Convergent Facilitation

One of the many things I love about Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is the people. I studied Convergent Facilitation (CF) with NVC trainer Miki Kashtan and she is nothing short of a powerhouse of courage, vulnerability and a woman of straight-talking and action.

Convergent Facilitation is a means whereby people come together to make decisions, often very difficult decisions.

Scarcity, Separation and Powerlessness

In her book on Convergent Facilitation, The Highest Common Denominator she says scarcity, separation and powerlessness are the three pillars of our structures and consciousness. Miki writes, “…these are the biggest obstacles to convergence. This is why I specifically want the experience of the decision-making process to be the exact opposite: multiplicity of options, connection, and freedom and power. This intentionality is directly built into the (CF) process…

First, creating a shared list of needs and principles is a way of overcoming separation. Doing it, and doing it consciously, brings people in the group together. It literally gives the message that people are not separate from each other; that they are engaged together in this task. That creates magic because it allows people to let go of having to hold on to something that’s important to them.

Second, by continually asking what strategies can attend to all the needs, this process generates an experience of abundance for people. Instead of the habitual either/or, people realize that they have more options than just the one that works for them and the one that works for someone else. They recognize, even if slowly and without conscious clarity, that they are creating new options together.

Third, by continually inviting dissent into the room, people learn that they are not powerless. They realize that they are part of a whole, and that their own voice matters. They begin to believe that they can shape the outcome instead of being forced into something that they have no say about. Although in theory people always have the power to choose, the risk of consequences makes true choice beyond the reach of most of us most of the time.

Page 221, The Highest Common Denominator

I am inspired, encouraged and deeply connected to the intentionality of ‘the experience of the decision-making process to offer a multiplicity of options, connection, and freedom and power.  And, I would add, for all.

We need this skill now, more than ever.

 

 

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