Howdy folks –
I’m writing this as I travel through high country towns and windswept mountain passes down to Durango, Colorado to graphic facilitate a workshop to help a client develop a series of explainer videos.
This interdisciplinary team is comprised of researchers and practitioners who are all experts in their own right, and approach the work they do from different perspectives and backgrounds. They have different needs that they want to share in this video series, and yet will need to work collaboratively in this one day intensive retreat to agree on video content, who will be watching and how to create authentic connections with them, and what path the story will take.
That’s a lot of decisions to be making as a group. I mean, sometimes it’s hard enough to make decisions on your own. However, there’s an important step to encourage the group to take before we get into critical thinking and decision-making, which many groups overlook or rush through.
The Brainstorm. It’s easy for groups to share more obvious ideas, or things that have been brought up time and again. But how can you encourage your team to move beyond the easy and into the territory of Transformational?
It’s a simple question but requires careful curating.
Ask your team to suspend judgement while brainstorming.
To do this well, you’ve got to create an environment where people feel safe sharing half-finished ideas that aren’t perfect (let’s be honest, most ideas aren’t perfect the first time they’re shared, even if we think they are). Where someone can share a seemingly outrageous idea and instead of immediately looking for what’s wrong with it, others ask how they can support or build on it. You need to build in and allow time for people to shrug off their scratchy customary habits of critiquing, and to slip into something a little more fun; a space of curiosity. Allowing for White Space, for intentionally less-structured time and not immediately jumping in as a leader. Suspending judgement is the key.
Still curious about decision-making? Asking yourself “Okay, I’d have all these great ideas from my team…what next?” That’s what the next ConverSketch email will be all about how to turn that creativity into clear priorities and make solid decisions that everyone will stand behind.
Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.