Basic Facilitation Skills: #1 How to Facilitate Alignment using Power Balls and a Decision Matrix

Terrence Metz
Published Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Video demonstration of how to build consensus around proper alignment to help groups identify gaps, omissions, overkill, and to confirm the appropriateness and balance of their action plan.

Building consensus around alignment can be challenging, especially if you facilitate exclusively in the narrative world (i.e., written words).
The FAST method suggests the use of icons (using Power Balls) that are both appropriate and powerful.

Create a matrix with your options (eg, actions) and the targets (eg, goals). Common items that may be aligned include the comparison of strategies to objectives. Facilitating alignment consists of three steps:

1. First complete the matrix with a linear approach, but be careful to always ask the open-ended question, “To what extent does 'x' (ie, option, action, or strategy) support 'y' (ie, target, goal, or objective)?”

2. Having defined the PowerBalls (preferably with a legend that is visible throughout the activity for your participants to reference), label each cell with either a high, low, or moderate PowerBall symbol, indicating the extent to which the option supports the target.

3. After completing the matrix, ask the group to confirm completeness. Add anything missing or modify the plan as required (i.e., Create a new option or calibrate an existing option).