Possible Action Steps

  • Approximately 40 minutes before the discussion is scheduled to end, start shifting the discussion from issues and concerns to possible solutions/changes participants can make, actions participants can take and next steps, for individuals or the group as a whole.
  • Potential action steps will probably have been brought up during the initial discussion; review them to ask participants to help the group remember what steps have already been mentioned.

Use open ended questions for this part of the discussion such as:

  • We’ve talked a lot about problems, what about solutions?
  • What can people do to make changes?
  • How can you, personally, make things different ?
  • What will you do differently?
  • What’s next for you? For this group?
  • It is not the job of the facilitator to help the group “fix the world;” if participants do want to follow up on the Discussion by taking some action steps, encourage an exchange of phone numbers and setting of dates while participants are together.

If the discussion has been very negative, if participants seem discouraged or have no ideas about being able to make positive changes, ask open-ended questions to end the discussion on a positive note:

  • Are there any rays of hope that anyone sees?
  • How are things better?
  • Where have we made progress? Does anyone have any optimistic stories to share?