People act out of fear
of not having enough to feel secure and out of ignorance
of the consequences of their actions, not out of intentional
malice. Five E's Unlimited assists communities
who are genuinely committed to sustainable types of change
by encouraging their reaching a critical mass of stakeholder
involvement. To reach this level of commitment usually
requires groups to first experience other less successful
facilitative processes that usually conclude with increasing
community apathy and only short-term action.
In its community work, Five
E's believes that resolving
conflicts is about choices
and relationships, those with which we free ourselves
and those with which we imprison ourselves. To
change anything, we must, through the choices we make,
reach beyond where we are, beyond where we feel safe.
No biological short-cuts, technological quick-fixes,
or political hype can mend what is broken. Dramatic,
fundamental change is necessary if we are really concerned
with bettering our quality of life.
We provide opportunities
for public participation practice toward creating authentic
choices and establishing collective agreement on actions
according to a groups self-defined values. We
promote the transformative approach to our facilitation
practice because it is aimed
at empowering the individual while engendering a collective
shared problems according to the group’s self-defined
values. With common ground established, issues are
more readily resolved
and change more easily organized and implemented. Transformative
Facilitation encouragess a sense of accomplishment
and belonging through shared learning and dialogue
in a process
self-realization, self-definition, and self-determination.
Through appropriately facilitated communication, the
many individual perceptions are then coordinated and
into a collective vision.
Facilitation has the potential to engender moral
growth in people by helping them -- in the very midst
of conflict -- to wrestle with difficult inner and
outer circumstances and bridge human differences. Five
to facilitation is thus, intuitively transformative
because it seems much more important to cure the cause
and eliminate the symptom than to merely alleviate
the symptom without touching its cause.
the problem-solving approach to conflict resolution in
strategic planning emphasizes the capacity to find solutions
that generate mutually acceptable
settlements, almost always for immediate benefit with minimal
long-lasting effects and almost always addressing symptoms
rather than causes.
In our client
work we have found that the private, non-judgmental, non-coercive
character of the transformative approach to facilitating
group dialogue can provide disputants
a safe haven in which to humanize themselves, despite
out as fierce adversaries. This safety helps people feel
and express varying degrees of understanding and concern
for one another as they grow toward greater compassion,
despite their disagreement, through a better understanding
of one another's perspectives.
Our task in
Transformative Facilitation is to help parties in group
dialogue understand that attitudinal and behavioral change
key to resolving differences of opinion. Our transformative
approach works because we believe people empower themselves
their ability to control their own lives in order to create
a more fulfilling existence through mutual efforts to resolve
shared problems. In this way community development succeeds
based on the belief that through collective learning, understanding,
and action people can successfully resolve their issues
as well as organize and implement change.