A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
Encourage different points of view.
Sometimes changes to proposals are
Summarize as you go, such as,
suggested during the discussion, these
 Joanne, Ed, and Tiffany Amber all
may be called amendments.  Some 
spoke in favor of the proposal to write
times they're minor (change a word of
a letter to the editor, does anyone think
the letter) or major (hold a press con 
it's a bad idea?;  and
ference instead of sending a letter to
the editor).  If it's a major change, treat
If there is not much discussion, but you
it like a proposal, get clear, discuss
think it's a hot issue, people may not be
change, decide on change.  Once the
feeling comfortable talking, or they
group has either accepted or rejected
may feel confused.  Have them turn to
the amendment, go back to the consid 
someone next to them and talk for a
eration of the original proposal (which
few minutes, before trying whole
may now be a revised version);
group discussion.  If lots of people
want to speak, you can have them talk
If you can get clear on the conflict, per 
in pairs first too.
haps a new creative solution that will
meet all needs can be found.  Some 
times this can happen on the spot, or
Step 3: Try and Resolve Differences
sometimes it takes more time.  If there
About the Proposal
is considerable disagreement and not
See the next section on resolving con 
so much time pressure, you may want
flicts   you can use some of these
to ask for a small group of volunteers
principles and techniques;
(representing different viewpoints) to
meet outside the meeting and come
Good communication is key.  Make
back with a new proposal;and 
sure people listen to each other, and
make sure people feel heard.  You can
If only a few people are still debating,
say,  Jeannine, could you say what you
it may be time to decide.  
thought Brian meant?  or  Jeffrey,
what did you mean by  increasing visi 
Step 4: Deciding on the Proposal
bility?    You can summarize points of
agreement and points of difference:   It
Depending on what decision making
sounds like you both think it's a good
structure you use this step will differ
idea to write a letter to the editor, but
slightly.  In consensus you do not vote;
Ali wants to send it to papers in the
instead you can take a straw poll to get
community and Steve just wants it to
a sense of the group;.  
go to the campus paper; 
Sometimes a decision has been made
As a facilitator your role is to help the
implicitly and the discussion has gone
discussion move forward, not lobby for
on to figuring out how to implement
your own point of view.  If you want to
the decision.  It is important to stop and
express an opinion, say,  I'm taking off
make the decision more consciously.
my facilitator's hat, I think we
The facilitator can say,  It seems like
we all agree, let's just check.  So are we
all in favor of ________?  or  Before
we discuss how to do it, let's make sure
M a n a g i n g   Y o u r   G r o u p
M     6 3


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