The simple marking dot can be effectively used in visualization workshops to help communicate and solve a variety of challenges. Here are a few suggestions on how to use this ordinary, but highly competent facilitation accessory to your advantage.
Engage with your participants and uncover their general mood using the “One-Vote-Question” technique. In this example ask them a simple question: “How are you feeling at this moment?”, and then proceed to have them answer it by placing a marking dot in the appropriate spot on your visual template(s). This allows people to give a more sincere answer as there is no explanation needed, and it has encouraged active participation.
The two visual templates above give you examples of how to gauge the temperament of your attendees with or without scaling.
In workshop/meeting situations where you need the participants to prioritize or choose on various topics, this technique is highly effective. Ensure each person has enough marking dots depending on what is required of them.
How many dots will that be? Simply divide the number of topics you will be highlighting by 2 and that is generally the right quantity of dots per attendee. However, it’s always good to have extra dots if needed.
If you want to reduce or eliminate participant interaction and get the most honest responses during a voting session; then “Blind Voting” is ideal for that.
First you must number your topics. Then ask your group to vote by placing the topic number in the order of their preference on their dots, and you collect the results without anybody knowing who voted for what.
Simplifying The Complex
For particularly complex subjects that have the potential to quickly become confusing, it’s useful to break it down into individual points. Now, these simple points can be considered separately and evaluated with more clarity.
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