How do you facilitate effective meetings, meaningful group conversations and productive decision-making?

This popular course teaches versatile, powerful techniques for structuring effective group conversations and finding group consensus. Foundational to all our Technology of Participation courses, it provides a structured introduction to two powerful ToP methods: the Focused Conversation and the Consensus Workshop.

The course is run in both face-to-face format (2 full days) and online (8 x 2.25 hours).

Who is this course for?

Designed for those who want to use facilitation skills confidently and effectively, this course suits all levels of experience including team managers, community and voluntary support workers, independent facilitators, community activists and group leaders of any kind.

An excellent programme – among the best value-for-money programmes I have attended in my career of over 20 years” – John Burns, Organisational Analysis

“One of the challenges we have is how best to support Fellows who want to work with each other to turn their ideas into projects and practical initiatives. It’s really helpful to see (and try out) some different approaches that we can pass on” – Sam Thomas, RSA Networks Manager

What you will gain

By the end of the course, you will

  • be able to identify when and how to use the Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop methods
  • have gained confidence in the use of these methods
  • have recognised and explored elements of participation, creativity, teamwork and action
  • have built links with others to promote future collaboration and support in the use of the methods
  • be eligible for an ILM Development Award

Learning style

Whether face-to-face or online, the course presents the two methods in a practical and participatory way. Each method is first demonstrated, then analysed and discussed, and then practised in supportive small groups with guided reflection & feedback. Finally, participants plan how they will apply each method in their own situations.

Participants will develop their skills, share experiences and gain an in-depth understanding of the principles behind the methods.

Download a course overview (PDF)

What do participants say about this course?

93% of GFM participants rated the course 8/10 or higher.

Comments from participants’ end-of-course evaluations included:

  • brilliant – a must-do if you want better, more effective meetings
  • provides two practical, easy-to-use methods to discover deep insights from diverse groups – useful tools for any group, organisation or community
  • benefits for experienced facilitator and novice alike
  • worth every penny – excellent content & great presentation

Please visit our course calendar to see upcoming dates and locations for this course and make a booking.  Alternatively, contact us to enquire about a tailored in-house course for your organisation.

