Shift P.O.V (Point Of View) is a new experience designed for processing difficult issues in business teams. Its specifically structured as a card game to engage members of a group in experiencing other points of view and different angles of a problem they are trying to resolve. Discussion rounds are closely timed for 7-10 minutes to increase focus and reduce repetition, with participants engaging the issue from first one point of view, and then, in the second round, from the opposite POV as a test of their listening and communication skills. Random Factor rounds happen between the discussions for 1 minute to clear the air, offer experiential insights, prompt creativity and relaxation. The entire experience, once the group is familiar with the process, can be conducted and satisfactorily completed within an hour.
Discussion Round 1: Participants are asked to begin the first discussion round by picking a POV card: Activator, On the Fence, Skeptic relative to the case, everyone in the circle jots down some notes (good for the introverts), states their starting position briefly around the circle, and the facilitator begins the first discussion round by asking some starting questions.
Please note that those who choose the On the Fence starting position will be asked by the Facilitator to choose between taking either Activator or Skeptic for the starting round as a way to try on the integrity of either side, as a means to clarify their own position. OR, if the group numbers over 10 participants, the Facilitator might choose to have these individuals take observational notes on the behaviors/interactions in the group throughout the first two rounds, with the requirement that their input will be particularly asked for in the third round. Often, people who choose On the Fence can get stuck there, so they need to be encouraged to participate more fully.
From there, input into the discussion will be determined by the card chosen. For example: An Activator could be aligned and enthused about a change, a Skeptic would resist, and On the Fence is…..On the Fence.
The discussion proceeds for 7 – 10 minutes, and then everyone will choose a card from the *Random Factor pile. There are three suits here: Actions, Observations, Questions. Participants – including On the Fence and the Facilitator – if he/she chooses – perform the Random Factor activity, consider the question, or make the observation for a period of one minute, and then Round 2 of the discussion begins. See below for more info on the Random Factors.
In Discussion Round 2, timed again at 7-10 minutes, participants are required to engage the issue from the opposite point of view than the one they held in the first round. This is a key and unique element of the Shift/POV experience; it serves as a test of how well the participants listened to the opposing side, and how open they are to articulating it. This aspect has been proven to be one of the most revealing and educational experiences many participants have had in terms of learning about their own group behaviors and communication habits. The Facilitator can choose to announce this element prior to the game, but choosing not to reveal this twist gives the group a strong experiential education! Discussion Round 2 is followed by another Random Factor 1 minute round.
Discussion Round 3 can serve as a 7-1- minute chance to give more time to any questions or issues that came up in the first two rounds, a preliminary brainstorming session, or as a comprehensive debrief of the Shift/POV experience relative to the issue discussed. It is vital that On the Fence participants, if they have been observing to this point, be engaged in sharing their insights and observations.
A Note on the Random Factors (RF): These cards have been developed as insight and creativity prompts. Each suit is numbered so that the Facilitator can strategically choose which RF’s would most benefit a particular group, and set the others aside.
Our research categorizes typical group dynamics into three broad types:
- Issues: hesitant, polite, lack of trust, difficult to engage
- Needs: Safe space for authenticity
- Random Factor Cards 1-5 in all suits
Stuck on the Surface:
- Issues: impatient, rushed, distracted, “hates meetings”, difficult to get their best input
- Needs: Opportunities to slow down, become more mindful and “present” in the interactions
- Random Factor Cards 6-10 in all suits
- Issues: Jostling for Status, power-over dynamics, lack of trust or mutual respect
- Needs: Build focus on and appreciation for others, spark curiosity instead of judgement
- Random Factor Cards 11-15