The diagram below shows the ‘journey’ that groups usually goTo begin with, the issue may seem simple, but the discussion soon opens out as people bring different perspectives, information and ideas to the table. The group then explores all the different options, wants and needs. This middle part of the discussion can feel quite messy – it can be hard to see the way forward when everyone is grappling with lots of ideas and different people’s needs. You may think you are coming to agreement and then a new factor comes up and you have to go back to exploring differences (as represented by the spikes in the diagram). Don’t lose heart! This exploration is necessary in order to get a good understanding of where everyone is coming from. This in turn enables the group to come together in finding a solution which genuinely has everyone’s support.