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Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet NoodlesCreating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations                 ...
Beth KoloskiLead Experience ArchitectEffectiveUI
Today’s objective:• Get ideas for dealing with  scary situations in workshops• Feel more comfortable going  in to your nex...
Your tips:#workshop_tips
Scary Things
• No one participates• Only one person participates• They think this activity is silly• The ‘boss’ discourages others from...
Workshop Facilitation 101
Own theprocess.
+Own the               Share ownershipprocess.               for the outcome.
Wet Noodles
What if nobody participates?
Draw out a silent participant • Direct questions to the silent   participant • Ask the silent participant to react   to so...
Provide a structure • Pair then report • Stickie exercises • One minute each • Simply say, "Turn to the person   next to y...
Still pulling teeth? • smaller groups • more hands on • ask what’s blocking • check initial  objectives
Fire-Breathing Dragons
What if one persondominates the wholeconversation?
Dealing with excessive talkersAvoid discouraging the excessive talker, instead.... • At the start of the meeting, establis...
What about the mean naysayerwho is poisoning thecollaborative tone?
Dealing with Negative Nelly • special attention on breaks • validate
What if one personshuts everyone elsedown? What if it’s themain stakeholder?
Dealing with Stakeholder Shutdown Before the workshop: • Make sure your stakeholder knows what you are planning to   do, t...
Participant Misbehavior
“It’s my first day and theclients are yelling at eachother.”
Prep• know who is coming• set expectations• solicit stakeholder’s desires, concerns• invite participants• reschedule if ne...
Opening• set expectations for  behavior• get buy in on objective• working buy in on agenda• change agenda if needed• let g...
Fixed Ideas
What if they just say“That’s the way we’vealways done it?”
Ideas for unfixing fixedideasDon’t attack the idea head on,instead....• Have them argue from the other  perspective• Break d...
Lack of Consensus
Building Consensus &Deciding• Stake in the ground/working  agreement• Acknowledge and record opposing  views• Dot Vote• Th...
“I’m doing all theactivities, butwe’re still notgetting toconsensus.”
Ideas for Dealing with Lack ofConsensus• Ask who decides• Ask what’s standing in the way of  deciding• Ask if consensus is...
Managing Time
Managing Time101• Parking Lot• Get the group to help manage                                 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sh...
Managing Time201When it becomes apparent you’re notgetting where you thought you would,decide as a group:• Timebox the top...
Everything Else
When all else fails• acknowledge what’s going  on if something is going  awry• suggest a solution• ask the group
Design Workshop Activities
Engaging in UserResearchGo Around the RoomEach participant says whatstood out most from theusability session, study,survey
Thinking Like UsersEmpathy MapParticipants fill in what aparticular type of user ishearing, thinking, seeing,saying and doi...
Thinking About Users:4 SquareFor each user type,participants help fill in each ofthe following:• goals• triggers• would find...
Prioritizing/Choosing:Dot VotingGive each participant 3 dots tovote on their favorite/themost important (feature,persona, ...
Gamestorming: A Playbook forInnovators, Rulebreakers, andChangemakers by Dave Gray
We’re hiring!                 effectiveui.com/                 careers  Your tips:#workshop_tips   Find us here or email: ...
Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet Noodles: Creating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations
Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet Noodles: Creating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations
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Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet Noodles: Creating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations

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Workshops! We go in with big hopes for collaboration, collective insights and great ideas. Then come out with… a whole bunch of post-it notes and unresolved arguments.

Running a great workshop means being prepared to deal with a lot of potential situations, including: the fire-breathing dragon, who tries to dominate the workshop with angry naysaying; the wet noodle who won’t participate; and utter discombobulation when the workshop goes totally off track.

This presentation will give practical advice for dealing with these and other common, but scary, situations in running workshops.

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  • 11 year old in Libya. Vest, waved. \nStand\nState that you’ll be leading the session and then do it\nTell people what to do\nIf you don’t:\nsomeone else will\nno one will\n\n
  • Quakers\nAsk for buy in on the objective \nAsk for buy in on participation\nChange the agenda if the group wants to \nIf you don’t: \nwhen people don’t share ownership, they don’t care\n\n
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  • “Bob, I’d love to hear from the entire team while we have everyone here today. Could you let everyone know if that’s something you support?” \n\n\n\n
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  • Transcript of "Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet Noodles: Creating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations"

