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What is Results Based Facilitation (RBF)?

Results Based Facilitation[1] is a specific, hands-on method that enables people to practice the skills for getting different and better results in their meetings and conversations. The method is useful in one-on-one conversations, small groups, and large groups whether you are a meeting participant or meeting facilitator.



1) Hold Roles

Become aware of how people hold roles in meetings and choose to develop the skill of holding the neutral role (when beneficial) as a participant or as an authorized facilitator.

  • Use Boundary of Authority Role and Task (B/ART) to define and differentiate roles
  • Use B/ART to understand group dynamics and achieve meeting results
  • Hold neutral facilitator role
  • Give work back to the group

2) Hold Conversations

Become aware that conversations are the focus of collaborative work and to choose to participate in conversations with an appreciation of and openness to other people and their point of view.

  • Demonstrate appreciative openness
  • Use Context Statements, Effective Questions, Listen Fors

3) Hold Groups

Become aware that groups are composed of diverse individuals. As a result, they choose to understand each individualís perspectives, preferences, and interests using methods to facilitate and support groups to have one conversation at a time.

  • Use flip chart to display groupís work
  • Sequence, Summarize & Synthesizes
  • Check-in and Check-Out

4) Hold 3R Meetings

Become aware of the structure and process of conversations and choose to master and apply methods that will help you design and execute meetings that produce results.

  • Use concept of Relationships + Resources = Results (3R) to design meetings and in meetings to achieve results.

5) Hold Mental Models

Become aware of the range of mental models and choose to master and apply mental models that contribute to moving groups from talk to accountable, aligned action.

  • Use Proposal Based Decision Making to move groups from talk to action
  • Use conversations to develop convergence
  • Name and address barriers to convergence
  • Make and help others make action commitments
  • Observe and respond to group dynamics
  • Assess and address conflict

6) Hold Action and Results

Become aware, that in meetings, groups can commit to aligned action and choose to work toward achieving meeting results that lead to results within programs, organizations, and communities.

  • Be accountable in role for contributions to results
  • Use RBF skills to work collaboratively to accelerate progress toward results

Conceptual Model

The conceptual model for RBF integrates approaches from Heifetz[2] (adaptive leadership), the White Institute (interaction of person, role, and system), Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (use of type preferences to understand differential impact and to respond to group dynamics), Ury, Fisher and Patton[3] (interest based negotiation), Moore[4] (conflict resolution), and Senge5 (systems thinking). At the core of RBF is the concept of results accountability. RBF is compatible with most results frameworks, and is particularly suitable for supporting the implementation of Friedmanís Results Accountability Framework.[6]

The following hypotheses integrate these approaches into a facilitative model of how groups move from talk to action that produce results:

  • The work of meetings occurs through conversations and can be thought of as a series of conversations that create meaning and movement to action and results.
  • Group conversations can be designed, prepared for, and flexibly supported by someone with a set of listening and speaking skills.
  • A facilitator who holds a neutral role, working in support of the group is a key element of success.

RBF is a competency-based approach to participating in and facilitating meetings in order to get results. The six RBF competencies used by participants and facilitators move groups from talk to action that produces results within programs, organizations and communities. This is done by focusing on meeting results and by developing an accountability framework for commitments to align action.

The central organizing concept of RBF is that of achieving results and accountability for results.

End Notes

  1. Excepts with permission from Jolie Bain Pillsbury, PhD. (2013). Results Based Facilitation Moving From Talk to Action, An Introduction. Sherbrooke Consulting Inc. www.sherbrookeconsulting.com
  2. Heifetz. (1994). Leadership Without Easy Answers. Belknap Press.
  3. Fisher, Ury, and Patton. (1991). Getting to Yes (2nd Edition). Penguin Books.
  4. Moore. (1986). The Mediations Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict. Jossey-Bass.
  5. Senge. (1990). The Fifth Discipline the Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Doubleday.
  6. Friedman. (2005). Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough. Trafford Publishing.

With appreciation to Building Changes for creating this summary: http://www.BuildingChanges.org