Clarify Challenge

The aim is to clarify the assignment and define the goal, so as to ensure that the question is concise and well thought out.

Organisation

  • Duration
    Short (up to 30 minutes)
  • Complexity
    Simple
  • Group size
    1 to 100 persons

Description Long

The clarification of the challenge at the start of each workshop ensures that workshop participants have worked out the assignment/question very precisely, and understood it. Enough time should also be allowed for questions. Are there any existing, helpful or undesirable limits to the assignment/question?  This is extremely important during the progress of the workshop, especially during troubled phases.

 

The creative processes can only be begun once the assignment/question has been clarified.

Preparation

It depends on the attitude and vibe within the group. The best foundation for success is to nurture curiosity and openness to all questions, even if they appear silly.

Execution

  1. The workshop leader (or the principals) will now animate the group to pose questions related to the understanding of the assignment/question, without going into too much detail.
  2. Questions related to understanding are answered.
  3. Each group member is subsequently asked to summarise the assignment/question as he or she understands it at that moment, and to write down the keywords LEGIBLY, so that they can be read from afar.
  4. Stick these summaries to a flipchart poster, and let the authors read them aloud.
  5. Generally, any differences in terms of understanding and expression will become evident.
  6. The workshop leader will now encourage the group to ask free, open content-related questions concerning the assignment/question.
  7. This crucial phase of the workshop should be used to ask all present questions, to differentiate and clarify them. Are there any existing, helpful or undesirable limits to the assignment/question? Where are the existing freedoms within the assignment?
  8. Write down the questions legibly, so that they can be read from afar, and stick them to the flipchart poster.
  9. Verbalise each answer (depending on workshop leader/principle/group) and, if necessary, write them down legibly, so that they can be read from afar, and stick them to the flipchart poster.
  10. Once the workshop leader has answered all the questions concerning the assignment/question, a poster with all the remarks, including any required additions, is created and displayed in a spot in the room that is visible to everyone.

Hints from experience

Should you, the workshop leader, have the impression that there are inhibitions among the members in the group to ask questions openly, now is the time to help the group to ask those supposedly ‘silly’ questions by posing some yourself.

Provide suitable pens and Post-its, so that the texts can be read from a distance. Be sure to remind the participants to write legibly.

The sequence and detail of the recommended ten-step execution can be adjusted, depending on the assignment and the time available.

Tools list

  • Worksheets, prepared

References

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