"Creative Dialogues" is a new name for work I've been doing for many years. With Creative Dialogues, I bring together my skills and experience facilitating groups using creative writing, theater, participatory research, and restorative justice methodologies. Creative Dialogues help people very different from each other get to know each other better and make progress together with their goals and challenges.
Facilitation is about more than timekeeping and agenda-building. In any meeting or group gathering a good facilitator will strive to be aware of the whole space and everyone in it. Who’s dominating the conversation? Who’s not participating in any way? Who’s participating in subtle ways? Are we staying on topic? Are we understanding each other? Are we coming to a consensus if we need to? Can we hear each other? Do we need a break? Should a window be opened? A door closed? A facilitator is there for the group, not for themselves and the best facilitators are able to take themselves completely out of the conversation and help the group come to conclusions everyone will accept and in which they’ll see their own contributions.
These outcomes aren’t always achievable by direct talking around a table. This is especially true when individuals are very different from each other, with divergent points of view, with varying language skills and/or educational backgrounds, some with more power than others, with differences that come with prejudice and bias, etc.. There are many techniques that can help with these challenging dynamics. Art and creativity can enable a group to level the playing field and grow understanding in indirect ways. Through facilitation techniques that ask us to create together and respond to each other creatively, understanding grows naturally, not through debate or winning arguments, and we are more able to see viewpoints different from our own.
Let me know if a Creative Dialogue might be helpful for your group. Please contact me to arrange a free 20-minute phone consultation.
More information here.
I look forward to hearing from you.
- Peggy Simmons