We encourage professional facilitators to carry a toolbox. Include some intervention devices when you need to shake up your participants. Be prepared to challenge groupthink if you start hearing things like . . .
That will never change.
We don’t things like that around here.
. . . then you may want to jolt your participants. We have covered similar exercises in the past such as the “Four Dots” and “Bookworm”. Here is another example that is quick, simple, and effective. Some call it the “Spot.”
Groupthink: Your Goal
Groupthink: One Halting Method
Most of them, and usually in sequence, will indicate they see a “Green Spot” (or any color you choose). Consider using the white space on the easel to tally the number of same or similar response.
While confirming that you also see the spot(s), NOTE that most individuals overlooked a large amount of white space surrounding the dots. Participants frequently miss or under-appreciate the context around us or the deliverable (be it a decision, a plan, etc.). You may point to the importance of interpersonal relationships at work as an example.
Additionally, you may point out that customers tend to identify the blemishes in our products and services, and frequently have the reasonable expectation for them to be fixed. Likewise, management focuses on the “dots” of our projects or personal performance, failing to properly value the vastness of good, solid contributions and effort.
Conclude by sharing that while it may be appropriate to look for the “spots”, that we should also force ourselves to consider the large white area of equal importance. If there is any unique contribution or answer besides “dots” emphasize how that voice may have been discounted when the rest of the group focused on the “dots”, when in fact that solo voice may have been speaking about something far more important than the rest of the group combined.
Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practicing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools before class concludes. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.
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