No. 06 / 2018

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Welcome back!

No excuses: You didn’t hear from me in April and May because I needed to take a little break. On the one hand because I’m running a huge project with heaps of workshops and sprints back to back and therefore needed to pause writing the newsletter to stay sane. On the other hand, it’s also because I’m pondering over how to further develop this newsletter.

For some time now I’ve been a little bored by focusing on just formats, methods and tools, because it feels like this doesn’t reflect the bigger picture. Besides sharing thoughts and experiences on how to do things, I also want to start thinking about the bigger picture in the workshops and meetings we are facilitating and having. I want to ask questions such as:

  • How do we want to make people feel and how do we want to affect people in a workshop or meeting? 
  • How might we extend the effect of a one-off / temporary workshop into daily (working) routines? What kind of environments (spatial, cultural) do we need for that?
  • Besides facilitating workshops that are targeted to change and transform industries, in what ways do we reflect on how this transformation is affecting humans?
  • How can we combine digital and analog spheres to create a desirable experience? 

I’d love to hear from you on this. What do you think? Let me know if you, too, are wondering about similar questions or if there is a specific question that I should address in the future!  
To keep things simple for now, I want to start by sharing only one topic for today. 

Did you know, you can read all past editions here

Check-In Rounds to Start a Meeting or Workshop 

When it comes to time-boxed innovation workshops, pressure is often high and there is (by design) little time for anything else outside of what the focus topics are. While this can be quite an effective way to get a method across and create a productive working environment, more and more often, I’m observing that we tend to forget to take time for human connection and interaction. This is quite shortsighted, especially when we run workshops on human-centered design… 

A simple—but for many people quite unusual and therefore sometimes challenging way to create space for person-to-person connection in a workshop or a meeting—is a check-in round. You can do this with every participant, or in groups or sub-teams. Check-ins are a great way to take some time right at the beginning to genuinely look at what else is going on in the lives of those in the room right next to you. In our minds, which are trained for high-efficiency and time boxing, this might sound like a waste of time. But in my experience, this time investment pays off and creates more empathy: we learn about each other, get to know what is distracting, challenging or motivating for the people we work with. It’s learning about these things that will ultimately influence the way we are able to collaborate. Whether it is just for a one-day workshop or a bigger collaborative project. 

If you would like to read about experiences with check-ins and how you could start using them, I suggest reading Check-in rounds — How the start of a meeting can be the beginning of so much more by Braden Kowitz. 

If you have any questions or suggestions for topics that should be covered please drop me an e-mail!

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Thank you!
Yours, Claudia

Hello, I'm Claudia Brückner and I write this monthly newsletter about experience design, human interaction and facilitation for you. It includes formats, facilitation methods and tools as well as reflections on new ways of working, learning, meeting, collaborating and innovating.
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Postal Address: 
Claudia Brückner
Große Hamburger Straße 28
c/o Ballroom
Berlin 10115

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