IAF Methods Database Newsletter

Hello Facilitators,
Welcome to the June IAF-Methods Database Newsletter!

This month I’d like to draw your attention to something special: The IAF Methods Database is looking for Associate Editors! Help needed ranges from proofreading to adding new methods, assessing existing methods and working with online researchers. If you think you would like to contribute some time to the IAFMD, let us know and we can work together to create your role. You’ll learn a lot, meet nice people and have something special to add to your CV.

This month’s method is a simple variation on brain writing that I saw used in two groups last week, and was most impressed. Somehow not talking seems to focus people’s thinking. See if it helps your groups!

Method of the Month
The Silent Mindmap

To generate a diversity of new ideas through silent, visual dialogue.

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.
Online, setup a whiteboard for the participants and ensure that each person chooses a separate color for their input.
You might play some instrumental music in the background once the group has started their work.

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.

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?

Last month’s Poll raised the question, With what configuration of support do you typically facilitate?

It was great to see that, although about half of us facilitate alone, there are almost another half in this group who can afford to regularly co-facilitate with others. Congratulations! The responses were:

I usually facilitate on my own.52%
I usually facilitate with one co-facilitator.39%
I usually facilitate with someone to do graphic or audio-visual support.3%
I usually facilitate with someone to take photos and/or minutes.3%
I usually facilitate with more than one co-facilitator3%

If you have a suggestion for a poll please contact us!