Say your organization or client needs to bring together multiple stakeholder views. As the facilitator, your fundamental challenge working with diverse boundaries and perspectives will be how to overcome partial views arising from different disciplines, departments, sectors, and participant diversity. This takes time.
When designing meetings and sessions around complex topics, adopt conversation and dialogic methods that foster respectful communication and collective learning across the boundaries of:
- Different (and partial) knowledge bases/perspectives.
- Different cultures, beliefs, values and acceptable practices and behaviours.
- Different vocabulary, language, and meaning / interpretation of ideas and facts.
- Non-existent or inadequate links/ connections between units, divisions, groups, organizations.
Whereas the convenor will often be under enormous pressure to make decisions and act fast, the reality is that diverse stakeholders are unlikely to support a chosen path of action without their full participation, mutual understanding, and inclusive solutions. When engaging across diverse perspectives, go slow at first to build common ground and a shared based of information. Invest in fostering trust-based relationships from which innovative and supported solutions can emerge and be implemented.