Implementation Examples of ToP Facilitation Methods

ToP Facilitation Methods – Implementation Examples

The 2-day ToP Facilitation Methods Workshop demonstrates proven ways to achieve group participation including effective conversations, gaining consensus and motivating action.  Three are three parts to the two-day workshop.

ToP Focused Conversation: provides a context for meaningful communication.  It is used to facilitate group discussions, which allow members to share diverse perspectives in a productive and non-confrontational way.

ToP Consensus Workshop:  facilitates group consensus-based decisions that respect the diversity of perspectives within the group, inspire action and move the group toward joint resolve and action.

ToP Action Planning: is used to plan an event or project.  This process clarifies and delineates the task and aligns the creativity, capabilities, interests, and resources of the group.  The group decides necessary actions, roles, and responsibilities. The process builds trust, support, enthusiasm and consensus. 

The ToP Methods have been taught throughout Florida to several state agencies and grantees. Here are a few of their experiences from past participants.

Health Educators:   ToP has been an essential training for all Health Educators in our county DOH.  Positions including Tobacco Prevention, Sexual Risk Avoidance Education, Healthy Families, Community Health Coordinator and Closing the Gap have attended your sessions and have always returned with knowledge gained. For an educator, the facilitation skills learned enhanced our understanding of how to carry out a session with any theme or topic in a way that encourages participation and enhances discussion and brainstorming. These skills have encouraged skills that are used daily in the classroom and during hands-on activities with our students.  There are so many examples of our team hosting a consensus workshop but I will share the most recent. During our last Community Health Improvement Partners meeting, we encouraged data review and priority selection. By using the consensus workshop process (and even with a sticky wall) the community was able to identify the three priority areas for the newest Community Health Assessment.  Other examples include, employee morale workshops, ball of hope for our PACE-EH workshops and much more!

Our team always encourages other state agencies and DOH partners to participate in a ToP Methods Training to enhance skills in overall ability to reach a diverse target audience.

Teen Pregnancy Curriculum:  I wrote a 32-week teen pregnancy prevention curriculum for a program approved by the State of California. Because California is rather progressive, the state did not support abstinence only curricula as it has been shown to be ineffective. However, what we did find was that the more we could get teens to talk openly about the issues they face, including pressure from peers, boyfriends and girlfriends to be sexually active, the more they reported that they were less likely to engage in risky behaviors. We had the opportunity to add focused conversations to our curriculum and at least get the teens talking about it, their lessons were enhanced. Consensus workshops were used with the teens to follow up on lessons and determine what they will do with the information learned.

Discovery Dating Program:  The Discovery Dating Program was designed by Wise Women Gathering Place, Green Bay, Wisc.  During this program the facilitators use the ToP Methods to:  Explore and clarify personal goals and values, discover character traits of others, and practice decision making. Focused Conversations can be used for reflection.  Using a Focused Conversation allows the group to slow down enough to process information at a conscious level and an opportunity to make a conscious decision.  The Focused Conversation creates a way to facilitate progression through chaos to decisions.  Each opportunity to make a decision, builds a foundation for a future decision.  Using a Consensus Workshop participants can “create” their idea world to identify aspects in life that inspire them.