During this time of the Coronavirus and shelter-in-place requirements across the USA, CSF team members Jane Stallman and BethMarie Ward, created this Focus Conversation. It may be useful to those of you who are living with families or in some sort of living group during this time of shelter-in-place. Most of you have taken the ToP Facilitation Methods course so we have included a design that includes optional questions, intents for each level and ideas that you might include in your refinement of the conversation.
We’d love to hear from you if you use it!
Some tips on facilitating a Focused Conversation
- Though some conversations can be short, a conversation of significance can and does deserve time. Dedicate enough uninterrupted time so the conversation doesn’t seem mechanical or forced. If you have very limited time, choose only a few questions at each level
- Everyone’s situation is different. Use the questions and/or develop others that work best for you and for which you have enough time
- In the O level (at least the first 2 questions) make certain that each person has an opportunity to share their answer. In the other levels anyone who wants to speak can with the exceptions of those questions that are italicized where it may be helpful to have each person respond
- Those facilitating will be most successful if they stay neutral – don’t judge people responses, you don’t need to comment on people’s responses (either positive or negative – “I agree with that,” “I like that too,” “ THAT will never happen,”…)
- As the facilitator, you may want to go through this conversation with yourself first so that you feel comfortable in leading it
A Focused Conversation Design for Families or for Family Groups
|A conversation with family members/living group about how we want to live together in the light of the COVID 19 and shelter-in-place restrictions.
|Ideas to create structure and activities for daily living that provide ways to meet individual and collective needs.
|To feel better connected and secure in a pathway to individually and collectively successfully navigate this challenging period of time.
|We’ve all been affected by the Coronavirus and are now in a new situation about how we live and work. We will be sheltering-in-place for a period of time. We want to think about/explore how we can best adapt to this situation.
Additional or Optional Questions
|If you have children –
|Ground everyone in what is currently going on.
|You might want to create a typical weekly calendar for your family or your living group to refer to now and in later parts of the conversation.
You might want to make a drawing of your living environment and name the spaces (a visual space guide)
|Surface fears and a sense that we can move forward together
|You could have each person put a post-it on the place in the drawing of the living space where they are comfortable, happy, feel safe.
You could also use colored post-its with a green post-it for where each person feels best in your space and pink for where they are least comfortable
|If you use a drawing at the Objective level (visual space guide) and post-its you can add in questions like –
|Begin to visualize possible ways to use your space and schedule time
|You might want to create a new weekly calendar that has places for individual and communal time and activities.
Depending on your situation you might want to include cutout stars to put on the calendar. Each could have a special activity that everyone can enjoy together – high points of your collective time. In example be movie night with popcorn, karaoke night or game night or …..
You might also want to block out quiet times….
|Create a simple plan of action for the next week that has something for everyone in it.
|Finalize the schedule, move things around on it as the group adjusts what they want to happen..
Chart some of the answers to these answers and then either keep them up or type then up and distribute.
|What great ideas we have for our time together this week and how we will use our space to make the best of our “shelter-in-place” time. Let’s have another conversation next week and see what has worked and what we want to modify or add.
Note: Choose whatever words work for you in your situation for the closing. It is like a bow on a package – it ties up the conversation with a sense of completeness.