I am hoping someone has some tips for dealing with vocal and extremely difficult detractors in the audience.
Hey mroy! We straight up designate certain segments of our session as "no influencing" times. So we set the rules up front - no influencing, no discussing, no questions, etc. - then we put the question/topic out there with instructions on what/how we want them to contribute and set the timer. Then we provide time for discussion, q&a, etc. after it's over. And even then we use the pass the baton style - each person gets one minute to ask a question, provide perspective, etc. and then it has to be passed to the next participant. Hope that helps!
@Tricia ....GENIUS! and so simple! Please keep the tips coming! 😊 👍
That's tough, but I do like it when facilitators use the timer feature. It's like, I'm not silencing you—but the robot says we have to move on! 😉
I use 'Private Mode' to encourage reflection time and individual working. When I this function, id recommend setting up the Mural in advance with the names of the participants on the specific post it note you want them to record their notes on (otherwise it chaos as no-one knows where to type and it creates frustration).
I also ask participants to confirm a 'Safe Word' at the start of a session - i encourage it to be something silly like a TV programme they have watched or their last alcoholic drink. I encourage everyone to use this phrase in the session if they feel the topic is going down a rabbit hole (i.e. very detailed conversations which arent useful to the overall goal of the workshop)
I also have a 'parking zone' where these random topics can be parked so the active talker feels like their views/thoughts are still heard but it doesnt detract from the overall session
Hope this helps :)
@Angela, these are great tips. Love the idea of a cue everyone can use if the rabbit holes are seen!
Quick question - by assigning a post it note, do you assign one note per person or do you build out an area per person so they can use more than one sticky?
This is how my brain feels when a rabbit trail starts!
On Zoom, it's harder for people to catch social cues and body language. A safe word is a great tactic.
@Amanda it depends on the Mural. As my sessions are all aimed on collaboration and seeking group views on defined topics I generally have multiple post it notes in each 'activity area' with their name assigned on dedicated post it note. I have between 8-10 delegates in my workshops so its easy to control. I do it in this way so when private mode is then switched off everyone can easily see the thoughts of their colleagues in 1 space.
My brain feels the same on rabbit holes too lol!
@Jeff_Eyet Yes this is exactly why i use the safe word technique :) it makes it a comfortable way for anyone to shout out the word and make the talker check themselves! I also use safe word for people to shout out if ground rules are being broken too.
@Tricia This is amazing! Do you by any chance have examples of how you introduce this idea? I would love to see a an example of what you share visually in a MURAL, or how you set this up. I LOVE this idea, and will definitely be adding it into my toolkit!
And, each time I use it, I will make sure to tell everyone that you taught me how to do this magic trick!😀
@Angela Thanks so much for these amazing tips and suggestions. I am stealing the "safe word" right away. That is such a great idea! We can always feel when things are going off the rails, but creating a safe space and language to signal to everyone that we are heading down the rabbit hole is brilliant!
Thanks so much for all the clarity and support here friends! This has truly helped a ton!
@mroy I sadly admit that as a participant i am often one of the overly enthusiastic players - and in the spirit of inclusion of extraverts and people who actually do have differently wired brains - please think of us as enthusiastic contributors rather than vocal detractors. You may come up with even more creative ways to leverage what you refer to as detractors and think of them as catalysts. @Amanda
@Amanda i like your use of private mode - I am going to uses that more!
For a dominant speaker, I will thank them for their idea, and then say "okay, I am sure you have more ideas. I would like to hear 10 more ideas from other participants and then we'll come back to you."
@LyndaBaker This is a great reframe. Thank you so much for the thoughtfulness here.
@mroy and @LyndaBaker I have to admit that this question really perplexes me. It was my students' stony silence in 2020's online Black Hole that was the main reason I have been Muralizing my heart out in 2021. It was exactly my goal to stimulate some extremely vocal...traction :-).
To those of you who have this "problem": lucky you! As the comments show, there are lots of ways to handle an overzealous participant, but a first step might be to embrace their interest, with the appreciation that silence and lack of activity is even more challenging.
I love participants that have a lot to say. They are the engines of my classes that get everybody to where they need to be. They keep me on my toes too. If critical thinking is the goal - and it is - that means we get served a dish of Humble sometimes too. So be it :-).
This is such a great perspective @Christina - thank you for sharing with us, and turning this on its head to be a positive thing! Like you said, it's a good "problem" to have. 😊