All Listening Session Facilitators and Recorders_ For some time

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					All Listening Session Facilitators and Recorders, For some time, legislative leaders have urged the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) to take an aggressive approach in supporting leadership and economic development for Oklahoma. House Resolution 1044 and Senate Resolution 57 are recent examples of that sentiment. Each resolution was identical in intent and nature, and both encouraged Extension to focus its resources on the needs of individual Oklahoma communities. Recognizing that Extension has offices in all 77 counties, the legislature recommended that this be accomplished through a process that accommodates a broad, cross section of citizen input to identify issues of primary importance to communities. In order to accomplish these challenges, Extension will be hosting Community Listening Sessions in every county in Oklahoma. They will begin in September and continue through the first half of December 2002. The Listening Sessions are an ambitious undertaking of Extension. Our goal is to invite citizens to identify, discuss, and define their community's needs and opportunities at open forums, while building on the assets that presently exist. As Extension begins our long-range strategic planning process, I believe the involvement of citizens in identifying needs and opportunities in the county and community will be extremely valuable. This is the first step in developing the Extension long-range Plan of Work for 2004-2009 and will require Extension to be thinking with a stronger community focus in mind. Also, the Listening Sessions will be an important component for setting the stage for the next Extension initiative. The Facilitator and Recorder’s Manual includes materials you will need to facilitate and record listening sessions as easily and effectively as possible. The purpose of the Facilitator and Recorder’s Manual is to:  Provide suggestions for coordinating meeting arrangements so the event runs smoothly.  Prepare the facilitators and recorders for successfully conducting the small group session at the local level.  Suggest procedures for getting local input while maintaining uniformity across the state. We know that facilitating groups can be a complex task and requires a unique set of skills. We greatly appreciate your willingness to serve as facilitators and recorders for this collaborative event. With your help, we will bring together a diverse cross section of your community and involve everyone in action planning. When community members feel they have been heard, they will be more committed to sharing the dream of a better future for everyone in the community. I sincerely appreciate your commitment and support of the upcoming Community Listening Sessions. Sincerely,

David Foster Associate Director Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

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Contents
Essential Definitions 3-4

Materials Needed

5-6

Responsibilities of Hosts, Facilitators, and Recorders

7

Recorder Guidelines Small Group Recorder Large Group Recorder

8 9-10 11

Listening Session Working Agenda and Logistics

12

Host Responsibilities

13

Facilitator Responsibilities Small Group Session Large Group Session

14-23 14-20 21-23

Appendix Sample Agenda for Participants Guidelines for Small Group Participation Sample Evaluation Form for the Listening Session Process Copies of House Resolution - HR 1044 and Senate Resolution - SR 57

24 25 26 27

28-29

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Essential Definitions
Oklahoma Community Listening Session Process This process has two phases: 1.) Listening Sessions - long-range strategic planning meetings hosted by the OCES that involves citizens, experts, and staff from other public and private groups to identify, define, and discuss their community’s current and future needs. 2.) Focus Forums – follow-up meetings comprised of citizens, experts and staff from local and state agencies designed to plan and implement a response that is realistic for the next 3-5 years, based on the expressed needs of the community. Listening Session In the fall of 2002, Listening Sessions will be hosted by the local Extension office and conducted by trained facilitators (OCES staff from another county or partners from other organizations or groups) and recorders. Extension Educators invite citizens who are demographically representative of the county population. Small breakout groups are used to generate issues and assess their relative importance in the county. Results A report of issues prioritized by importance, highlighting the results of the Listening Session, including the participant data that can be shared with other stakeholders in the county will be provided to participants. The data from the Listening Session will be submitted to the State Extension office by the facilitator and recorders within three days after the listening session. The reports will be compiled and prepared by State Extension staff and copies will be sent to the counties within three weeks after the Listening Session. Briefing Conference (optional) A briefing conference is an interpretive event held after the Listening Session to report the results of the Listening Session and recruit experts and resource people for the next phases: the Focus Forum and subsequent issue/impact teams. Focus Forum The Focus Forum is the second component of the Listening Session process that will be hosted by the local Extension staff and run by trained facilitators and recorders in spring, 2003. The same citizens who were invited to the Listening Session and local resource people (experts, stakeholders, and staff from other agencies and Extension staff) are invited to further define the prioritized list and develop goals, objectives and action items. Host County Extension staff from where the Listening Session is being conducted. Host responsibilities can be shared by any County Extension professional. Facilitators for Listening Session and Focus Forum Extension staff and partners from other organizations or groups, who have been trained to conduct the Listening Session and the Focus Forum events effectively and efficiently. They facilitate the Listening Sessions and later the Focus Forums in a uniform manner so that results may be reported consistently across the state. Large Group Facilitators and recorders are responsible for entering the issues that were identified from the flipchart sheets on the website at http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/oces/ocls.

