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 How a facilitator raises the prospects of better conversations

We all want better conversations at work and in other aspects of our lives. Yet you have probably noticed that good conversations don’t break out automatically simply because people get together and talk.

There’s often a good chance that no ideas are exchanged, nothing is any clearer or everyone is bored. Perhaps an argument will break out, or even a fight.

A good conversation is more likely if there’s a good structure. A structure can offer useful rules, such as what to talk about – we are all familiar with an agenda, and there seems nothing strange about that.

As well as delimiting the topic of conversation, it can make sense to have other structural elements in place. For example, the conversation might start with people taking a short turn each to respond to an opening question. These kinds of devices are especially useful: time limits, turn-taking, different phases such as offering new ideas and then deciding from among the ideas offered.

You can learn more about this and other aspects of great facilitation on our Advanced Facilitation course. Details below.

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