of the Week
Journal | Issue #0124 | October 28, 2003 | 9,000 Subscribers
out this basic teleclass for Facilitators. Starts November 17th
at 1:00 PM EST.
here for details.
Got a burning
questions about facilitation? Click
to learn more
about our new Virtual University for Facilitators.
article was submitted Christopher
Avery, Ph.D, an authority on executive
corporate team performance. His article explore a wonderfully
simple yet powerful model for helping groups reach better
decision called "ORID." The "ORID"
is a nickname
Focused Conversation Method, developed
by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. This
tool will help you lead groups of diverse people in
making rapid collective decisions anytime and anywhere.
next 5-day "Random Acts
of Facilitation" Teleclass is scheduled
to run November 17th-21st, from 1:00-2:00 PM EST (NY
here for details.
From Teaching to Learning Facilitation.
This new teleclass will be offered during the week of
December 8th. This first offering will run 4-5 days
1:00-2:00 PM EST (NY Time)
an R&D teleclass, it will
be offered at a discounted price of $59. This course
will explore how to make the leap from conventional
teaching approaches to a perspective based on the learner,
incorporating facilitation skills and philosophy into
the learning environment. More details will be released
in the next few weeks. If you're interested, click
here to register, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to express your interest.
Finally, we're excited to announce
the beta launch of our new online database of Facilitated
Activities called, "Factivities.com."
We've included full details below. Please do go check
it out, let us know what you think, and by all means,
submit your exercises!
Thanks for your support.
Magical Tool for Group Decisions
Exploring the ORID Model
would you like to confidently lead a group of diverse
people to make a rapid collective decision anytime and
anywhere? Of course you would. Who wouldn't? Well after
learning the tool in this article, you'll be able to
say with confidence "If its possible for this group
to reach a collective decision, I can help them do it."
a recent case. In preparing to facilitate an annual
Board retreat, I learned that the Board President held
one major outcome: to make decisions on four complex
issues facing the organization. He also had one important
condition in that he wanted consensus decisions from
the twenty-five board members attending the meeting.
Even though these were his outcomes, he had doubts because
he kept asking me if I really thought they could accomplish
this! I kept saying "Sure you can!" And so
secret is to use a simple and powerful tool called ORID
developed by the Institute for Cultural Affairs to help
diverse people work together productively. To get started,
first set the context so that people can support you.
In my case, I asked the Board President to open by stating
the purpose of the meeting as a decision making meeting
and asking everyone if, given a fair process, they would
be willing to put their best effort into reaching decisions
that they could whole-heartedly support. Everyone said
"yes." Then he introduced me and said that
I would ensure fair process. I asked the group to agree
to a few ground rules for the meeting including taking
responsibility for their own communication, making sure
that their own voice is heard, and truly considering
the views of others. People also agreed to these, so
the context was now set.
I applied the trusty ORID process four times, once to
each topic. The group made six unanimous decisions about
how to move forward on the four sticky issues!
power comes from exposing and applying the human "inference
ladder" of reasoning. That's the conceptual ladder
that your reasoning process "climbs," usually
subconsciously and instantaneously, between the time
your senses receive any kind of stimulus and the time
you act on that stimulus. Here are four of the ladder
Perception: Every person filters some data out and
lets other data in.
Emotional reaction: We each have immediate positive
or negative emotional reactions to most all stimuli.
Sense-making: Everyone assigns meaning to data
based on our unique filters (beliefs, drives and experiences).
Action: We take actions based on our own inferences
Here's an example:
loud alarm rings!!! (selective perception)
"Ugh..." (emotional reaction)
"It's time to get out of bed." (sense-making)
Stumble to the bathroom. (action)
Decision making groups get bogged down when it's members
climb the first three rungs silently, subconsciously
and individually. Most people in decision-making groups
only speak to each other about the last rung -- individual
preferences for the action. I call this jumping to the
"We should" statements. However, each member
may have reached their preference for the group action
based on different stimuli, different emotional reactions,
and different interpretations.
ORID technique ensures that the group visits each rung
of the ladder together. Here is how it works. After
the group shares a common experience (informational
presentation, document, etc.), lead them through the
following five steps:
O (for Objective): Ask the members what they recall
seeing or hearing and list their answers on flip chart
paper. Caution: Keep people focused on what they observed
with their senses. Disallow interpretations and opinions
at this stage.
R+ (for Reflective positive): Ask members what
they had positive reactions to and list their responses.
