION Bill Taylor Northeast Area UW Extension Community Development Educator
  2. 2. PROCESS EXPERT • Hired as process expert –Take that charge seriously • Not arrogant, but prepared and confident that is your role • Requires preplanning of everything – location to supplies to introduction to speaking order1
  3. 3. INFORMATION GATHERING In Wyoming Ag Mediation Program, participants usually want mediation within a few days and mediators do not have contact prior to first session. How do you gather pre-information?2
  4. 4. INFORMATION GATHERING • Ask type “B” questions. – Open ended questions that build an image & place the participant in the scene – use “Imagine…” “Visualize…” “See yourself…” etc.3
  5. 5. INFORMATION GATHERING • Ask type “B” questions. – Open ended questions that build an image & place the participant in the scene – use “Imagine…” “Visualize…” “See yourself…” etc. A: What steps brought you to this point?4
  6. 6. INFORMATION GATHERING • Ask type “B” questions. – Open ended questions that build an image & place the participant in the scene – use “Imagine…” “Visualize…” “See yourself…” etc. A: What steps brought you to this point? B: Imagine yourself back before you agreed to mediation. You are in the midst of the controversy and conflict, things are going nowhere and, in fact, are escalating. What is going on? What is the other party doing and how are they behaving? What are you doing and how are you behaving? What steps brought you to this point?5
  7. 7. • Question types –Direct probe – “Why is that important?” –Indirect probe – “Is the reason you do that is…?” –Redirection – “Good point. Can we put it on the issue list?” –Playback – “It sounds like what you are saying is… Is that right?”6
  8. 8. • Question types (cont.) –Leading – “Are there solutions in the area of…?” –Prompt – “What else?” –Tag – “That’s important, isn’t it?” –Float an idea – “What about…? What are the benefits?”7
  9. 9. • Many participants have not thought through the issues, effects, solutions • Use type “B” questions, which places the participant in a mental picture and asks their response8
  10. 10. • Depending on what I know and timeline: – I may ask Lucy to send input form to participants ahead of mediation • Ask them for return prior to session9
  11. 11. • Depending on what I know and timeline: – I may ask Lucy to send input form to participants ahead of mediation • Ask them for return prior to session or • Have them bring it to the session as a guide for them10
  12. 12. • Depending on what I know and timeline: – I may ask Lucy to send input form to participants ahead of mediation • Ask them for return prior to session or • Have them bring it to the session as a guide for them or • May have them fill it out at beginning of session to prepare their thinking process11
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  15. 15. What input do you ask for? What’s your story?14
  16. 16. LOCATION • Neutral, private • Caucus rooms • Sufficient room for participants, mediator, flip chart(s), wall space for flip chart pages • AC/Heat/Lighting15
  17. 17. PRE-LOGISTICS • Supplies –Think through case, location, participants ahead & determine what might be needed16
  18. 18. MEDIATION SUPPLIES Opening statement outline “Agreement to Mediate” Ground rules handout Opening question sheets Numbers to draw for story order Name plate cards/tents Markers Easel and pads Tape Legal pads Pens Portfolio Computer & printer & paper Water, beverages Business cards17
  19. 19. • Good facilitation practice recommends at least 3 flip charts –Issues –Actions –Parking lot18
  20. 20. • Good facilitation practice recommends at least 3 flip charts –Issues Work across –Actions OR all three –Parking lot19
  21. 21. • Good facilitation practice recommends at least 3 flip charts –Issues Work across –Actions OR all three –Parking lot Alternative: Sticky wall – hanging plastic sheet sprayed w/ artist’s adhesive20
  22. 22. • Be there early – set up before 1st participant arrives –Determine seating –Provide name tents –Set up flip chart(s) –Set out water, coffee, notepads, pens, etc. –Find restrooms, caucus rooms21
  23. 23. What else do you do to prepare the room and supplies?22
  24. 24. PARTICIPANTS • Try to determine who will be present • Be prepared for more and determine what you will do – Extras often show up, brought by parties to the conflict • I have allowed some • I have asked some to sit outside • I have disallowed some23
  25. 25. • Attorneys – Try to talk to them about their role • This is not a courtroom – needs atmosphere of exploration, give and take, creativity • Ahead of mediation, if you know they are coming • Caucus w/ them before starting, if necessary – May need to remind of purpose and BATNA if can’t mediate • Get them on your side – Remember, you are in charge today, not them24