    1. 1. Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet NoodlesCreating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations Beth Koloski Lead Experience Architect
    2. 2. Beth KoloskiLead Experience ArchitectEffectiveUI
    3. 3. Today’s objective:• Get ideas for dealing with scary situations in workshops• Feel more comfortable going in to your next workshop• Get ideas for design workshop activities
    4. 4. Your tips:#workshop_tips
    5. 5. Scary Things
    6. 6. • No one participates• Only one person participates• They think this activity is silly• The ‘boss’ discourages others from participating• The mean person• I can’t control the group or someone in the group• No one agrees• We don’t get through everything we need to get through• Everyone is stuck in their mindset…I can’t seem to unstick them
    7. 7. Workshop Facilitation 101
    8. 8. Own theprocess.
    9. 9. +Own the Share ownershipprocess. for the outcome.
    10. 10. Wet Noodles
    11. 11. What if nobody participates?
    12. 12. Draw out a silent participant • Direct questions to the silent participant • Ask the silent participant to react to someone elses statement • Reinforce • Check in during a break • Solicit help
    13. 13. Provide a structure • Pair then report • Stickie exercises • One minute each • Simply say, "Turn to the person next to you and discuss this." • Design games and activities * * this is the fun part
    14. 14. Still pulling teeth? • smaller groups • more hands on • ask what’s blocking • check initial objectives
    15. 15. Fire-Breathing Dragons
    16. 16. What if one persondominates the wholeconversation?
    17. 17. Dealing with excessive talkersAvoid discouraging the excessive talker, instead.... • At the start of the meeting, establish equal participation by all members as a goal • Interrupt the person with a question directed to someone else • Pair then report • Air time limits • Ask others to react • Design games and activities
    18. 18. What about the mean naysayerwho is poisoning thecollaborative tone?
    19. 19. Dealing with Negative Nelly • special attention on breaks • validate
    20. 20. What if one personshuts everyone elsedown? What if it’s themain stakeholder?
    21. 21. Dealing with Stakeholder Shutdown Before the workshop: • Make sure your stakeholder knows what you are planning to do, that you expect participation During: • Restate your need to hear from everyone • Ask that person to give permission to others to participate • Suggest a short-term solution “Let’s try this for 45 minutes”
    22. 22. Participant Misbehavior
    23. 23. “It’s my first day and theclients are yelling at eachother.”
    24. 24. Prep• know who is coming• set expectations• solicit stakeholder’s desires, concerns• invite participants• reschedule if needed
    25. 25. Opening• set expectations for behavior• get buy in on objective• working buy in on agenda• change agenda if needed• let go of “everything else I should be doing” http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dmahugh/archive/2009/06/29/wg4-wg5-meetings.aspx
    26. 26. Fixed Ideas
    27. 27. What if they just say“That’s the way we’vealways done it?”
    28. 28. Ideas for unfixing fixedideasDon’t attack the idea head on,instead....• Have them argue from the other perspective• Break down pros & cons, assumptions, unknowns• Get the right participants• Enumerate the ways the fixed idea has served them• Explore the consequences of the fixed idea
    29. 29. Lack of Consensus
    30. 30. Building Consensus &Deciding• Stake in the ground/working agreement• Acknowledge and record opposing views• Dot Vote• Thumbs up/down vote
    31. 31. “I’m doing all theactivities, butwe’re still notgetting toconsensus.”
    32. 32. Ideas for Dealing with Lack ofConsensus• Ask who decides• Ask what’s standing in the way of deciding• Ask if consensus is needed• Go backwards
    33. 33. Managing Time
    34. 34. Managing Time101• Parking Lot• Get the group to help manage http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnnap/ 5571400637/
    35. 35. Managing Time201When it becomes apparent you’re notgetting where you thought you would,decide as a group:• Timebox the topic/activity and continue another time,• This important, let’s keep going (and reschedule the other stuff for later)• We’ve gotten what we need out of this, let’s just move on• This approach isn’t working, let’s take a http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnnap/ 5571400637/ different one
    36. 36. Everything Else
    37. 37. When all else fails• acknowledge what’s going on if something is going awry• suggest a solution• ask the group
    38. 38. Design Workshop Activities
    39. 39. Engaging in UserResearchGo Around the RoomEach participant says whatstood out most from theusability session, study,survey
    40. 40. Thinking Like UsersEmpathy MapParticipants fill in what aparticular type of user ishearing, thinking, seeing,saying and doing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/davegray/ 2380465521/
    41. 41. Thinking About Users:4 SquareFor each user type,participants help fill in each ofthe following:• goals• triggers• would find compelling• would find disappointing
    42. 42. Prioritizing/Choosing:Dot VotingGive each participant 3 dots tovote on their favorite/themost important (feature,persona, task flow, whatever).
    43. 43. Gamestorming: A Playbook forInnovators, Rulebreakers, andChangemakers by Dave Gray
    44. 44. We’re hiring! effectiveui.com/ careers Your tips:#workshop_tips Find us here or email: Beth Koloski beth.koloski@effectiveui.com Elias Parker elias.parker@effectiveui.com
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