Facilitation

"The focus provided by the facilitator helped us stay on track and achieve our goal for the day."

Could your organization or community group use some help with problem-solving, team-building, or resolving a conflict?

Increase your group's effectiveness by inviting a skilled facilitator from RNW.

RNW's facilitation program offers inclusive, collaborative group processes for diverse organizations. We work with community-based groups, non-profit organizations, businesses and government agencies, providing services such as:

  • Problem-solving and collaborative decision-making meetings
  • Group mediation to resolve a conflict
  • Team-building activities
  • Strategic planning
  • Dialogue and deliberation processes
  • Skills training in communication, effective group processes, intercultural communication and conflict resolution
  • Coaching/mentoring community or group leaders

We are able to serve some groups at no cost under our contract with the City of Portland. For other groups, we work on a fee-for-service basis. We offer a 20% discount for non-profit organizations.

We're happy to work with you to create a facilitation process that will work best for your group's particular needs. For more information, to determine whether your group might qualify for no-cost services, or to obtain a quote for paid services, please contact our Facilitation Program Coordinator, Teri Pierson, or call her at 503-595-4890 x105.

 

FAQ's

1.  How do I know if my facilitation request falls under your City contract or fee for service program?

Our contract with the City of Portland allows us to provide free facilitation services to four types of groups:

  • Portland's neighborhood associations and coalitions
  • Programs receiving Diversity and Civic Leadership program funding from Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement, and sometimes other organizations serving communities that are underrepresented in the City's public involvement processes
  • Groups referred by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement for problem solving and/or Good Neighbor Agreement development

Please contact us to discuss whether your group might qualify, or to obtain a free estimate for facilitation on a fee-for-service basis.

2.  How much does a facilitation cost?

If your group does not fall under our City of Portland contract, we can work with you individually to develop a free estimate for fee-for-service facilitation. Our bid will cover preparation, including any meetings with you or members of your organization; any meetings we facilitate or mediate; and any work we agree to do after meetings, such as preparing notes or drafting agreements.

We can work with you to determine which facilitation services would provide the greatest benefit to your group and fit within your budget. We would be happy to talk this through with you to create an estimate.

3.  Who will facilitate and what are their qualifications?

Our program coordinator, Teri Pierson, has been working with groups for nearly 15 years, including working as a third-party facilitator for the past nine. She has a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University, where she focused on facilitation and intercultural conflict resolution. Her additional training includes strategic planning, public policy facilitation, using theater and spatial activities to empower groups to solve problems, and mindful conflict facilitation for highly charged topics.

Resolutions Northwest also has skilled facilitators among our volunteers, interns and other paid staff. This allows us to match your group with the facilitator(s) who will best meet your needs. Some of the expertise within our organization includes:

  • Public policy expertise
  • Neighborhood association experience
  • Experience in various systems, such as health care, education, public agencies, small and large businesses, non-profits and grassroots community groups
  • Mediation skills
  • Non-violent communication training
  • Consensus process expertise
  • Experience working with diverse groups
  • Interracial dialogue facilitation experience
  • Cultural diversity (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, etc.) and a constant commitment to increase cultural competence
  • Bilingual facilitators for Spanish, and sometimes for other languages

4.  Can you provide multiple facilitators for our event?

One strength of our program is our ability to provide multiple facilitators when needed. For example, some large events benefit from breaking the participants into small groups, with an experienced facilitator available for each. For other events, it is useful to have an additional person or team to take notes and/or play other support roles.

5.  Is the cost all inclusive or will there be additional fees charged for assessment, preparation and follow-up?

Our bid for fee-for-service facilitation is all inclusive. We will let you know the charges before we begin so that there are no surprise fees.

6.  What do your former clients say about your facilitation services?

"I really appreciated how the facilitator created and held space for us to be open and honest.  He was a good facilitator in that he paid attention to where we needed to go as a group and provided tools for us to get there."

Thank you so much for working with the [board] over the past several months. I think the meeting went really well, and I received positive feedback from other attendees, too. I know that working with you enhanced my communications toolkit and reinvigorated my commitment to positive communication, and I expect I'm not the only one. I really appreciate the time and energy all of you brought to this process - it was totally great to work with you.

7.  Do you have bilingual facilitators?

We have bilingual facilitators who can facilitate groups in Spanish and sometimes in other languages, depending upon the service availability. If you provide a skilled interpreter, we can also work with groups that need to use more than one language at the table.

8.  What's a Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA)?

When people are concerned about a crime or nuisance issue in their area, they may come together to develop a Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA). The GNA process brings together the people who are most affected by the issue-this may include nearby residents, business owners and property owners as well as representatives from law enforcement, crime prevention, the neighborhood association, the area business association and other community groups. At the GNA meetings, our facilitators help the group to clarify their concerns and work together to identify solutions that everyone can live with. It is also a good chance for the group to build lines of communication that will be crucial when issues arise in the future.

Sometimes members of a community come together pro-actively when they anticipate a change or a challenging situation. One common example is when a shelter or other residential facility is coming into the neighborhood. In this case, the GNA is a chance to anticipate and plan for the possible impact to the neighborhood.

9.  What experience does the organization have working with communities of color and other diverse populations?

Resolutions Northwest is committed to supporting and advancing community conflict resolution strategies and leadership development in collaboration with community groups and agencies serving the increasingly diverse communities of Portland.

(RNW board initiative, 2008)

RNW is experienced at facilitating groups that are internally diverse; that is, groups whose members come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and many other areas. Our goal in working with diverse groups is to ensure that everyone has a voice and to help group members increase their understanding of one another - helping them to be more effective as a group and more satisfied as individual group members.

We are also increasing our capacity to work with culturally specific groups. Our program coordinator and others have experience facilitating groups in various communities of color, sexual minority groups, and groups with a high representation of people with disabilities. We do not claim to have culturally specific knowledge of every group in our community, but we are ready to learn and to be flexible. And, since it is a goal of the City of Portland to increase the public participation of underrepresented groups, our contract with the City allows us to work with some culturally specific groups at no cost.

We welcome you to contact us to find our capacity for working with your group. We will talk with you about your group's needs and our own capacity for meeting those needs. If Resolutions Northwest does not seem like a good match, perhaps we can help to point you in another direction.

10.  We have a limited budget for facilitation - will you work with us to design a process which will meet our needs but not break our budget?

One of our skills is designing effective group processes. We can talk with you and give you various options, and you can choose what is right for your group and your budget.

11.  How do I explore whether this is the right process for our situation?

Give us a call or send us an e-mail. There's no charge for our brief intake process. You can give us a description of your situation, hear some ideas from us, and decide how you want to proceed.

For more information, contact Teri Pierson, Facilitation Program Coordinator, or call her at 503-595-4890 x105.