Facilitator Learning Modules

Beyond Surface Issues

Helping Groups Dig Deep

There are many ways to help a group or individual get at the root issue of a problem. Most find it is NOT quick or particularly easy! Root cause analysis is not about solving isolated issues but really digging deeper to get at the source of symptoms that are unpleasant, painful or cause fragmentation or chaos. Deep-seated problems can be like trying to keep dandelions from re-growing. They keep coming back to “haunt” you unless you dig out the taproot. This handout provides two techniques to guide groups through this analysis, along with descriptions of how to use, when to use and with whom to use it.

Why do a root cause analysis?

  • Deals with issues that may have existed for years
  • Helps diffuse underlying organizational and workplace tension
  • Reduces blame towards a specific event or person(s)
  • Identifies misleading assumptions people have ever made
  • Reduces sick leave, morale problems, and apathy
  • Greatly reduces the possibility of reoccurrence of the same issue
  • Generates new energy and optimism for the persons affected and the entire group

The tools included:

  • Contradictions Workshiop (
  • Dynamic Facilitation Four Part Chart (

Categories: Planning, Starting & Ending Meetings / Acquiring Skills and Tools / Understanding Cultural Differences / Mastering Strategic Planning / Resolving Conflict /