Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version




Just ask anyone - people waste a lot of time in meetings – all kinds of meetings. The meetings could be work related, within community organizations or even within a family. They can be anywhere people get together and want to go beyond a discussion and move toward action. Groups, both large and small, often discuss important issues but many times the conversations are all over the place or they are so short that decisions are often hard to make due to the lack of clarity and focus in the discussion.

Want to change that situation? If so, here is something you might want to try. In the book, The Art of Focused Conversation, the editor, Brain Stanfield, shares a four step process that was developed for the Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs. The process, a series of questions, can be used in a variety of situations. In fact, the book shares 100 workplace situations where it can be used and illustrates examples of the how the four steps could be implemented in each of the 100 situations.