  26. 26. What do you do with unexpected arrivals?25
  27. 27. KNOW PROCESS COLD – O-P-Q-R-S-T • KNOW : – Order of the processes – Process techniques to gather info – Starting Question for each process – Recording method to document info – Supplies required for process – Timing and duration for each process (Leadership Strategies)26
  28. 28. APPEARANCE & GREETING • Dress – Professional dress promotes professional attitudes • This is not a casual conversation or a relaxed counseling session – Professionally dressed mediator broadcasts: • We know what we are doing • This is a serious effort to reach agreement • Greet all participants with handshake, smile, & positive, expectant attitude27
  29. 29. GETTING STARTED – I-E-E-I,G-P • Inform – objective and agenda – Example • Excite – benefits • Empower – their role • Involve – their objectives • Ground rules – Example • Parking boards – Issues, decisions, actions (Leadership Strategies)28
  30. 30. MEDIATION OPENING STATEMENT Outline1. Restrooms, water, coffee i. Confidentiality2. Welcome ii. No cell phones a. Business card b. XXXXX – observer unless called upon, XXXX can take time out to conference b. Difficult up to this point c. Handout: GROUND RULES FOR MEDIATION c. Not easy to come to mediation i. Read through each item. d. Here to look at solutions and alternatives to help you make progress ii. Agreement?3. Name: Bill Taylor iii. Anything to add? a. Unbiased facilitator iv. Sign and return4. Each of you identify who you are and who you represent v. Handout unsigned copy a. Provide name plates 2. Questions? Anything to add or discuss?5. Appreciation for willingness and courage to engage in mutual search for solution 3. Time frame for meeting? a. Here to focus on alternatives and solutions that might provide win for both parties 4. Draw number for order to present story b. Can we agree that is our purpose? 5. ?????? minutes to answer questions on question sheet, if not done previously6. Procedure: a. Ask each party 4 basic questions i. How did we get to this point? What has happened? ii. What would a good solution look like? Why? iii. What would the consequences look like if we didn’t reach agreement? iv. What impact has this situation had on you and those you represent? b. Develop list of basic issues c. Examine possible solutions to address issues d. Reach agreement or closure, or identify next step in process e. Agree on procedure?7. My role a. Will not be making decision or providing solution – not arbitrator b. Have no agenda c. Will work with you to help you find your solution d. Not here to determine right or wrong, but help you talk constructively8. Handout: Agreement to Mediate a. Signatures & return9. Establish ground rules a. To help accomplish what we are all here for b. Keep in mind 4 Cs: i. Courtesy ii. Creativity 1. So far haven’t been able to agree 2. Need to be as creative as possible in thinking of new ways to solve problem 29
  31. 31. GROUND RULES • This is not an open forum and the parties have already proven they cannot come to agreement – As process “expert,” my job to provide structure for constructive conversations – Strong ground rules are essential – I have developed 12, with explanations, that I think are important • I’ve never had anyone argue with them • I give opportunity to add, but seldom get other suggestions30
  32. 32. GROUND RULES FOR MEDIATION1. Each party has the right to have their story told. Therefore, each party will be allowed other’s point of view and help them come to an understanding that will support a to tell their story in turn without interruption from others. Everyone will get his or her consensus for action. turn. 11. Consensus is the planned outcome for a mediation. Consensus does not necessarily2. Involved parties will address the mediator. The parties have not resolved their issues to mean that all parties reach total agreement on all points, but rather that all parties can this point by speaking to each other, so they will refrain from having side discussions understand the position, feelings, and concerns of the other parties and that a course of with each other and address all questions and statements to the mediator. They will wait action can be agreed upon that will satisfy each party sufficiently and that they can live for the mediator to direct the discussion. with the agreement.3. Each party is worthy of respect. Consequently, all parties will treat each other with 12. It is the responsibility of the parties that come to the bargaining table to live up to respect, not interrupting, using derogatory language or making disparaging remarks about the terms of the mediation ground rules, as well as the terms of any consensual