e use two tools to discern client needs.

The first is a simple tool that helps with a simple request. You have the opportunity to practice with this tool in our “Facilitating Client Collaboration” course.

1. Basic Data: Please describe your situation for me.
2. Request: What do you think the group needs?
What are you asking for?
What outcomes do you want?
3. Past History: What have you done before? What was the result?
4. Participants: Who are the participants you expect?
5. Stakeholders: Who else will be affected by the result?
6. Other data: Is there anything else I need to know about the situation?

7. Focus Statement: From what I hear you say, what you need is…. For the group of …. The time needed is …… and the focus of our work will be …… The central question is…. Does this make sense to you? Any questions?

(You may have to enlarge this page to see the detail in this image of the worksheet.)

The second tool we use is a deeper process for interviewing a client about that they need, nicknamed the “Design Eye”. It is useful for complicated situations, and for designing more complex facilitation events. Steps 1-3 of the outside sections hold questions for interviewing the client, while Step 4 in the the middle circle is the analysis of what these mean for the intervention, and lead to the design stage, Step 5, at the bottom of the “eye”. You have the opportunity to practice using this tool in our signature “Art and Science of Participation” course.

1.Assessing the Current Situation:
What do we need to address?
The organization
Topic and concerns
History, trends and forces
Stakeholders and participants
Desired results, presenting request

2.Understanding the Change Dynamics:
What fundamental change needs to happen?
Key challenges
Group struggle
Operating images
Required breakthrough

3.Clarifying Images of the Future
How will this work be carried forward?
External impact
Changes in the group
Design factors

This information will lead to a stage of
4.Discerning the Focus
What are we trying to achieve?
Key change factors and image shifts
Rational Aims
Experiential Aims
Central Question
Contradictions to be addressed

Only after this analysis is stage
4.Creating a Working Design for the session
What processes will enable the group to meet its objectives?
Record the aims and central question
Arrange the flow of process and tools
Plan the detailed procedures

(You may have to enlarge this page to see the detail in this image of the Design Eye.)

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