Recorders for Listening Session and Focus Forum
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Extension staff and partners from other organizations or groups, who have been trained on how to conduct the Listening Session and the Focus Forum events effectively and efficiently. They record the Listening Sessions and later the Focus Forums in a uniform manner so that results may be reported consistently across the state. Large Group Facilitators and recorders are responsible for entering the issues that were identified on the flipchart sheets on the website at http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/oces/ocls. Facilitator and Recorder Workshop Equips Extension staff and partners from other organizations or groups to conduct the Listening Session and Focus Forum meetings effectively and efficiently. Ensures a standardized process so that results may be reported consistently across the state. Issues/Impact Team Issues/Impact teams are the working groups that emerge from the Focus Forum. They respond to the concerns expressed and get results. Issue/Impact teams can be identified for high priority areas that fall within an Extension program area. The Issue/Impact team uses the goals and objectives identified in the Focus Forum.

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Materials Needed
Registration Table – A table will need to be provided so that participants will have a place to sign in and pick up their nametag, pen, registration card, agenda, notepad, and evaluation form. PA System with microphone – May be needed for the large group sessions Laptop Computer, Projector and Screen – For the MS PowerPoint presentation. Name Tags – Everyone involved in the event, including volunteers’ needs to wear a nametag. Personal Registration Card – Everyone signs-in during the event, including volunteer helpers, small group facilitators, and recorders. Pens – Each participant will need a pen to fill out the registration card, the evaluation form and write down ideas in the small group session on the notepad. Agenda for Participants – Use the agenda proposed in the Guideline for County Planning. Guidelines for Small Group Participation – Guidelines used to facilitate the session and encourage all present to participate. A copy is provided in the appendix for the counties to copy and distribute to all participants at the Listening Session. Guiding Question Notepad – The notepad will be used by small group participants to write down their thoughts and ideas. The notepad will have the Guiding Question for the Listening Session printed at the top. Flip Chart – Flip chart paper to record ideas and priorities generated by groups during the Listening Sessions. Needed for small and large group sessions. Easels – Used to hold the flip charts stable while recorders are writing the participants comments. Water-Based Markers – Used to avoid bleed-through onto tables or walls. Colored dots – Adhesive dots used for voting on items. Easy to see, distribute, & tally. Need 2 colors (one for small group work and one for large group work during the final session). Each voting participant will receive 5 dots of each color. Masking Tape – Used to place the flipchart sheets on the walls. Evaluation Form – Everyone completes the evaluation form at the end of the event and leaves the form on their chair for the County Educator to collect. Refreshments – If possible, provide beverages and a light snack for the participants’ break from their small groups prior to rejoining the large group.

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Materials Needed
Counties (Host) will Provide Registration Table PA System with microphone PowerPoint Projector and Screen Name Tags Personal Registration Card Pens Agenda for Participants Guidelines for Small Group Participation Guiding Question Notepad Flip Chart Easels Water-Based Markers Colored dots Masking Tape Evaluation Form Refreshments
Oklahoma Community Listening Session

State OCES will Provide

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
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Responsibilities of Hosts, Facilitators, and Recorders
Responsibilities of Hosts
1. Actively plan, coordinate, and organize the Listening Sessions and look for ways to add value to the process. 2. Seek to ensure that the Listening Sessions will be representative of the community and/or the county. 3. Trust the process and have faith in the people invited to give their input in the identification of needs and areas of concern in the community. 4. Maintain the integrity of citizen input throughout the process. 5. Serve as a resource in implementing the Listening Sessions in a uniform manner so that the results will be reported consistently across the state. 6. Strive to keep the dialogue and decision making related to citizen input. 7. Actively involve individuals from other agencies and community organizations to strengthen programs and services that reflect the needs of the people. 8. Communicate effectively throughout the process, thus accounting for the resources invested and staying attuned to the needs, wants, and priorities of Oklahomans. 9. Provide the welcome, opening comments and the closing comments, and participate in the Listening Sessions. 10. Assist in clarifying issues and serve as a resource person for the participants. 11. Distribute and collect the evaluation forms from all participants and send to the District Directors within one-week after the Listening Session. 12. Serve as a “recorder” for the facilitator team on an as needed basis.