others. agreement reached. It is not up to the mediator to enforce or monitor the progress of the4. Stick to the facts as you know them. Facts include the feelings this situation has caused situation beyond the mediation session(s). It is up to each party involved to see that they you. However, facts do not include your assumptions of the other parties’ motives or live up to their part of the bargain. feelings. Try to use “I” and “me” statements. Sticking to the facts also means sticking to the issues brought to the table. It is tempting to bring in past issues, hurts, transgressions – we are not here to do that, but only resolve the issue at hand. In this vein, the mediator reserves the right to declare what is permissible for discussion or statement and what is out of bounds.5. A time frame for the session will be set that is agreeable to the parties involved. If agreement or consensus has not been reached and more time is needed another session will be scheduled.6. The mediator may call a break at any time. If emotions are running high or those involved need a rest, a short recess may be called. If a longer break is needed, the time has been used for the day, or more facts need to be gathered, the process may be postponed to a later date.7. Any party may call a break at any time. If any party feels the need to take a break to deal with emotions, contemplate the discussion, form a response, use the restroom, etc. they may ask for a short break. Nothing will be discussed while you are gone. If a postponement to another time is desired, all parties must agree for another session to be scheduled.8. The mediator may declare a caucus with individual parties at any time to clarify facts or to help develop consensus if needed. If the mediator senses it would be constructive to spend time alone with one or more parties to discuss issues or to propose suggestions, he/she may do so, with the understanding that all the parties will come together again during that or a later session.9. Everything said in the mediation room is to remain confidential by all parties. The mediator pledges that he/she will not carry any part of the discussion to any other parties and that all notes, etc. will be destroyed after the mediation is completed. However, more importantly, each concerned party coming to mediation must make the commitment that they will leave what is said in the mediation room in the mediation room. Without that commitment any degree of trust, agreement, or consensus will be lost by all concerned.10. The mediator will remain as impartial as possible and not take sides. The mediator’s job is to be and remain objective and to assist all parties to see the issues from each 31
  33. 33. • Leadership Strategies, a facilitation training firm, provides the following ground rules as being provocative –For larger open-forum groups, but some may be helpful32
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  35. 35. • Key to ground rules? – Agreed to by participants • If potential for heated emotions, have them sign and return a copy – Enforcement, especially in early stages • Not a situation where participants will tend to police themselves, you will need to demonstrate you are in control • Some rules may be relaxed as constructive atmosphere develops – i.e. speaking only to mediator34
  36. 36. Which ground rules do you use?35
  37. 37. TIME FRAME • Set agreeable time to end • If no agreement by deadline, determine whether to continue, return later, fail the mediation – If failure is suggested, be sure to examine each party’s BATNA • Remind them of the consequences – If agency appeal is the next step, ask agency personnel to outline the steps36
  38. 38. SPEAKING ORDER • May seem small, but shows you are ordering the process – Use a random draw – shows no favoritism – I usually let appellant speak first if ruling has been appealed • Order responses and rebuttals until constructive conversation is taking place37
  39. 39. HIGH ENERGY! • Opening words set base energy level and tone. Set it high! • Following each break re-establish the energy level • Keep expectations high38
  40. 40. What else do you do to prepare for the journey?39
  41. 41. FOCUS • Keep comments & discussion focused on issue(s) at hand – Participants need to explore & express feeling, emotions, consequences, but don’t let run far afield – Immediately enforce ground rule violations: not speaking to mediator, speaking out of turn, derogatory language or statements, accusations, etc.40
  42. 42. • Focus checkpoint –At the beginning of each major activity • Review what has been done • Preview what is happening next • Big view – explain how it fits into the objective41
