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Cross Method Mapping

Cynthia Kurtz has crafted a protocol for comparing and contrasting two different facilitation methodologies in a systematic way using the Group Works pattern cards as a common language. Try this for yourself! You might surprise yourself by uncovering hidden connections and distinctions, and you’ll discover new ways to bridge divides across varying methodologies.

This is the basic process:

You will need:

  • two to 6 people who know any two methods well
  • two copies of the Group Works deck
  • a minimum of 60 minutes (ideally, 90 minutes)

Begin by choosing which two methods you will compare (write them at the top of this page). Split into two groups, one for each method.

Then follow these steps:

1. Choosing cards (20 minutes)

In each group, choose 8-10 cards to represent your group’s method. For each card chosen, answer the question “Why this card?” Write down your answers as you go.

2. Bird’s eye view (4 minutes)

Come back together into one group. Have one person from each group give a two-minute overview of the method to the other group.

(If everyone knows both methods well, you can leave this step out.)

3. Card sorting (1 minute)

Sort your chosen cards into three groupings: Cards in both methods; Cards only in Method A; Cards only in Method B.

4. Cards in common (part of 25 minutes)

Consider each common card. Talk about the connection it represents. Summarize it in writing.

5. Cards not in common (the rest of 25 minutes)

Consider each card not held in common. Whichever group didn’t pick that card, answer the question “Why not this card?” Talk about differences and complementarities. Summarize in writing what you’ve learned.

6. Wrap-up (10 minutes)

Reflect on what you have learned doing this exercise.

Cynthia has created a wonderful workbook to guide one through these steps, with ample space for recording the process for later reference. There are detailed instructions on each workbook page, along with places to record what you find out. The version posted here on the Group Works resources page under workshop handouts was adpated for the 2016 NCDD conference workshop where Cynthia and Sue Woehrlin led a corss method mapping workshop. It is in WORD format so you can adapt it yourself. Just please attribute the original as being the work of Cynthia Kurtz.

Great (and extensive) blog post by Cynthia on this subject, in the form of a report-back after running a session at the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) conference.