Responsibilities of Facilitators
1. Participate in a Facilitators and Recorders orientation. 2. Participate in the Community Listening Sessions. 3. Facilitate small group sessions and if selected facilitate final large group Listening Session. 4. Work with large group recorder to report Listening Session results on the website http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/oces/ocls. 5. Participate in the Focus Forums, the second component of the Listening Session process.

Responsibilities of Recorders
Participate in a Facilitators and Recorders orientation. Participate in the Community Listening Sessions. Record small group sessions and if selected, record final large group Listening Session. Work with large group facilitator to report Listening Session results on the website http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/oces/ocls. 5. Participate in the Focus Forums, the second component of the Listening Session process. 1. 2. 3. 4.

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Recorder Guidelines
Congratulations! By recording the listening session, you are taking on an important role in supporting and promoting the Listening Session process. Recorder Actions
Participate in the Pre-Listening Session  Team meeting 30 minutes prior to registration. Carefully listen during the Opening  Remarks by the County Educator or the designated host.

Notes to Recorders
Select a large group facilitator and a large group recorder to convene, facilitate, and record the final large group session of the meeting. It is important that you are familiar with the material. Your knowledge of the listening session objectives and process will aid your listening skills tremendously, ensuring you will be able to “hear” and “distill” ideas presented during the Listening Sessions. Important benefits of recording: o It can help keep the group on task. o The group has a record of what points have been covered. o It lets participants revisit key thoughts as they deliberate during the listening session. o It can be a tool to ensure that balanced views are being surfaced.

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Small Group Recorder
Small Group Recorder
Recorder Actions
Record Small Group ideas about critical  issues in Oklahoma that need to be addressed to realize a positive future. 

Notes to Recorders
Each listening session has a distinctive character and purpose. When recording, number the pages and use headings on each flipchart, such as “Ideas Shared Aloud”, “Supporting Statements”, or “Top 5 Priorities”. Use two colored markers, alternating colors to record ideas. Use bullet point statements rather than long drawn out sentences. Write in 2-inch letters so participants can read the comments clearly. Capture the essence of the participant’s ideas in a succinct fashion and use the participant’s words. Keep in mind that you are recording key points; not every comment made. You don’t have to synthesize every single comment. It may be helpful for you or the facilitator to explain this so participants will not misunderstand your job or be offended if you do not write down each comment. Stay out of the way of the listening session. Approach your job quietly, as any good listener would. You wouldn’t want your physical movements to distract from the process. Your recording will be helpful in supporting the facilitator’s role. Title these comments under the sub-heading “Support Statements”. Capture key points made by participants support statements and place them in an outline form underneath the identified issue on a separate flipchart sheet. Clearly list on one flipchart sheet the Top 5 Priorities. Identify on each sheet the location, date, facilitator, and recorder for the small group session Alternate marker colors for each priority. Write in 2-inch letters so participants can read the comments clearly in the large
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    

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Record key points from the Statements made by participants.

Support  

Develop a flip chart sheet identifying the  five top priority issues for the small group. Post on the wall before the large group  meeting.  
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

group meeting. When posting the small group priorities in the large group meeting area, leave a considerable amount of space between each small group priority flipchart sheet. Number each flipchart sheet Identify on each sheet the location, date, facilitator, and recorder for the small group session. Roll the sheets and secure with masking tape; give to CED to send to District Directors.

During the break and after the large group  session,   

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Large Group Recorder
Large Group Recorder
Recorder Actions
Work with facilitators and large group  participants to clarify, remove duplicates, and revise small group ideas. Create a sheet documenting the cumulative  5 over-all priority issues identified by the large group. 

Notes to Recorders
Make edits directly on the small group flipchart sheets. (In some cases you may need to re-write the sheets) Indicate this is the List of Overall Priorities For XYZ County from the large group Listening Session. After the Large Group meeting: o Number each flipchart sheet o Identify on each sheet the location, date, facilitator, and recorder for the Listening Session o Roll the sheets; secure with masking tape; give to CED to send to the District Director. o Retain these sheets to provide input for the report you and the large group facilitator will be submitting on the Listening Session website http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/oces/ ocls. A template and instructions will be provided to assist in submitting the data.

