ToP Facilitation Methods (TFM)

The Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitation Methods are practical tools that enable groups to have highly-energized, productive and meaningful participation. This kind of participation leads to commitment to follow-through and quality outcomes, as well as more effective long-term team work.

This training provides an overview of the philosophy underlying the methods and a demonstration of each ToP method. Participants engage in hands-on practice using the methods, and also spend time exploring how to apply the methods to their specific situations.

Participants leave the course ready to make use of the methods. Included is a detailed manual for support once back at the office, and also one free hour of follow-up phone consultation to help ensure success. Participants consistently rate this course highly.

LEARN MORE – Check out this video.

The Three Methods Introduced in the Two-day Foundational Course:

  • The Focused Conversation Method is a highly flexible means to facilitate group discussions that allows members of the group to share diverse perspectives in a non-confrontational manner. It has multiple applications for helping groups to have deeper and more productive discussions around topics of common knowledge and importance.
  • The Consensus Workshop Method is a five-step process used to facilitate consensus-based decisions that respect the diversity of perspectives within a group. This process is high energy, fun, and delivers concrete results that groups can take to advance their plans and projects. For many groups it becomes a core tool for planning, community engagement, and learning.
  • The Action Planning Process is an approach to short-term planning of an event or project that a group already has reached agreement to pursue. It is a clear, organized, and multi-faceted application of ToP® methods that clarifies the task, generates creative ideas for accomplishing the task, and enables the group to identify the necessary actions, roles, responsibilities and time-line for implementing the event or project.

“ToP training is rigorous, powerful and well worth the investment! We trained our entire management team to use ToP Facilitation Methods and have been using them all over the organization. ToP has given managers an important tool that strengthens the culture of participatory decision making and promotes staff acceptance and enthusiasm for organization initiatives and change.”

~Elizabeth Carty, MSW, Chief Operating Officer, Center for Elders Independence

“I’m especially excited about the way the methods allow and encourage different perspectives without getting bogged down with debate.”

~Iris Preece, City of Fremont Human Resources

“So, in order to make participation work, it is essential to have a good structure. Clear limits, guidelines and leadership are important in making an empowering, freedom-generating process like participation work.”

~Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Author of When Giants Dance


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