“One thing, I think never works, whether it’s a facilitator or technology, is trying to explicitly draw the quieter people into the conversation. In my experience if they feel they are being coaxed, encouraged or otherwise manipulated, they withdraw even more. I think the best approach is simply to create an ultra-safe environment, sit back and wait. If they are ever going to, they will emerge in their own time. “
1. I know what’s David’s saying, and have some thoughts about it.
2. I think there is a clear difference between coaxing, encouraging, and manipulating the quieter people to participate. All of these are not equal – and I think the rules under the different intents are different.
3. In my workshops or seminars, I often ask specific quiet people if they have something to say – not usually early in our time together, but frequently later in the day. As in, “Jane, you haven’t said much today. How is this session going for you?” I think it’s worked out okay – I definitely haven’t had as strong a negative reaction as David seems to imply above. I really want to hear what they have to say – and I can only get that if I ask.
4. What’s your experience with intentionally asking the “quiet” people to share their thoughts during a workshop / seminar / meeting?
Categories: Culture & Competency