Work with the Large Group Facilitator to  input the List of Overall Priorities For XYZ County from the Listening Session in the on-line report.

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Listening Session Working Agenda & Logistics
Timeline
Facilitators and Recorders Pre-Meeting Registration Opening / Welcome Session Break into Small Groups Small Group Process Refreshment Break and Reconvene Large Group Large Group Session Closing Session (30 minutes) (30 minutes) (25 minutes) (5 minutes) (60 minutes) (15 minutes) (Approximately 45 minutes) (5 minutes)

Materials
            Nametags Copies of the participant registration card Pens Copies of the agenda for participants (not the working agenda!) Copies of the Guideline for Small Group Participation Guiding Question Notepad Flip Chart Easel Water-Based Markers Colored dots (two colors) Masking tape Copies of the evaluation form

Facilities
     Registration table One room (set up theater style) to be used for opening and closing large group sessions Breakout rooms or areas for small group work, 10-12 chairs in a semi-circle facing easel and flip chart. PA System with microphone may be needed for the large group sessions Laptop computer, projector and screen for the MS PowerPoint presentation.

People
   You will need as many as five people to coordinate participant traffic and guide people to their seats. Greet participants as they arrive and show them where to register. Once they have registered, invite them to visit, get refreshments, and find a seat.

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Host Responsibilities
Opening Session
(25 minutes) Hosts Actions
The host is responsible for opening the Listening Session by helping the participants feel welcomed, explaining the purpose of the event and what they can expect.

Notes to Hosts
The host will give a brief PowerPoint presentation that addresses the following:  Welcome and Introductions  Describe the purpose of the Listening Session  Thank participants for coming and explain why they were invited  Introduce Small Group Facilitators and Recorders  Explain the small group sessions  Instruct participants to count off by number to create groups of 10-12 people.  Break out into small group sessions

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Facilitators Responsibilities
Small Group Session
(Maximum 60 minutes)

Timeline
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Review the “Guidelines for Small Group Participation” (3 to 5 minutes) Introduction and pose the guiding question (3 to 5 minutes) Participants write down ideas (5 to 7minutes) Posting Ideas: Participants share ideas using a “round robin” format (15 minutes) Clarifying, removing duplicates, revising ideas (10 minutes) Support Statements/discussions (1 minute per person; 15 minutes total) Voting on top five priority ideas (2 minutes) End small group session (2 minutes)

Small Group Session
Facilitator Actions
Guidelines - (3 to 5 minutes) Review with the group the guidelines and ask if they have any to add and if they can accept the guidelines during the small group discussion. Guidelines for Small Group Participation  The facilitator will guide the discussion and remain neutral.  The recorder will capture the key ideas presented, rather than a verbatim record.  Ensure that your ideas are correctly recorded on the flipchart.  Everyone is encouraged to participate.  No one or two persons dominate.  Everyone will work to identify critical ideas.  Listening is as important as talking. Remember . . . this is an exchange of ideas, not a debate. 

Note to Facilitators
The most difficult part of facilitating a small group is collecting and presenting the ideas of others without putting your own spin on them. To keep the process democratic and to ensure that people feel like they have been heard, the facilitator must be careful not to introduce any bias in the recording of ideas. You must be “aggressively neutral” for the process to work correctly. The typical group meeting format encourages extroverts to share their ideas and usually does not as easily allow for more introverted participants to express their views. Be sure to allow all participants an equal chance to have their ideas considered. As participants contribute ideas in response to a general question, facilitators help clarify the ideas, phrase the ideas in a way that reflects items, assist the group in removing duplicates, and bring the group’s highest priority ideas to the large group.

