Take silent thinking time a step further and use a set of images to stimulate thinking, and to focus responses. These cards from St Luke’s Innovative Resources www.innovativeresources.org are just one example of sets available. Consider making your own.
Here’s an example that worked well on a Retreat recently. The cards were scattered over tables, so each card was visible. The tables were placed in a U shape providing a large clear space of carpet in the middle. The questions were:
How would you describe your role here? Choose an image or phrase that sums up your role and can illustrate this to the rest of the group. When you have chosen the card, pick it up and keep it with you.
- What inspires you in your contribution here? Choose an image/phrase that can illustrate these hopes to the rest of the group. When you have chosen the card, pick it up and keep it with you.
Individuals used silent thinking time to walk around the tables and choose their image.
Participants formed groups to share responses. Groups came up with words to represent their collective roles and inspirations, wrote these words on large cards, one letter per card.
The final step - groups added their words/letters to a giant crossword puzzle in the centre of the room.
To add another step, use the words to shape a statement of intent, or a mission statement.
This provides a novel and energetic way to “feedback” without hearing from every single person in the room, yet every single person contributes to the end result.