Mutual Influence Conversation

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Alternative names: 
Level of process: 
Intent or purpose: 
To consider the influence that two or three stakeholders have upon one another
Used as component of: 
Any session in which two or three stakeholders are getting better acquainted as they make a decision together
Recognizable Components: 
Teams confront and discuss the similarities and differences in their perceptions of the same situations
Types of Participants: 
Participants need to have enough experience in their jobs to have a deep understanding of what the operational processes are in relation to the other stakeholder or stakeholders in the discussion
Recommended size of group: 
Remarks about group size: 
Thias is an excellent process for two or three stakeholders; it is clumsy used with more than three
Optimal amount of time needed: 
2 hours
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
Emergence of key issues to be discussed among the stakeholders
Level of participation: 
This is designed for a group with some respect and trust for one another. It is not useful for teams which are in strong conflict, as the analysis called for needs somewhat cool heads.
Ideal Conditions: 
Potential Pitfalls: 
How is success evaluated: 
Examples of successes and failures: 
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Setting and Materials: 
Resources Needed: 
Pre-Work Required: 
Divide the group into stakeholder teams. For each team, provide two flipchart pages headed “WHAT WE PROVIDE TO (the others)” and “WHAT WE RECEIVE FROM (the others)” In the case of three or more stakeholders, make additional forms for each of the relationships.

• Ask participants to list elements of their relationship on the flipchart forms. Should they get stuck, you can suggest that they use a recent project or interaction as a source of ideas. Give groups about 20 minutes to fill out two forms, and accordingly more time if they have more forms.

• When the groups are done, hang the “WHAT WE RECEIVE” form for Stakeholder 1 next to the “WHAT WE PROVIDE” FORM FOR Stakeholder 2 and vice-versa.

• Have groups report their various perspectives on one relationship. Then ask:

1. Where do you see similar elements in our understanding of this relationship?
2. Where do you see different interpretations of this relationship?
3. What are questions we should discuss during today’s session?

• As you proceed through the reports, collect answers to question 3 above on a flipchart. Then go back to that list to create a series of discussion points for the day.

How flexible is the process?: 
Follow-Up Required: 
Maureen Jenkins
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