Video: How to draw a symbol for icebreaker

Video: How to draw a symbol for icebreaker

Are you ready to break the ice?

When facilitating or training I often use a form of icebreaker to ease people into learning.

And whilst mention of term icebreaker can at times invite a rolling of the eyes, any occasion where I experimented with no icebreaker felt strained and uncomfortable.

And hey, icebreakers don’t have to be lengthy. There’s a lot to be said for a short ‘n’ sweet exercise.

In today’s video we look at how to draw a symbol for icebreaker.

Click on the image below to take you to the video.

Top Tip: Draw this image on a flipchart in advance of a session and then invite the group to share their ideas for icebreakers using post it notes. Vote for the favourite. You’ll have much more buy in when people are involved in the creation of the exercise.

Enjoy!

Emer

Why you don’t have to be good at drawing

Why you don’t have to be good at drawing

You really don’t have to be good at drawing to be an excellent visual thinker and here are three reasons why:

1. First and foremost ‘good at drawing’ is a very subjective benchmark. It takes us down the slippery path of ‘What is art?’, the kind of question I left behind in Cork along with my MA in Philosophy.

With visual thinking and graphic facilitation our focus is not on ‘art’ or ‘good drawings’, our focus is on helping people to understand something, to share ideas and to enhance communication.

2. I always say visual thinking is 50% skill and 50% mindset. You can be the world’s greatest artist but if you’re plagued with perfectionism or never take yourself out of your comfort zone then you’ll need a real mindset shift in order to be a great visual thinker.

3. Research has shown that your drawings only need to look 30% like what they’re supposed to be. Our brains fill in the gaps. So even if you’re working with a group and your drawings are really sketchy, this sketchiness in fact increases engagement as we examine the meanings of the drawings. The drawings are not ‘done’. They allow for growth, expansion and exploration.

And who wouldn’t benefit from some of that in these changing times?

All the best,
Emer

Sketchnote: The Growth Mindset

Sketchnote: The Growth Mindset

Recently I’ve found myself immersed in Carol Dweck’s book, ‘Mindset: Change the way you think to fulfil your potential.’.

It was Dweck who came up with the notion of the growth mindset i.e. a way of thinking where you believe that you have the potential to learn how to do whatever you want. Someone with a growth mindset relishes challenges, is open to new ideas, likes to try new things and believes that the effort they put in determines their success.

I often say a visual thinking mindset is a growth mindset – with visual thinking we step out of our comfort zone, we are open to new ways of working and we test old limiting beliefs such as ‘I can’t draw’ or ‘I was never good at art at school so I’m going to be hopeless at this.’

And really, it starts with the belief. The more you believe you can do something the more effort you’ll put in and the more effort you put in the greater your sense of achievement. This achievement then reinforces your positive belief that you really can do whatever you set your mind to. And so the virtuous circle continues.

And if your starting point is a negative belief? If you genuinely believe you can’t draw/do an Ironman/solve quadratic equations?

Then look for evidence that challenges this. Recall past successes where you overcame limiting beliefs. Consider other ways of assessing your belief. Seek out evidence that supports the (true!) belief that you can do anything you set your mind to.

All the best,
Emer

Video: How to draw a car for your parking sheet

Video: How to draw a car for your parking sheet

Do you use Parking Sheets in your work?

They are a great way to invite a pause when delivering a session and the content discussed is either:
a. not linked to the session topic
b. in too much detail to allow a proper discussion given the constraints of the agenda

You can use a Parking Sheet to ‘park’ the topic and return to it later.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to flex your visual thinking muscles by drawing a car! No Parking Sheet is complete without a customary car icon.

Now you too can quickly and easily recreate the style and presence of a VW Beetle. Click on the image below for your step by step video tutorial >>

All the best,
Emer

Three Horizons: A Strategic Visioning Tool

Three Horizons: A Strategic Visioning Tool

I went along to the Facilitators’ Network here in Edinburgh and learned about a strategic visioning tool called Three Horizons.

It’s a tool that allows us to imagine what an ideal future (H3) may look like.

The following diagram gives us an opportunity to reflect on three co-existing horizons and the interplay between them.

H1 represents the status quo. When we ask ourselves what H1 looks like we consider what’s happening right now and within that we consider what keeps things going and needs to stay. Conversely we also discuss what we need to let go of and what no longer serves us.

H2 represents innovation. It’s an entrepreneurial space. It’s about trying things out and prototyping.
H2- may look new and different but it’s really just a version of H1.
H2+ takes us into H3 (future) space and asks the question ‘What can we try?’

In H3 we explore further what this imagined future looks like.

By exploring the dynamic of the H1, H2 and H3 horizons we begin see possibilities and opportunities for change and we imagine what that change looks like within a safe space.

On the day we did a practice run of the tool under the topic ‘Future City’. We were tasked to break off into groups and go around the city taking photos of things we imagined may be H1, H2 and H3 Future Edinburgh. It was great fun and an interesting way to collaborate, discuss and imagine our ideal Future City.

Here’s a photo our group took that represents H3 – we were going for ‘playfulness’ ( whilst reflecting the future pedestrianised George Street of our imagination…)

Image courtesy of Sabina Strachan

I love learning about strategic visioning tools as it’s an area I work a lot in. I also love blending and weaving different tools to find the right fit for my client. If you would like to have a chat with me about planning for you or your team’s future, get in touch via email or give me a call on 0131 554 6551.

Thanks and all the best,
Emer