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Introduction

and

Posing

the

Guiding 

When citizens are invited to participate in
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Question - (3 to 5 minutes) “By following these guidelines, every single idea is presented and preserved. When you respond to the question posed, you have the freedom to respond in any way you feel answers the question. The result is a great deal of freedom of content, but the tradeoff is that the process must be carefully structured. You will have an opportunity to contribute ideas and be assured this process will move along briskly.” “In a minute, I’m going to ask you to respond to the guiding question on your notepad. At first, you will work individually and silently for a few minutes. After that, I will ask you to share your ideas with the rest of the group.” Write Down Ideas - (5 to 7 minutes) “When you respond to the question on your notepads, keep your answers brief. Start with an action statement such as improve, create, build, establish, or develop. For example: (state your examples) “Think about a broad approach to the issue rather than a specific solution. Are there any questions?”

the Listening Sessions, they will bring with them a variety of experiences and expectations. Some people may have never attended a planning session such as this. Regardless of his or her experiences, most everyone will be interested in the topic of the meeting. Your job as facilitator is to see that the small group session runs smoothly.

Choose two of these to use for examples or write your own:  “Improve water quality”  “Reduce teen pregnancy”  “Improve county roads and bridges.”  “Establish new infrastructure to attract to business to the region.”

“Here’s the question: Considering the next 3 to 5 years what are  the critical issues in your community and in Oklahoma that need to be addressed to realize a positive future for you, your family and your community?”

Encourage the participants to write as many issues as they can. Ask if there are any questions before they begin. Tell them to begin. Let them work for five to seven minutes. Be patient and don’t hurry them. Most everyone will have a few ideas, but if you wait patiently, more ideas will come. Try to keep them working silently. When five minutes have passed, announce that they have two more minutes to complete their thoughts about the critical issues that need to be addressed.

Posting Ideas - (15 minutes)
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Beginning at one end of the semi-circle, ask the first person to read one of their ideas
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“You will be sharing your ideas but not discussing them just yet. Simply share with us the statement you used to respond to the question---Considering the next 3 to 5  years, what are the critical issues in your community and in Oklahoma that need to be addressed to realize a positive future for you, your family and your community?” 

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aloud. The recorders will capture their ideas in the flipchart. Thank them and go to the next person and repeat the process. Do not let them go into any detail about their idea and do not let others comment on them. If someone begins to describe what they mean or other participants asks for clarification, gently but firmly remind them that they are only sharing their ideas at this stage. Go to the next person and repeat the process. Continue to go through the group with each person giving one idea at a time until the recorder has captured all the ideas. This is a critical time in the process when you must be careful not to introduce any bias in the recording of ideas. You must move along efficiently to stay on schedule and be “aggressively neutral.” This means you should not show preference for a particular idea, put words in the mouths of participants, or revise their work without permission. Remember, this is not about you or your brilliance. Your task is to help every person in the group feel heard and come together on the top five priorities as a group.

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Clarifying, Removing Duplicates, Revising Ideas
(10 minutes) Facilitators Action
Clarifying “Now let’s review our list and be sure we all understand the issues that have been presented.”  

Note to Facilitators
As you help the people in the group understand what is meant by an idea, you will have to avoid the very natural tendency to put words in the mouths of participants or add your own thoughts and feelings. You may have to ask other participants to do the same. Read the item aloud and check for clarity. Ask the person who shared the idea to clarify if needed, but not to elaborate or explain. When clarifying ideas, you must refer everything back to the person who wrote that idea and to the other people in the group. You must not contribute your own ideas. As items are posted, duplicate ideas are bound to appear. As this happens, general themes will emerge. Group similar ideas together as you post them; after all the ideas have been posted, you can clarify items and eliminate duplications. Ask the group to identify potential duplicates. Be sure to ask the participant who wrote the idea for their permission to combine it with another item. Resist forcing all the ideas into neat little topic groups. Sometimes the items that don’t fit are the most important or have the most potential for impact. If revisions are suggested, check with the participant who originally wrote the idea and ask their permission to revise it. They have the right to decline the revision. Often, the group will suggest an alternative with which everyone, including the author, is comfortable.

Removing Duplicates “As we review the list of issues, are there duplicate ideas? Let’s try to reduce any duplication?”

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Revising Ideas “Who originally made this suggestion? Are you comfortable with these revisions?”

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Support Statements/Discussions
(15 minutes)
Support Statements/Discussion – (15 minutes) 

“Now that the ideas have been clarified and  revised, would anyone like to speak in support of an idea they believe is important?”

