If you are a consultant working with a group, this 6-part series covers 18 best practices for facilitating learning and engagement during a consultation session. To find the whole list once the series is complete, search “process leadership skills” in my blog.
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is the most standard practice of a consultant for a good reason. It’s indispensable. Brainstorm in several different ways (large group, small group, individually, and by means of various exercises) to generate ideas. Later in the process you can narrow down the ones you want to focus on, but you need to start with a big pool.
- Verbatim comments: When you are conducting larger group brainstorming, write down exactly what people say on the whiteboard. Avoid the temptation to tweak or improve their wording. Writing down what people say verbatim is instrumental in ensuring people feel heard.
- Can we questions: Can we questions are a helpful means of brainstorming. Have people give their thoughts in the form of a “Can we” question: “Can we develop more children’s leaders?” “Can we engage in neighborhood outreach?” “Can we find a different way of doing our small groups?” This exercise opens up possibilities in a positive way.