Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I ran a workshop yesterday - an interactive membership learning exercise for a group of 40 international network members - which gave me a moment to reflect on dynamics and the value of diversity of, well, practically everything.

In my workshops I like to keep things moving, to get people out of their seats to work, use different parts of the room, etc. and when one participant asked me if, for the next exercise, we were going to "stand up again", it made me smile - had I over done it on the moving around?

Generally, due to an Appreciative Inquiry approach I tend not to look at what not to do, and at the same time this little list seemed useful (and could easily be turned around to a "what to do" list):

  • Don't sit down too much;
  • Don't stand up too much;
  • Don't have too many interactive activities (people like to sit and reflect on their own too, or listen to a presentation from time to time);
  • Don't write on flipchart templates too much (vary with cards, post-its, handouts, electronic templates);
  • Don't stay in the same room too long, even if it is an excellent one (use a breakout room, the lobby, or send people outside for a walk);
  • Don't have people sit in the same seat all day (or look at the same part of the wall) even if it means you might need to rethink about people's names;
  • Don't always ring a bell to signal the end of something (change with voice, clap, or other);
  • Don't use the same colours or always draw very straight lines on your visuals (can you use circles or wavy lines too?);
I could go on - what else would you add when you want to remind yourself to vary things, even when what you are doing seems like a "good thing"?