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Again, your responsibility is to stay neutral, see that everyone who wants to speak has an opportunity. Be sure to stay on time! This is the place in a small group session where most groups fall off of their time schedule. To keep participants on track allow one-minute Support Statements from each participant, if they choose to speak. If further clarification is needed, ask probing questions to get the group to reflect on the ideas before them. If time allows you may choose to revisit one of the ideas for further clarification or discussion. One-Minute Support Statements - This method allows each participant to talk for up to one minute on a topic. Use this method if you feel there are dominant participants in your group who may not be willing to give others a chance. While this method does not allow for thoughtful dialogue, every voice gets heard. The short support statements give the group a chance to hear “just the facts” from individuals. Remind the group that after everyone has had a chance to talk for one minute, the group will be called to vote on the most important ideas. Be sure to address time limits, and tell them you are keeping time. Probing Questions - This method requires more refined facilitator skills. Ask a few probing questions so that the group reflects on the action ideas being presented. The conversation will be focused on the more thoughtful, emotional side of the action ideas and their affect on individuals, families, or communities. Be careful that the discussion does not extend beyond the time allowed! Do not ask questions that only can be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. Pose the question thoughtfully and then patiently wait for the responses. Do not ask all of the questions suggested. Probes are only used to jump-start the conversation
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Probing Questions Ask a few probing questions so that the group reflects on the ideas being presented. 

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Suggested probes to begin the conversation: o “Looking at this picture you created, what is your reaction?” o “Which ideas catch your attention?”  o “What ideas concern you?” o “How might they affect our future?” o “Which of these ideas seem like a good starting place?”

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and to help people make sense of the ideas presented. Be sure that everyone is included in the discussion. If someone is silent gently ask, “(NAME) what would you like to add to this discussion?”

Voting on Top Five Priority Ideas
(2 Minutes) Facilitator Action
Voting - (2 minutes) “We have now completed the support statements and participant ideas have been revised and the duplicates eliminated. Now we will ask you to vote on which ideas are most important to you.” “It is now time to vote. Select five ideas as most important. Mark the item with an adhesive dot. Distribute your five votes  among five different ideas.” 1. Select five most important ideas. 2. Distribute votes among those five ideas.  3. Do not vote for an idea more than once. 4. Use all of one color dot for small group. The other color will be used for large group voting. 

Note to Facilitator
Verbal voting is subject to peer pressure and other group influences. Written balloting gives the most privacy but takes longer. The visual voting method used in the Listening Session involves each participant applying a colored adhesive dot near the ideas they favor. This method allows people to see the results almost immediately while also allowing a certain amount of anonymity. In the small group, participants are asked to vote for the five ideas they consider most important for their desired future. Once the large group reconvenes, the process will be repeated. Tell the group that they will be called on to vote for their top five priorities again in the large group session.

Ending the Small Group Session (2 minutes) Facilitator Action
“Do you have any comments about the  process of results or the voting?” Express thanks for their efforts.

Note to Facilitator
Be careful not to let this develop into a long discussion -- most people will be ready for a break. Express a light-hearted but sincere appreciation for the efforts of the small group participants, and ask them to return to the large group after a 15-minute break.

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Break
(15 minutes)
After you have dismissed the group, begin  to collect the high priority items to add to the large group discussion. Many times, someone will approach you and want to talk about the process or the ideas that emerged. Be polite and listen, but remember you and the recorder have to move the items to the large group during the break. If you have time, try to speak to participants who were quiet or particularly enthusiastic -- they may want to continue their involvement and need encouragement When posting the small group priorities in the large group meeting area, leave a considerable amount of space between each small group priority flipchart sheet.

Break/Posting Top Priorities from Small  Groups - (15 minutes) After all the participants have voted and are taking a break, post their top five priority ideas for the large group session.

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Large Group Session
(Approximately 45 minutes)

Timeline
    Small Group Reports (2 minutes per small group–time will vary depending on number of small groups) Clarify and Remove Duplicates (10 minutes) Large Group Discussion (30 minutes or more) Vote on Top Five Priorities (2 minutes)

Important: Facilitating the large group session will require a skilled facilitator; a lead facilitator will be selected during the pre-planning team meeting. It is imperative that participants stay for the final voting in the large group, so the lead facilitator reminds the audience to remain through the voting and reassures the group that they will maintain their time schedule.

