I am running a workshop workshop today – a workshop on workshops.
Actually I am running a training course for some experienced facilitators and the course is about how to run workshops better.
So I have been reviewing conflict management techniques, ways of engaging un-engaged participants and issue resolution techniques.
Interestingly I have just noticed (yet again) that some of the workshop techniques (affinity diagrams and speed dating for example) work for both mitigating “strong personalities” and influencing the “passengers” to stop sitting back and start contributing.
Then I decided to throw in the question compass some abstract/concrete thinking and some fun things like options generators.
But now I have decided to lead with one of the least sensible seeming yet most useful techniques – the grammatically nonsensical question “how do you mean”.
Another facilitator taught me this one – it does not actually make sense so there is no right answer … which gets people to blurt out any answer .. which helps then explore what they really want to say. I am not quite sure why but it frequently seems to work.
So – 10 experienced facilitators and the first and best tip I will give them is just to ask a dumb sounding question.
I will see how it goes.