Process facilitation for sensitive dialogues in business, government and NPO settings
Dealing with sensitive issues
FLAG has facilitated complex, challenging dialogues for numerous customers from industry, government, foundations, churches and other not-for-profit organisations. Sensitive issues of systemic relevance lay at the heart of all these dialogues. Most participants were in executive positions and the sessions covered a wide range of topics. Many participants took hardline positions and stuck firmly to entrenched lines of argument.
- Building consensus on an organisation’s strategy
- Gaining acceptance from department heads for a restructuring process
- Fostering international understanding in the political sphere
- Making transparent decisions on budget allocations at an executive director level
- Interdisciplinary innovation forum on resource extraction
- Clarification of corporate succession in family-run businesses
- Team-building in a group of city council members
- Integrating groups of works council members, capacity of works council to perform its duties
- Consensus on company agreements relating to performance management
- Conflict resolution at an executive board level
- Processing feedback critical of managers at a divisional management level in big companies
Resolving conflicts and building collective ideas can only happen if someone is willing to take the initiative. In all the cases cited above, somebody started the process by calling in professional help. Sometimes that was the person responsible for the issue, at other times it was simply a courageous or forward-thinking individual.
Carefully chosen facilitators from our team were then able to set the dialogue in motion using well-defined methodologies, targeted requests and mirroring. With confidence, empathy and skill, they helped the participants find their way to a solution. This often required them to create and deploy a multi-stage process.
- Focusing on both hard and soft factors
- Keeping discussions detailed, but not excessively so
- Moving at the right speed
- Asking the right questions, shifting perspectives
- Maintaining collective momentum in the facilitation process
- Focusing on what counts: actionable results
- Restored dialogue channels
- Enabled people to express their viewpoints and emotions
- Clarified positions, values and decision-making criteria
- Helped people express scenarios, ideas and options
- Cleared the way for binding agreements
- Laid foundations for the next sensible step forward
With our support, many conflicts were resolved and participants were able to find common ground. Not all conflicts can be resolved, of course, and sometimes people parted ways. The FLAG team has received outstanding feedback for its style of facilitation, which pus a firm focus not on the facilitator, but instead on dialogue and participants’ reflections.
Do you have a situation that could benefit from facilitation? Get in touch with us to let us know your concerns. We will listen carefully, ask the right questions and work together with you to develop a promising approach to resolve the issues involved.
We do not provide references for facilitation, because it often involves sensitive subjects that require the utmost discretion.