Session 4 – ToP Focused Conversation

Date:  Thursday 8 October 2020                             Time:    11am                            Length:   2 hours
Thursday 29 October 2020 10am 2 hours
This session is being run twice. Both sessions will have the same content.

Dr Hedy Bryant, Helen Ritchie, Michelle Rush, Mark Butz and Karen Newkirk

This session is designed for:
Emerging facilitators                      Still developing                   Wisdom Keeper                  Everyone

Will this session be recorded?                                    Yes

Important to note
This session is limited to 20 attendees

Session Outline

To showcase the Technology of Participation (ToPTM) Focused Conversation Method (ORID) and underlying dynamics of facilitation as approaches that give a foundation to a facilitator’s practice. In this session we will demonstrate the simplicity of ORID and provide insight into its value as an online approach for facilitating deeper and generative conversations. We will also demonstrate the potential for using Indigenous informed questions in our practice. This is dialogue that connects to the whole person moving from the head to the heart and co-creating movement and change. Everyone gets a chance to be heard and to share their wisdom.  Like the facets of a diamond we need everyone’s perspective to be able to sparkle – “I am/we are because you are”!

The workshop will be framed by the question:

How does the focused conversation method deepen dialogue and create movement in our facilitation practice?

As experienced ToPTM practitioners, three of whom are Certified in the Technology of Participation Facilitation (CToPF) and ToPTM trainers, we will also provide the provenance and theory behind the ToP methods which had its genesis in the 1960’s in USA; an overview of the other ToP methods; and some take-home guidance.

Key Learning Objectives

At the end of the session participants will have:

  1. An awareness of the structure of the Focused Conversation/questions
  2. An awareness and examples of Indigenous informed questions
  3. Ideas about how intentional and focused conversations can add value in their facilitation practice
  4. An awareness of the underlying dynamics of facilitation (part of the ToP body of facilitation knowledge and practice)

How this session contributes to the AFN Community of Practice

We are a group of ToP practitioners who operate a Community of Practice based in the ToP methods and experience of the Institute of Cultural Affairs – Australasia. It is our hope that by bringing these foundational methods to AFN that we may contribute to the diversity of approaches that all facilitators – beginners to advanced may use to create heart-centred and sustainable change.

Toolkit takeaways

  • Outline of a foundational method – one page summary overview of the Focused Conversation
  • Realization around the power of this method and its capacity to engage the whole person in conversations that go somewhere, and really matter
  • Commitment to facilitate with intention, structure & flow

Speaker Biographies

Dr Hedy Bryant
Hedy lectures in leadership and social impact at a regional university and facilitates NFPs. With a diverse background in natural resource management, exotic disease preparedness, wildlife health, board governance and organisational development, she has been facilitating groups since the 1980’s starting with farmer and landcare groups.  She has a Masters in Environmental Management and Doctor of Communication and with foundational training in the Technology of Participation and Zenergy her practice is continually evolving. However ToP is central to her teaching and facilitation practice.

Michelle Rush
Michelle has worked as a professional facilitator for almost thirty years, and has been a facilitator-trainer for the past fifteen years, delivering courses in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific. Michelle is a Certified ToP™ Facilitator, specialising in process design and collaboration. She works mainly in policy, science and natural resource management.

Helen Ritchie
Helen is a facilitator, trainer and researcher, focused mainly on environment and agriculture issues.  She helps groups to learn, plan and take action collectively. Helen has been involved in the design and delivery of facilitation training for community, local and central government, and participants in the Enviroschools and Te Aho Tū Roa programmes. 

As co-trainers in the ToP™ Facilitative Leadership Program, Michelle Rush and Helen Ritchie, have worked to weave Māori perspectives on facilitation with the ToP™ body of knowledge and practice, so that the program taught is culturally appropriate for Aotearoa-New Zealand. This work is carried out in partnership with Te Mauri Tau, a kaupapa-Māori, holistic community education organisation.