Large Group Session
Facilitator Action
Small Group Reports - (2 minutes/small  group) “At this time the small group facilitators will come forward and present their reports identifying their five high priorities.” Clarify and Remove Duplicate – (10 minutes) The large group quickly clarifies issues, removes duplicates, discusses (if time allows), and identifies its high priority issues through a voting process.  The process is essentially the same as in the small group, except that items from all of the groups will be represented.

Note to Facilitator
When participants return they should examine all of the items as they are posted and be prepared to repeat the process of clarifying and removing duplicates and then discussing and voting in the large group session. This should happen more quickly since they are familiar with the process.

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Large Group Discussion - (30 minutes or  more) If there is time, a large group discussion may be very effective. It will also create a sense of excitement and enthusiasm for the  work that lies ahead. 

Use probing questions described in the small group sessions to initiate the discussion. Probing Questions - This method requires more refined facilitator skills. Ask a few probing questions so that the group reflects on the ideas being presented. The conversation will be focused on the more thoughtful, emotional side of the ideas and their affect on individuals, families, or communities. Be careful that the discussion does not extend beyond the time allowed! Do not ask questions that only can be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. Pose the question thoughtfully and then patiently wait for the responses. Do not ask all of the questions suggested. Probes are only used to jump-start the conversation and to help people make sense of the ideas presented. Before voting, quickly summarize the ideas. Sincerely acknowledge the great ideas that have surfaced and commend the group for what they have just accomplished.

Suggested probes to begin the conversation: o “Looking at this picture you created, what is your reaction?” o “Which ideas catch your attention?” o “What ideas concern you?” o “How might they affect our future?”  o “Which of these ideas seem like a good starting place?” If time is limited (less than 30 minutes), initiating a large group discussion could be disastrous. One or two people may dominate the discussion. There will be less time for voting or people may even  leave before the voting takes place. Reassure participants that there will be opportunities through the Focus Forums to develop action plans to address critical issues for the future of Oklahoma.

Voting in the Large Group Session  “Now that ideas have been revised and the duplicates eliminated. Now we will ask you to vote on which ideas are most important to you.” “It is now time to vote. Select five ideas as most important. Mark the item with an  adhesive dot. Distribute your five votes among five different ideas.” 1. 2. 3. 4. Select five most important ideas. Distribute votes among those five ideas. Do not vote for an idea more than once. Use all of one color dot for large group voting.

While they are voting, ask participants to review the registration card and determine if they would like to participate in the Focus Forums, You will be surprised how many will agree to commit themselves! They will be important contact people to keep the momentum going. Also, ask them to complete the evaluation forms and leave those in their chairs after they are finished.

Closing Session
(5 minutes)
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   

Express gratitude to participants. Describe what will happen next. Facilitators, Recorders and County Extension staff shake every hand as participants leave. Thank them for participating.

Important: The large group facilitators and large group recorders will be responsible for compiling the details of the Listening Session, including the small group Top 5 Priorities, as well as the large group List of Overall Priorities for XYZ County and inputting on the website http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/oces/ocls within three days after the event.

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Appendix
     Sample Agenda for Participants

Guidelines for Small Group Participation

Sample Registration Card for the Listening Session

Sample Evaluation Form for the Listening Session Process

Copies of House Resolution - HR 1044 and Senate Resolution - SR 57

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Sample Agenda for the Listening Session
Registration (participants complete a registration card) Convene Large Group Welcome and introductions Opening remarks Express gratitude for their participation Briefly explain the purpose of the Listening Session (Facilitator will go into more details in small groups) Introduce the facilitators and recorders Listening Session small breakout groups (Instruct participants to count off by number) County Extension Educator County Extension Educator County Extension Educator County Extension Educator County Extension Educator

County Extension Educator Facilitators and Recorders

Four step process includes 1) Generating ideas; 2) Clarifying; removing duplicates; revising ideas; 3) Support Statements and 4.) Small breakout group voting instructions    Small breakout groups identify their views about the future for their community and in the county. Small breakout groups prioritize the needs and concerns they have identified Large group prioritize the needs and concerns Large Group Facilitator & Recorder

Reconvene large group for final prioritizing & voting

Closing remarks County Extension Educator Describe what happens next in the Focus Forum process and invite them to participate.  Express gratitude for their participation.  Acknowledge OCES and other key players. Evaluate the Listening Session Process (handout evaluation forms)

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Guidelines for Small Group Participation
 The facilitator will guide the discussion and remain neutral.  The recorder will capture the key ideas presented, rather than a verbatim record.  Ensure that your ideas are correctly recorded on the flipchart.  Everyone is encouraged to participate.  No one or two persons dominate.  Everyone will work to identify critical ideas.  Listening is as important as talking.