R- (for Reflective negative): Ask members what they
had negative reactions to and list their responses.
What will be positive for some may be negative for others.
That's okay and exactly why you are doing this.
I (for Interpretive): Ask members what sense they
make of the data and record their responses. Hint: It's
easier to assign meaning by thinking about what headline
a reporter might write about this data.
D (for Decisional): Ask the members what decisions
they can now make as a group. Help them work individual
proposals into consensus decisions.
About the Author: Christopher M. Avery, Ph.D.
is one of the most outspoken, celebrated, and successful
authorities on individual and team performance available
to executives and corporations today. His extensive
research focuses exclusively on how professionals build,
maintain and leverage successful and productive relationships
with people over whom they have no direct control. Visit
his website at: www.partnerwerks.com.
Resources. There are two books that are the major
source for the ORID method.
Art of Focused Conversation, by Brian Stanfield,
co-published by New Society Publishers and the Canadian
Institute of Cultural Affairs, 1999.
Art of Focused Conversation for Schools, by
Jo Nelson, co-published by New Society Publishers and
the Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs, 2001.
the ORID model this week with a group or joint decision
and let us know how it worked. Please email
us your comments.
MFJ "Ask" Campaign
trying something new here at MFJ in our efforts to tune
into what our readers are up to and what they need to
support their facilitation work.
What's the single most important question you have
about facilitation? We'll
do our best to reply with some helpful comments. Thanks
Steve Davis helps facilitators, coaches, consultants and leaders
who are struggling to
present themselves confidently, empower their groups, enhance
their facilitation skills,
and build their businesses on and off line. Please email
or call me at 805-489-4130 to schedule a Free exploratory session,
or to share your suggestions and ideas for the journal. If you
find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends.
If you'd like to reprint this article in another publication,
you are free to do so providing you follow the guidelines
here. Thanks for reading!
Announcing the beta launch of
means "Facilitated Activities," is our concept for
a searchable online database of experiential activities for
facilitators and trainers. This site is being developed in
response to many of our readers requests and we're finally
getting it off the ground, in it's current beta form, for
a dry run.
We're anticipating an official launch sometime within the
next 3-6 months depending on how quickly we can build the
database. Here are the major features we'd love you to have
a look at, think about, and comment on.
We've put together some incentives for exercise authors,
like yourselves, to submit exercises to our database. Here's
what we've got so far. Please tell us what you think of these
incentives. Any changes? Additions? Do these move you to submit
- You retain copyright to your material for your own use elsewhere.
Copyright to your material will simply be shared with Factivities.com.
exercise you submit will contain your bio, including any contact
info and website links you desire. Your exercise will be exposed
to thousands of facilitators and trainers helping to effortlessly
spread the word about your work.
Factivities.com site will be advertised weekly in our Master
Facilitator Journal going to over 9,000 readers (and a plan
to build this to over 25,000). When this site is officially
launched, we will vigorously market it through all of our
database access if you submit 3 or more exercises.
3 exercise or more and get full database access for 6 months.
5 exercises or more and get full database access for one
10 or more exercises and get free lifetime membership to
your exercises will help build this database, making it a
better tool for your own use as a facilitator.
We've put together copyright
and usage notices for site users of the exercises. And
we've put together our submission
guidelines here. How do these look to you? Are we missing
anything? Off base anywhere?
Exercise Input Form
We've developed an exercise input form that allows
you, yes I mean YOU, to come to the site and input your exercise.
Then a webpage is generated and posted on the site for us
to review prior to approval. It's very slick and should really
help us build this site fast. Thank you Jopa at ezezine.com
for this development. Please check
it out here.
Site Search Engine
We've put up a "site search engine" that
lets you search for exercises based on keywords, outcome,
category, etc. Please give
it a whirl and let us know what you think of it. Do you
like the summaries returned for each exercise? Will you find
this particular info useful when searching for exercises?
Does any of the info need to change? Understand we only have
about 10 exercises in there right now so don't be surprised
if your search request doesn't return anything. Just give
it another try. You can also just click through each category
and review exercise summaries manually as well. This is probably
all we really need in the short term, but when we have a thousand
exercises in the system, the search engine should come in
Please submit any originally developed exercises that
you have and pass the word to other facilitators and
invite them to do the same. We really appreciate your support
Finally, let us know what you think of the site overall. Particularly
if you see something that you'd like to see changed.
you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal. Look
for your next issue on November 4, 2003.
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