welcome
cartLogin

The sounds of silence

May 6, 2017

Not the easiest if cartoons today, its not a condition I often face! But silence is something I use a lot in facilitation. One of there basic techniques is to have say five groups working on the same issue in parallel. Then each table appoints a spokesperson who moves to the next table to present the results of their discussion. This is done to complete silence; no questions of clarification is allowed. At the end four minutes, or when they finish it is not their turn to be silent as their audience now answer three basic questions: What was the same? What was different? What really surprised you? Once complete they rotate again and repeat three times. This means they have heard four different responses and can use that to modify their discussion. The group they return to has also heard four different ideas which may modify their own response.

All of this is about reducing the footprint of the facilitator, but also preventing the first presenter (in a conventional feedback) from over influencing what comes after: setting the tone as they say. The three questions force diversity of response and we have a side benefit – you learn how people interpret your material without any right to correct, explain for justify. Good education, but also good for increasing the range of what is scanned and increasing the overall decision resilience of the community concerned. Silence means you listen better. Tomorrow I will be walking Rhinog Fawr which is remote peak in the south of Snowdonia. Its a rough walk in an area without many walkers. Silence in the mountains provides a special sense of place of presence. The sudden cry of the Raven, the haunting call of the curlew of the joy of larks rising all punctuate, but make more profound the wider silence. There is a place for company and conversation and there is a place for silence and reflection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
ABOUT US

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.

© COPYRIGHT 2022. 

Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

A light touch on the tiller

- No Comments

So its day five of the Gaping Void blog month and today’s cartoon brings together ...

More posts

Next >

False dichotomies, reality avoidance

- 2 Comments

In my keynote on Friday at Agile Maine I opened by suggesting that there was ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram