Workshops usually involve a relatively small number of people. The purpose is usually to discuss on particular topics in order to obtain views via open discussion. Workshops and focus groups may require facilitators or reliable chairpersons. Sometime it is used in public meetings to break the ice and encourage wider discussions. A number of approaches are possible with varying degrees of formality. The usual procedure is usually to explain and reach agreements on the aims agenda and procedure.
Formal sessions may involve techniques to brainstorm ideas to consider priorities or foster exchange of experiences. High trust levels may be initiated using trained facilitators with group members working in triads. While an informal session may involve circular arrangement of seats with an open discussions regulated by a competent chairperson. Workshop and focus groups encourages grass roots to express views; people feel free to express their opinions and get the feelings that their views are valued. Discussions can be creative, flexible. It also has the added advantage of providing deep insight into the issue being discussed as group is focused and does not combine a lot of issues all at once.