The Consultation Circle is an effective problem-solving technique for group facilitators to elicit from other professional social workers their suggestions on group situations. It offers a structured process for giving and receiving feedback in an efficient and effective format. This process includes all members in the problem solving process and provides the requester with multiple suggestions and alternatives for the described group incident or issue.
Consultation Circle Procedure
1. Members form a circle.
2. The beginning of each Consultation Circle begins with a brief introduction about the Consultation Circle’s purpose and procedures by the facilitator. Consultation Circle Feedback Forms are then distributed.
3. The facilitator then asks the group if there is anyone who has a group situation that they would like feedback on. These individuals are called requesters. There may be one or two requesters at a meeting depending on time available.
4. The requester briefly presents the group situation.
5. Consultants are given time to write their feedback on the Consultation Circle Feedback Form. The written feedback helps consultants clarify their suggestions and gives requesters concrete resources to take with them.
6. When the group is finished writing, the facilitator asks consultants to share their suggestions with the requester.
7. Consultants offer their suggestions in a round robin procedure. Consultants have the option to pass on sharing their suggestion verbally.
8. The requester will thank each consultant for his or her feedback.
9. After each consultant has had the opportunity to share, the Consultation Circle Feedback Forms are collected and given to the requester for his or her review later. This allows the requesters to follow up with consultants about specific suggestions.