Question of the Day
January 30, 2014
Dr. Ross Wirth
TopicsAlignment, Community, engagement, meeting facilitation, shared vision
What question might you ask to move toward group alignment and shared vision?
The question of the day is designed to be an icebreaker that also gets everyone thinking. Over time these icebreakers are an aid in community building among the group, leading to alignment and developing a shared vision of what they can become as a group. Ideally the question would somehow relate to the agenda for that particular session, but this is not necessary.
The following questions are offered as suggestions. However the facilitator is encouraged to create her own icebreaker as needed on the pathway to developing a shared vision.
- How many years have you worked here? (Use this question if this is the first meeting of the group. Tally up and later announce the total number of years.)
- How are you applying what you are learning in these sessions?
- What positive change have you seen in another group member?
- Describe a situation where you acted as a self-leader and what was the outcome?
- Who is your role model for the topic of today's session and why?
- Suggest either a "do" or a "don't" tip that would be helpful in today's topic.
- Suggest a tip for working with a difficult person.
- What is the greatest challenge you are now facing? (... at work? ... in your life?)
- When did you learn something "the hard way?"
- What was something you learned on your first paying job?
- If you could have a conversation with a famous person who would it be and why?
- What is your favorite color and what does that say about your personality?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your hobby?
- If you were to give yourself a motto or slogan, what would it be?
- What is something new that you have experienced in the last week?
- Guess who? (Prior to the session, ask all participants to provide answers to a number of simple questions. Then see who can match the person to the answers. Some questions might be: favorite food, best vacation, where born, favorite movie of all time, last book read, dream car, etc.)
The key to these questions is to get the group talking, not necessary to divine deep knowledge. As a discussion facilitator, you can watch for opportunities that are likely to emerge and use those to springboard into other issues related to the topic of interest that day. Defensive responses or side remarks are likely candidates to search for deeper issues.
Photo source: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2257/3534516458_6be8f6ef9d_o.jpg
Hi Ross. Great ideas for icebreaker questions. And your point about “Defensive responses or side remarks are likely candidates to search for deeper issues.” –I think that is just as important as when people give “cooperative” answers. Good information for the leader or facilitator. Not only, that, how you as the leader handle those types of answers sets a tone.
Good comment on cooperative answers that may be a cover for passive-aggressive behavior that might be lurking beneath the surface.