We are working like little Mischief Minons to get a very special toolkit up and running for our network. Until then, you can check out this work-in-progress BETA version where we curate the best tools out there.
This Liberating Structures tool is a great way to generate energy at the beginning of a meeting. It provides an opportunity for everyone to speak early. It gets everyone up and moving so blood is flowing. It signals that this will not be a meeting like all others. Invite everyone to think individually about a provocative question that relates to the purpose of the meeting. Make it a question that levels the playing field. No right answer. Something everyone has an equal ability to talk about. Tell participants that when they hear the bell, they should find a partner - someone they know less well than they know others. After 5 minutes ring the bell and have them move to a different partner. They do this for a total of three rounds. One thing to notice about this process is that everyone gets to speak early in the meeting. There will be three rounds with 2-3 minutes per person to speak.
1 minute Ask everyone to stand up and move into a space where there is some elbowroom. Ask them to leave all their “stuff” behind.
1 minute Invite everyone to think about a question that relates to the purpose of the meeting - something everyone has an equal ability to talk about.
5 minutes Tell participants that when the bell rings, they should find a partner - someone they know less well. Invite them to have a conversation about the suggested question for two minutes each.
10 minutes Now, ring the bell and invite participants to find partner and have another conversation. Each round lasts five minutes. Between rounds, ask them to put a hand up if they are looking for a partner so they can see who else needs a partner.
3 minutes After three “rounds” invite the group to sit back down and debrief them.