Group decision making can be a difficult task. Six Rivers draws from a cadre of experienced mediators and facilitators to work with you on a customized decision making plan. We provide meeting rooms, process guides, agenda crafting, decision tracking, logistics and conflict resolution at the right pace for your situation.

Our facilitators all bring a background in mediation. By applying conflict resolution principles, they empower groups to untangle the threads of complex conflicts and build a foundation for more effective communication.  

Types of Facilitation

  • Public engagement projects and open meeting facilitation
  • Goal setting sessions
  • Strategic planning process design and implementation
  • Public dialogue sessions to ensure collaborative decision making processes involving contentious issues

Success Stories

Oregon Health Authority Community Discussions, Baker City & Florence, Oregon:
Six Rivers contracted through Oregon Solutions to facilitate discussions aimed at gathering community input to help guide Oregon Health Authority in developing criteria for an insurance exchange program as part of mandated federal insurance reform.

Mt. Hood National Forest, Parkdale, Oregon:
Six Rivers worked with a variety of stakeholder groups to collaborate and problem solve complex fire response and forest management plans proposed for the wildland urban interface zone near Cooper Spur in the Mt. Hood Forest Service District.

Measure 37, Hood River, Oregon:
Collaborated with Hood River Valley Residence committee and HR County to conduct focus groups and a townhall meeting to address divergent viewpoints on how Measure 37 was expected to affect the county.  Six Rivers worked to create an atmosphere where strong opinions and heated emotions could be shared and heard, bringing people together around common goals.

Wasco County Library District, The Dalles, Oregon:
Strategic planning session aimed at uniting the main branch and five satellite libraries around a common vision on how to implement and allocate funds resulting from the creation of a new tax district that would generate funding for the library.

Future Forum Project – National Scenic Area, Corbet, Oregon and Underwood, Washington:
Facilitated meetings between local residents and US Forest Service National Scenic Area in order to gain community input on how the Scenic Area designation has affected residents throughout the Mid-Columbia Region.

Child Care Partners, The Dalles, Oregon:
Six Rivers led parents, childcare providers, and social service workers in a townhall meeting visioning session.  The session focused on assessing if the needs of working parents were currently being addressed by the childcare services available in Wasco County, as well as what changes might need to happen in order to meet the needs of parents.

Mid-Columbia Medical Center & Providence, White Salmon, Washington & Hood River, Oregon:
Six Rivers facilitated important discussions to help hospital staff brainstorm creative solutions to bring about structural changes that could be made in a highly regulatory environment.

Six Rivers brought together people from different layers of management and frontline staff to address reoccurring issues entrenched within a complex procedural system. These discussions provided the group with an organizational conflict analysis and allowed them to enact changes to improve their workspace.

What to Expect

Stage One: Analysis of the situation

  • Six Rivers staff works with you to understand the case
  • Identify existing decision-making structures
  • Illuminate current group norms
  • Contact and interview all stakeholders

Stage Two: Proposal

  • Six Rivers will draft a proposed work plan for you to review
  • Facilitators will be chosen in a cooperative process based on subject matter expertise as well as timeframes to best meet your needs

Stage Three: Delivery

  • Decide on stakeholders and representation
  • Clarify impact of group decisions and consequences of success
  • Provide summary of outcomes and next steps

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will it cost?
Case analysis is provided free of charge. Different rates apply depending on whether the group is a supporting member of Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center, a non-profit, government entity or corporation. Our standard rate for facilitation is $200/hour for group meetings and $100/hour for individual consultations during the facilitation process. Contact staff for an individual case analysis and quote.

When should I bring in a facilitator?
Facilitate literally means “to make easier.” Intervene means “to enter into an ongoing system of relationships.” Generally it is more difficult to resolve a problem that has become entrenched in the group’s history. As soon as you notice the group communication becoming more difficult, you should contact a facilitator and discuss the potential approaches. You may find a short intervention will make things easier for everyone.

How does a facilitator really help?
Bringing a professional facilitator to your group signals that things are becoming complex. The act of organizing a meeting, keeping participants on task and moving in an efficient and respectful manner takes a lot of concentration. By filling that role, a professional facilitator will free up energy within the group and allow all members to bring much deeper focus to the subject matter. A trained facilitator will bring organized process into the group atmosphere and has the potential to shape a more efficient and effective future for the group dynamics.

Does the facilitator need to be an expert in the subject matter?
It can be helpful to hire a facilitator who is familiar with your field. We find it to be particularly helpful to be conversant in the vocabulary, acronyms and relationships of the various stakeholders. The process moves faster and more efficiently if the facilitator knows the context in which the decisions are made. During the case analysis the facilitator determines a timeframe for becoming sufficiently educated in the subject matter to conduct the facilitation.

Real listening always brings people closer together. Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Margaret Wheatley

American management consultant

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