There's a great scene in the latest X-Men movie. In a boardroom at the Pentagon, the chairman asks twenty or so generals if the US should bomb Russia. After the obligatory dramatic pause, all hands go up enthusiastically and in unison. It's a laughable moment in a so-so movie, but a very instructive example of groupthink.
I spent a pleasant evening recently with 14 delightful board members of a local non-profit. The session lasted several hours and was very productive. It reminded me how informal a facilitation can be and still be effective. In reflecting on the session, I noticed that I used four of my favorite informal techniques – Floundering, The Pearls, The Sophisticate, and The Time Nazi – and I'd like to share them with you.
see also: techniques