Alexander Anenkno
Alexander Anenkno
The course is worth every penny
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
A 2-day Group Facilitation Methods course is worth every penny. Most people today realise just how important it is to move any discussions to a productive end, and the course provides ready-to-go solutions.
Meaghan Britain
Meaghan Britain
Really great, applicable course
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I really enjoyed the two-day Facilitation Methods course - The trainer was excellent and very knowledgable and the course material very applicable to real life and work scenarios. I enjoyed the method of training and it was a great pace of introducing new material, exampling the theory, and then letting us test it ourselves. It was very effective to give multiple examples to learn from and the chance to grow our confidence using the methodology.
Jane Gray
Jane Gray
Group Facilitation Methods
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I attended the two day Group Facilitation Methods Training, which includes Focused Conversations. The trainer was highly experienced and knowledgeable, and had a friendly, relaxed and warm style. This created a supportive and positive learning environment. The methods will be extremely useful for my role in the arts, working with partners to have productive conversations from planning, through to evaluation of programmes. I particularly enjoyed the active nature of the course, which gave plenty of opportunities for trying things out and putting the methods into action. I'll be looking at which ones to do next.
Christina
Christina
Attended the Group Facilitation Methods…
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
Attended the Group Facilitation Methods course in Cardiff. It is a long two days with potential to become tiring, but the two facilitators (Megan and Ann) were amazing and kept us fully engaged at all times. The Demonstration : Explanation : Practice model was really practical for a real chance to develop skills.
Donna Szarun
Donna Szarun
Fantastic course
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
Fantastic course, really practical and facilitators had such a depth of knowledge and experience. Great insights and learned so much from my fellow participants. Would highly recommend!
Mary Robson
Mary Robson
I use what I learned every day of my working life.
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I attended my first ICA:UK training course almost fifteen years ago. I use what I learned at that course - Group Facilitation Methods - every day of my working life. Whether in a 1-to-1 meeting or facilitating a large group, the foundational aspects of the process work. I wholeheartedly recommend the training.
Ivan Kent
Ivan Kent
A very engaging training in group facilitation
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I attended the group facilitation course some months ago and found it highly engaging and relevant to my work. A very participatory method - I took away some tools which I could use in different settings. The training itself was also excellent - a very positive experience, the trainer took time to understand people's motivations. I hope to develop my skills with ICA further.
Hannah Greenwood
Hannah Greenwood
Foundational Focused Conversation Method is life-changing
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
Very experienced trainers and facilitators using versatile and well-founded methodologies. Their foundational Focused Conversation Method is life-changing. Once understood and practised, it can be implemented in seemingly any situation, making conversations less confrontational, easier & more productive, and participants genuinely understanding of each other. ICA:UK trainers and facilitators are so comfortable with and confident in their tool that they are unfazed by difficult situations and questions. I cannot recommend ICA:UK highly enough.
Jo Parker
Jo Parker
Group facilitation methods - highly recommended
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I recently attended a 2-day group facilitation methods course having been a participant in a workshop using the methods. The combination of the excellent training (well-paced, engaging) and the methods themselves (robust, helpful) make these courses a must for anyone seeking to boost their facilitation skills and work with groups to achieve consensual outcomes. The quality of the training means you can start pretty much immediately putting the ideas in to practice, which I have done. It just works!
Bogdan Grigore
Bogdan Grigore
I attended Group Facilitation Methods…
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I attended Group Facilitation Methods in december 2019. It was a very nice experience, a great training and a good start for me to feel more confidence in starting using facilitation
Amy
Amy
Practical and engaging facilitation training
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
As a novice to facilitation, I found the two day Group Facilitation Methods course extremely helpful. The trainer was highly knowledgeable, engaging and encouraging, and both days flew by. Whilst there was a lot of information to take in, there were so many hands-on opportunities to practice new techniques that I did not feel overwhelmed. Taking part in this course gave me the confidence to facilitate our service user forum, so thank you to ICA:UK and their trainers for all their help.
Maeve Lankford
Maeve Lankford
Superb training every time with ICA-UK
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I have undertaken a number of programmes with ICA-UK, including Focused Conversations, Consensus Workshop and Action Planning. I found the training to be excellent: comprehensive in what's covered, excellent workbooks and I left feeling like I knew how to use the methods. Perhaps the real test however is the extent to which I have used these methods, repeatedly, in the years since the training. Both as an in-house trainer and now as an external facilitator and consultant, I use these methods frequently with a wide range of audiences, including senior management teams, research centres, department teams and community groups. The methods always work! In recent times, I can also attest to the ongoing support and back up that ICA-UK provide to their 'trainees' - it is unsurpassed in my experience.
Perry Seymour
Perry Seymour
ICA:UK training Group Facilitation Methods
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I recently attended the Group Facilitation Methods course in London and found it to be a really great course. The trainer was skilled, experienced and effective. The objectives of the course closely matched my own professional development objectives. And, I learned two new and interesting ways to facilitate groups! There was lots of time for learning, questioning and practicing. I look forward to my next ICA:UK course!
Joyce Matthews
Joyce Matthews
Valuable Professional Development
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011 Read More
I attended the ICA:UK Group Facilitation Methods in Edinburgh this year. It was one of the most worthwhile professional development courses I have ever been on. It was led by Martin Gilbraith, a highly experienced facilitator, who managed the group well and explained as well as modelled all the concepts and practices over the two days. The impact of this programme is that I have used the techniques I learned in a variety of different situations. I am now recognising the ORID structure in a whole range of contexts and using the consensus workshop method to support different groups I facilitate. I would thoroughly recommend this programme and look forward to attending my next ICA:UK course.
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