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Facilitation Techniques for Achieving Consensus

Well-facilitated meetings produce high-quality, tangible results. Effective group facilitation transforms conflict into common agreement and naysayers into solution ambassadors. Learn powerful techniques for reaching consensus on challenging business problems. With secrets from a seasoned practitioner, robust case studies and numerous hands-on activities, participants leave this course ready to facilitate stakeholder teams through challenging projects.

Many people in business master the required technical skills, but struggle to learn soft skills such as facilitation. This course equips you with new tools and techniques to facilitate productive meetings.


Joe Goss

Joe Goss

Joe Goss is a senior business analyst and project manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Information Technology (DoIT). He reduces project costs and improves outcomes for customers by eliciting, validating, and communicating requirements. Joe also serves as a ... read more

Who Should Attend

Individuals who are called upon to organize and lead meetings that produce tangible results.

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Become more comfortable in group facilitator role
  • Utilize the incredible power of a stakeholder team
  • Serve and lead stakeholders in requirement elicitation meetings
  • Use proven facilitation techniques
  • Develop confidence in your own facilitation capability
  • Build trust with stakeholders
  • Prevent difficult situations from arising
  • Mediate conflict about positions to find mutual interests
  • Build positive professional relationships


Course Outline/Topics

Facilitation – Why It Matters

  • What is group facilitation?
  • How do groups outperform individuals? The wisdom of pool knowledge
  • Uses for facilitation
  • What successful facilitation looks like

 Facilitation in Practice

  • Case study – a challenging business problem (labs)
  • Identifying and understanding stakeholders
  • Road map for facilitated meetings
  • Define meeting ground rules (lab)
  • Ask great questions
  • Mission impossible (lab)
  • Develop a business solution proposal
  • Derive mutual interests from divergent positions (lab)
  • Crowdsource a solution vision statement (lab)
  • Identify critical proposal features
  • Ten essential elements in facilitation activities


Leading a Facilitated Meeting

  • Introduction to Servant Leadership (lab)
  • Expectations of a facilitator
  • Responsibilities and challenges
  • Minimizing nervousness
  • Tips for engaging team members
  • Case study – Turn and face the problem (lab)
  • Criteria and methods for evaluating meetings

Managing Conflict

  • The Conflict Cycle
  • My conflict (lab)
  • An ounce of prevention…
  • Staff Team Stuck in the “Gunk” (lab)
  • Factors contributing to team effectiveness
  • Facilitate conflict – crucial conversations
  • Handling disruptive attendees
  • When progress falters
  • What can go wrong (lab)
  • What if interventions

How to Grow as a Facilitator

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Why are you passionate? (lab)
  • Feedback is powerful medicine
  • Self-evaluation – SWOT analysis (lab)
  • Evaluate the instructor’s facilitation (lab)
  • Facilitation opportunities (lab)

Catalog of 17 Critical Techniques



All sessions are Face-to-Face unless otherwise noted.

Date: Mar 30-31

Time: 8:30am-4:30pm

Location: UWM School of Continuing Education

Instructor: Joe Goss

Fee: $895

CEUs: 1.4, PDCs: 14, PD Hours: 14, CDUs: 14

Enrollment Limit: 24

Program Number: 5027-12575

Registration Deadline: Mon., Mar. 30

Session has been cancelled.