Welcome to Nonprofits Thrive!

Greetings from Helping Nonprofits Thrive, your go-to source for practical tools and insightful theories to fortify your inclusive leadership skills. We believe in building inclusive and engaging practices that permeate every dimension of your nonprofit, propelling you towards the dream of diversity: better thinking, better results, and a better world. Don’t miss out – subscribe now to my blog Helping Nonprofits Thrive.

Gracious Invitation: A Simple Step Toward Inclusion

Discover one of the most effective techniques for fostering inclusive meetings – the “Gracious Invitation.” This method is both simple and powerful. In a group of no more than ten individuals, the facilitator introduces a topic or question for discussion. For example, “Give your name, organization, and a key challenge you will face personally or professionally in the coming year?”

The facilitator shares their response and then invites another person to share. The invited individual can choose to share, pass, or pass for now. The process continues as each person, in turn, graciously invites another to share. Even those who initially passed for now are given another opportunity to speak after the first round.

Key Objectives

Gracious Invitation achieves several key objectives. Firstly, it disrupts the traditional pattern where the most verbally and culturally dominant members dominate discussions, allowing quieter voices and those less culturally dominant an equal opportunity to speak. Secondly, it empowers each person to extend an invitation, breaking away from hierarchical norms present in some cultures.

With Gracious Invitation, a fascinating pattern emerges. Unlike conventional discussions where the most assertive participants dominate, here, the more aggressive and culturally dominant individuals are often called upon last. They must patiently wait their turn, providing an opportunity for others to be heard.

Furthermore, this technique boosts the confidence of introverts and those less culturally dominant, giving them the power to choose whom to invite. Through Gracious Invitation, shy individuals rightfully claim their voice.

A Few More Tips

Here are some additional tips for effectively using Gracious Invitation

Avoid going around the circle or table in order – choose anyone in the group to maintain engagement.

For larger groups, consider breaking them into smaller configurations to ensure everyone has the opportunity to share.

Remember the key steps:

Share, pass, or pass for now, then always invite.

Repeat until all have been invited.

Ideas for Building Inclusive Meetings and Organizations

For more ideas on building inclusive meeting practices into your organization, explore my book “Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings, 2nd ed.” Also, visit my website at https://civicreinventions.com.

Feel free to share your thoughts on building inclusion into meetings or discuss specific challenges you’re facing by emailing me at mark.smutny@civicreinventions.com. I personally respond to each inquiry. Let’s thrive together!