Remember . . . this is an exchange of ideas, not a debate.

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Enrolled House Resolution 1044
By: Representative James Covey A Resolution encouraging the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to focus its resources on the needs of individual Oklahoma communities, develop and train local leaders, establish and maintain partnerships with other public agencies, and provide a vehicle by which communities can access the resources of Oklahoma State University; and directing distribution. WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is charged with improving the lives of Oklahomans through an educational process that draws upon the research base of Oklahoma State University, its Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the entire land-grant university system; and WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service focuses on the needs of individuals, families, and communities and offers educational programs in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, community and rural development, and family and consumer sciences; and WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service examines information pertinent to the county, works to develop leadership, participates in community improvement, and assists in the planning and fosters economic development opportunities, and implementation of developed educational programs; and WHEREAS, the Cooperative Extension Service programs are vibrant, well recognized, and valued assets in every county in the State of Oklahoma; and WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service has a statewide system of county offices staffed by Extension educators with offices in all 77 counties. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 2ND SESSION OF THE 48TH OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE: THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives commends the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension for its "Initiative for the Future of Rural Oklahoma" and encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to focus its resources on the needs of individual Oklahoma communities through a process that accommodates a broad cross section of citizen input to identify issues and address those priorities that fall within its mandate and capacity to deliver. THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to develop and train local leaders and support leadership initiatives at the community level. THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to establish and maintain effective partnerships with other public agencies and organizations whose mission complements and corresponds to that of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to provide a vehicle by which Oklahoma Resources, and the land-grant university system to help each community realize its fullest potential in the 21st century. THAT a copy of this resolution be distributed to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. Adopted by the House of Representatives the 22nd day of May 2002.

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Enrolled Senate Resolution 57
By: Muegge, Cain, Campbell, Capps, Coffee, Crutchfield, Douglass, Dunlap, Easley, Fair, Fisher, Ford, Haney, Harrison, Helton, Henry, Herbert, Hobson, Horner, Johnson, Kerr, Laughlin, Leftwich, Littlefield, Maddox, Martin, Mickle, Milacek, Monson, Morgan, Nichols, Price, Pruitt, Rabon, Reynolds, Riley, Robinson, Rozell, Shurden, Smith, Snyder, Stipe, Taylor, Wilcoxson, Wilkerson, Williams and Williamson A Resolution encouraging the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to focus its resources on the needs of individual Oklahoma communities, develop and train local leaders, establish and maintain partnerships with other public agencies, and provide a vehicle by which communities can access the resources of Oklahoma State University; and directing distribution. WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is charged with improving the lives of Oklahomans through an educational process that draws upon the research base of Oklahoma State University, its Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the entire land-grant university system; and WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service focuses on the needs of individuals, families, and communities and offers educational programs in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, community and rural development, and family and consumer sciences; and WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service examines information pertinent to the county, works to develop leadership, participates in community improvement, and assists in the planning and fosters economic development opportunities, and implementation of developed educational programs; and WHEREAS, the Cooperative Extension Service programs are vibrant, well recognized, and valued assets in every county in the State of Oklahoma; and WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service has a statewide system of county offices staffed by Extension educators with offices in all 77 counties. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE 2ND SESSION OF THE 48TH OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE: THAT the Oklahoma State Senate commends the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension for its "Initiative for the Future of Rural Oklahoma" and encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to focus its resources on the needs of individual Oklahoma communities through a process that accommodates a broad cross section of citizen input to identify issues and address those priorities that fall within its mandate and capacity to deliver. THAT the Oklahoma State Senate encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to develop and train local leaders and support leadership initiatives at the community level. THAT the Oklahoma State Senate encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to establish and maintain effective partnerships with other public agencies and organizations whose mission complements and corresponds to that of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. THAT the Oklahoma State Senate encourages the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to provide a vehicle by which Oklahoma communities can access the resources of Oklahoma State University, its Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the land-grant university system to help each community realize its fullest potential in the 21st century. THAT a copy of this resolution be distributed to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges.

Adopted by the Senate the 23rd day of May 2002. All Extension Professional Staff
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