If you can bring groups to good decisions, you can place yourself at the center of what cities need today, which is more collaboration. Here are some starting points for facilitators.
If you want strong local leaders and involved citizens in the future, start today by helping people find one another and get organized for any legitimate purpose. Then be patient. The good news: Cities are good at helping people make connections. With a little effort, they could be great.
Cities are often bogged down in unproductive debates for a simple reason: They’re talking about issues in the wrong way. Smart leaders know the right sequence, which involves talking thoroughly about the problem and the benefits of solving it before talking about the solution. In other words, “what” before “how.”
The five core skills of leadership, I’ve come to learn from studying how change happens in communities, are relationship building, learning, strategy, facilitation, and persuasion. In that sequence.
To start a community change process, focus on the need. Once people are convinced the need is important, urgent, and solvable, create a guiding coalition to find the solution.