Brainzooming is designing an online collaboration where the organizer embraced our invitation to include both experienced and inexperienced participants. That’s a very smart move to efficiently expand the thinking and perspectives.
Across the planned topics and questions, some are ideal for a mixed group of participants. Others, depend more on having familiarity with what the organization has done previously. We can open the questions to accommodate those situations but, we don’t want to create separate question sets for each group. In that case, we might as well separate the two groups.
Instead, we assured the organizer that we’ll set the stage through participation guidelines and how we facilitate each exercise.
Facilitating Participants with Varied Experience Levels
Here’s what we’ll share with the participants to prepare them for collaboration success.
For Inexperienced Participants
- Don’t restrict yourself to commenting only on topics where you have direct experience. Feel free to imagine, hypothesize, and suggest anything you’d like, even if you haven’t been directly involved previously.
- Incorporate your experiences and perspectives from any other situations where you’ve been involved.
- At the start, consider reacting to others’ perspectives through asking questions, building on their ideas, and offering other possibilities.
For Experienced Participants
- Cheer any new thinking that you haven’t seen previously.
- Stay away from we’ve done that, here’s why we haven’t done that, and why it can’t be done
- If you know something can’t be done, concentrate on sharing an idea that might be possible for accomplishing the same goal.
To promote active participation by everyone, we’ll also:
- Revisit these guidelines as needed
- Provide specific examples that we’ve imagined ahead of time
Call out instances where it’s clear that inexperienced people are making outstanding contributions
Do You Need to Improve Your Opportunities for Audience Input?
If you’re accustomed to settling for not getting all the perspectives you need from focus groups, board meetings, customer advisory groups, or any other mixed user collaborative environments, let’s discuss your challenges.