Needs and offers is most effective when trying to rebuild communications that have totally broken down and the parties are at each other's throats!
This facilitation tool is all about building a two way communication so all parties can come to an agreement on how to move forward.
- Clarify why the exercise is taking place, explain the importance of collaboration and how it can create a more productive environment. Ensure all parties involved will be respectful when others express themselves (easier said than done, sometimes).
- Separate the two parties for a period of time. How long this period is depends on the complexity of the situation - a typical range would be from 20 to 60 minutes.
- During this period each party will create a list of what they need from the other party.
- Bring the two parties back together and get each to share the list they created - whilst they are doing this the other party should remain silent unless asking for clarification.
- Each party will write down the summary of what the other needs, and then once again they will separate for a period of time where they will write down what they can do to meet the needs of the other party.
- Bring the parties back together and have them share what they are willing to offer. Constructive contributions are welcomed at this stage.
- Finally, have the parties construct an action plan list.