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The Highest Common Denominator
Using Convergent Facilitation to Reach Breakthrough Collaborative Decisions
by Miki Kashtan View author's profile page

Overview


What if people -- even longtime enemies -- could transform conflicts into creative dilemmas they feel motivated to solve together? What if employees could leave a meeting empowered and with a joint sense of purpose? In The Highest Common Denominator: Using Convergent Facilitation to Reach Breakthrough Collaborative Decisions, Miki Kashtan introduces a novel decision-making process called Convergent Facilitation that builds trust from the beginning, surfaces concerns and addresses them, and turns conflicts into creative dilemmas that groups feel energized to solve together. This highly effective process has been used successfully around the world to resolve problems and teach people how to collaborate without sacrificing productivity. 

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Description


The Highest Common Denominator moves through three phases of a process that brings groups to outcomes that are profoundly collaborative and genuinely supported by all. Through vivid case studies and practical examples, the book explains:

· how to guide people towards solutions that integrate everyone's needs and concerns without requiring compromise;

· how to keep people on track with the task at hand;

· how to invite dissent and engage with it productively; and

· how to attend to the power differences that so often interfere with collaboration.  

One case study explores the revision of child custody laws in Minnesota. Lawmakers had been struggling for years to write new legislation that would satisfy stakeholders. When Miki began working with them, many regarded each other with deep mistrust and believed no new laws could be created. The process ended with the creation of legislation that was passed near-unanimously by the state legislature.

In workplace settings, Miki explores how companies can truly achieve a collaborative culture, where employees feel heard and are motivated. Stuart Thorn, retired President and CEO of the Southwire Company, wanted to achieve a truly collaborative culture for his multi-billion-dollar company, all the while he was experiencing friction between division managers and leadership. After bringing Miki in personally to bring his own team toward convergence, he reflects that after reading her book, "I can see that her ability to draw out insights about the inner workings of organizations is not effortless at all, but rather based on a very conscious, thoughtful, and deliberate approach carefully developed over many years of practice and experimentation. This is good news. It means that Miki's skills are transferable."

Ultimately, this book is not just about working with groups. It is an entire re-examination and affirmation of the human heart. Facilitation involves transparency on the part of the one leading it, as well as a deep faith and hope in how even impossible-seeming differences can transform into unity.


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About the author


Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. She is inspired by the role of visionary leadership in shaping a livable future, and works toward that vision by sharing the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) through mediation, meeting facilitation, consulting, and training for organizations and for committed individuals. Convergent Facilitation is the process she created to apply Nonviolent Communication principles to multi-stakeholder group decision-making. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California-Berkeley, is the author of three books about the implementation of Nonviolent Communication, and speaks internationally about NVC practices.
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Book details

Genre:SOCIAL SCIENCE

Subgenre:Human Services

Language:English

Pages:340

Format:Paperback

eBook ISBN:9780990007364

Paperback ISBN:9780990007357


Overview


What if people -- even longtime enemies -- could transform conflicts into creative dilemmas they feel motivated to solve together? What if employees could leave a meeting empowered and with a joint sense of purpose? In The Highest Common Denominator: Using Convergent Facilitation to Reach Breakthrough Collaborative Decisions, Miki Kashtan introduces a novel decision-making process called Convergent Facilitation that builds trust from the beginning, surfaces concerns and addresses them, and turns conflicts into creative dilemmas that groups feel energized to solve together. This highly effective process has been used successfully around the world to resolve problems and teach people how to collaborate without sacrificing productivity. 

Read more

Description


The Highest Common Denominator moves through three phases of a process that brings groups to outcomes that are profoundly collaborative and genuinely supported by all. Through vivid case studies and practical examples, the book explains:

· how to guide people towards solutions that integrate everyone's needs and concerns without requiring compromise;

· how to keep people on track with the task at hand;

· how to invite dissent and engage with it productively; and

· how to attend to the power differences that so often interfere with collaboration.  

One case study explores the revision of child custody laws in Minnesota. Lawmakers had been struggling for years to write new legislation that would satisfy stakeholders. When Miki began working with them, many regarded each other with deep mistrust and believed no new laws could be created. The process ended with the creation of legislation that was passed near-unanimously by the state legislature.

In workplace settings, Miki explores how companies can truly achieve a collaborative culture, where employees feel heard and are motivated. Stuart Thorn, retired President and CEO of the Southwire Company, wanted to achieve a truly collaborative culture for his multi-billion-dollar company, all the while he was experiencing friction between division managers and leadership. After bringing Miki in personally to bring his own team toward convergence, he reflects that after reading her book, "I can see that her ability to draw out insights about the inner workings of organizations is not effortless at all, but rather based on a very conscious, thoughtful, and deliberate approach carefully developed over many years of practice and experimentation. This is good news. It means that Miki's skills are transferable."

Ultimately, this book is not just about working with groups. It is an entire re-examination and affirmation of the human heart. Facilitation involves transparency on the part of the one leading it, as well as a deep faith and hope in how even impossible-seeming differences can transform into unity.


Read more

About the author


Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. She is inspired by the role of visionary leadership in shaping a livable future, and works toward that vision by sharing the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) through mediation, meeting facilitation, consulting, and training for organizations and for committed individuals. Convergent Facilitation is the process she created to apply Nonviolent Communication principles to multi-stakeholder group decision-making. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California-Berkeley, is the author of three books about the implementation of Nonviolent Communication, and speaks internationally about NVC practices.
Read more


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