  43. 43. • Engagement CPR – You will not be presenting material and Content, as in meeting or conference facilitation • You need to keep content flowing and develop logical processes to manage it – You need to be aware of Participation and encourage sharing, thinking, creativity – Review progress and direction every 20-30 minutes42
  44. 44. POWER OF THE PEN • Use it, don’t abuse it –Write first, discuss second –Write what is said, not what is heard –Ask speaker to headline it43
  45. 45. • Make it theirs –Write so they can read it –Edit by adding, use a different color –If more than one person tries to speak, give speaking order44
  46. 46. • Slow speaker down by: –Standing close to flip charts –Begin writing immediately –Repeat as you are writing –Ask the speaker to repeat –Ask a direct probing question45
  47. 47. • Seven deadly facilitation sins: 1. Choosing which comments are worthy to record 2. Recording your interpretation of what is said 3. Permitting the group to wander extensively 4. Permitting the ground rules to be broken without taking action 5. Losing neutrality 6. Speaking emotionally charged words 7. Losing trust or respect of participants (Leadership Strategies)46
  48. 48. DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR • Any activity consciously or unconsciously a substitute for expressing displeasure with –Process –Content –Outside, unrelated factor • Separate symptom from root cause47
  49. 49. • Prevention strategies –Assigning seats –Adding ground rules –Making sure you interact with the right people –Paying close attention to reactions –Holding informal meetings during breaks48
  50. 50. • Resolution strategies –Approach privately or generally –Empathize with the symptom –Address the root cause –Get agreement on a solution49
  51. 51. What do you do to prevent or deal with dysfunctional behavior?50
  52. 52. CONSENSUS BUILDING • “I can live with that and support it.” • Starts the minute session begins: –Agree on process & format –Agree on ground rules51
  53. 53. • Why people disagree –Haven’t heard one another –Different values –Past history52
  54. 54. • Ask yourself/participants: –Is agreement necessary on that point? Is it a key or foundation? • Can issues be divided or grouped so consensus can be accomplished on something? –Consensus building in one area leads to attitude of consensus building in other areas53
  55. 55. • Consensus Strategies: 1. Delineation • Issue & alternatives on flip chart • See each participant understands issue & each alternative • Remind group of consensus definition • Ask specific questions of alternative supporters: – How much? How long? Who? What? When? Where? • Check for consensus on 1 or more alternatives – Focus on those in disagreement » Ask why it is disagreeable and what it would take to make it agreeable54
  56. 56. 2. Identify strengths & weaknesses • Itemize strengths of each alternative in turn, start with first • Itemize weaknesses of each, starting with last or • Have those opposing an alternative list its strengths • Have those favoring an alternative list its weaknesses55
  57. 57. 3. Merge alternatives • Create a third alternative which incorporates strengths of two others while minimizing their weaknesses56
  58. 58. 4. Ranking/Weighting • Develop criteria for ranking alternatives – i.e. Car – speed, economy, color, power, comfort, etc. – Determine if criteria are weighted and how many points for each • Create scoring matrix w/ criteria in columns, alternatives in rows • Score each criteria for each alternative, then each criteria for next alternative • Compute and total the scores for each alternative57
  59. 59. 5. Converging Solution (last attempt) • Select alternative that has most agreement – Ask, “Who has a problem with this alternative?” » “What is the least amount of change we can make to this alternative to make it acceptable to you?” » “Are these changes acceptable to everyone?” – To those challenging the changes, “What is the least amount of change we can make to the changes to make them acceptable to you?” » “Are these changes acceptable to everyone?” • Continue as needed58
  60. 60. What do you do to develop options and build consensus?59
  61. 61. CLOSING SESSION • Review – Purpose – Objectives – Activities performed – Parking boards • Issues • Decisions • Actions60
  62. 62. • Be sure of wording in all agreements reached • Thank participants • Review next steps –Agreement signed • Action steps in agreement –Appeal –Legal action • End61
  63. 63. REFERENCES The Effective Facilitator Course and Advanced Facilitator Workshop. Leadership Strategies: The Facilitation Company, 56 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103, Atlanta, GA 30346; www.leadstat.com.62
  64. 64. QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?63

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