Focused Conversation Model

A while ago, after a few courses requiring the use of the focused conversation model for reflective writing, I wanted to learn more as it seemed to me that it would have some interesting workplace learning applications.

What I did not expect to find was that is actual a model that was designed for the workplace! The main reference book on this topic is:

Stanfield, B., & Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs. (2000). The art of focused conversation: 100 ways to access group wisdom in the workplace. Gabriola Island, B.C: New Society Publishers.

This book is a great reference guide to facilitating discussion and meetings using the focused conversation model. Along with a clear outline of the different stages (eg. Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, and Decisional), it also outlines the different roles of stakeholders in the discussion. It offers guidance, tips, strategies, and advice for facilitating in a wide variety of different workplace contexts. As a reference book, it offers a sample of 100 different types of workplace conversations with suggestions on how to facilitate these conversations with the model.

I have not personally used this model in the workplace yet, but I think it would be a vary efficient way to structure meetings, particularly those meetings where some type of learning needs to occur. I think this would be very useful for analyzing the success/failure of a project. So often when we examine these situation, the focus is on facts only. The reflective component of this model allows for reactions and emotions, which as much as we try, cannot be avoided. The interpretive then allows for both the facts and emotions to be synthesized to an integrated position, with the decisional being a result of this synthesized view.


One thought on “Focused Conversation Model

  1. Thank you for bringing that book to my attention. I’m going to order that and make it the next one i read. another book i have used at the office to help with creative thinking is: Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers


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