The Silent Mindmap

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Identification
Level of process: 
Method
Intent or purpose: 
To generate a diversity of new ideas through silent, visual dialogue.
Used as component of: 
A workshop process to create new input or new directions
Recommended size of group: 
1-10
Optimal amount of time needed: 
30 minutes to an hour
Howto
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
A series of clusters of related ideas
Level of participation: 
active participation form all group members
Potential Pitfalls: 
Individuals need good literacy skills in their common anguage
How is success evaluated: 
The occurence of a few helpful new clusters of ideas
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Pre-Work Required: 
Hang a very large roll of paper on several flipchart sheets attached together on the wall. Provide markers in a different color for each of the participants. Write the focus question in the center of the chart.
Procedures: 

Instructions
Silently write as many ideas as you can to answer the focus question, each one inside of a circle. As you see responses from your colleagues, let them stimulate new ideas. As you think of something new to add to a colleague’s thought, add a circle clustered next to their circle. In this way as a group, continue to silently dialogue about the focus question until the space is filled.
Reflection
Now it’s time to talk. As a group, read through the clusters and mark the two or three ones that most appeal to you, that seem to have the most possibility. Take each of the appealing clusters and develop it further with questions such as:
• What other thoughts does this cluster bring to mind?
• What do you like about it?
• What is this about—what’s the central focus here?
• How can we take this further in our planning?

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