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In Today's Worldmore people work in teams, but team leaders and members sometimes lack the tools or skills to make their teams function at their peak. Perhaps your organization has worked hard to build diversity. Now you need the skills and open forums to be sure diverse views are invited in, heard, honored and worked with, so that your work teams can make use of everyone's best thinking.

  • Does your team need strategic planning or goal-setting to help you move from vision to action?
  • Would you like your meetings to be more productive, efficient, and be able to deal with the real issues?
  • Do you need help finding common ground?
  • Is there an impossible-to-solve problem you would like to make headway on?
  • Would you like to improve the communication among your team members?
  • Do you feel torn betwee n advocating and listening?
  • Are your team members in conflict?
  • Do you sometimes feel the need to turn to a skilled, neutral outside party for help?

Finding Common Ground

All of these are common group problems. With more than fifty years' experience working with a broad range of organizations, Alpha Institute consultants can help your group solve problems like these and move from frustration to success. As full-service group process consultants, we specialize in group facilitation and consensus building.

Our work with groups helps them to:

  • find their own solutions to problems
  • tap into the best thinking of their members
  • improve participation and morale
  • inspire greater commitment
  • strengthen communication and encourage teamwork
  • foster a climate of mutual respect and trust
  • make clearer, better decisions in less time

Alpha Institute practitioners are experienced and versatile. Working both together and individually, we offer a complete range of group process services including facilitation, training, mediation and consulting, and can combine offerings such as training and facilitation within one engagement, as needed.

Focusing Group Wisdom

Experience with a wide range of groups and topics enables us to handle your meeting with skill and confidence, whether it involves strong emotions on a hot issue or requires creative problem solving to work with an "impossible-to-solve" problem. Experience with a variety of meeting formats, from the very structured to the very unstructured, enables us to design a meeting format to meet your group's needs. In all formats, we seek to integrate the head and heart-creating a safe climate for sharing while making the best use of the group's time to make effective decisions.

Our facilitation expertise includes:

  • small and large meetings, up to 600 participants
  • strategic planning and goal setting
  • landmark group decisions
  • community building
  • retreats

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Empowering Skill Development

Alpha Institute brings our years of experience into training. We teach workshops from 90 minutes to six days in length and from introductory to advanced levels.

Workshops include:

  • introductory evening presentations
  • "The Power of Unity," a weekend introductory workshop on consensus decision making and meeting facilitation
  • "The Art of Facilitation: A Six-Day Intensive Workshop," taught on retreat in the Coast Range of rural Oregon
  • advanced facilitation workshops
  • observation and feedback on existing group meeting process
  • training in peer listening, minute taking and other group processes

We can also create workshops custom-designed to your organization's needs on topics such as communication and team building.

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Healing the Rifts

While consensus works to build agreement "up front," providing a firm foundation for future decision-making, sometimes conflicts arise. Our practitioners also bring their listening and facilitation skills to work with conflict:

  • untangling disagreement in a group, or between individuals within a group, workplace or community
  • supporting individuals in resolving conflicts together
  • training groups in peer listening / conflict resolution process.

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Building Organizational Effectiveness

Alpha Institute's consulting services bring together our full r epertoire of group process services tailored to your organization's needs, plus consultation, in the configuration that will best meet your organization's needs. Our approach to consulting enables us to assess your situation and design a facilitated process that will help your organization bring its own wisdom forward to solve specific problems.

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Consensus and Facilitation Workshops

Alpha Institute offers a variety of consensus and facilitation workshops from three-hour introductory seminars to six-day intensives and weekend advanced workshops.

Weekend Introductory Workshops

Our weekend introductory workshop presents the essentials of consensus and facilitation which is then expanded upon in the six-day intensive. Learn how the consensus process can best work for you.

Six-Day Intensive
with Caroline Estes and Lysbeth Borie

Our six day intensive workshops offer a comprehensive introduction to consensus and facilitation for those new to the process, as well as an opportunity for experienced facilitators to hone their skills. If you join us for a workshop, you will gain a firm grounding in:

  • the elements of consensus, and when and how to use them
  • the history and development of consensus decision making
  • the philosophy and values behind consensus and facilitation
  • techniques for effective facilitation, including agenda building and working with difficult personalities and situations
  • relevance of conflict resolution and mediation

After observing consensus facilitation at a meeting, you will have an opportunity to practice facilitation of a role-played meeting, as well as evaluating facilitation of both meetings and receiving feedback on yourself as a facilitator. By the end of the workshop you will have the skills to:

  • make an introductory presentation of consensus and facilitation to a group in which you are involved
  • facilitate effective meetings at an intermediate level
  • incorporate the spirit of consensus into your work with groups and individuals whether working specifically by consensus or not

If you would like further information regarding our our workshops or seminars, please contact us via phone or email.

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