One-day Connecting-Probing-Reflecting (CPR) workshop
February 10, 2017 Leave a comment
This blog post compresses into one day (11h 45m) a previous suggestion of how participants’ interests and energies could be engaged over the day and a half of a ThinkTank on topic X. The instructions are given for arrangements with the additional goal of making it possible to host such 1-day CPR workshops without major funding and without burning out the organizers. (Some details to be added: Lunch & dinner arrangements; Participants helping with meal set-up and clean-up;…)
- For participants to gain new insights about Topic X [fill in the topic]
- For participants to learn and practice Tools and Processes that facilitate substantive knowledge sharing, inquiry, critique, and discussion. In particular, to learn about the 4Rs approach: “A well-facilitated collaborative process keeps us listening actively to each other, fostering mutual Respect that allows Risks to be taken, elicits more insights than any one person came in with (Revelation), and engages us in carrying out and carrying on the plans we develop (Re-engagement). What we come out with is [see #1 above] very likely to be larger and more durable than what any one person came in with; the more so, the more voices that are brought out by the process” (http://wp.me/p1gwfa-nC).
Experiential goals (how the process will affect our way of being)
- As participants, our experience of gaining insights about Topic X excites each of us about extending conversations about the topic beyond the 1-day CPR workshop (in time and in who participates).
- Our experience of engagement in the tools and processes, especially using the 4Rs approach, excites us to seek out and pursue other engagements in a similar manner, in particular, to “connect quickly with others who are almost ready… to foster participatory processes and, through the experience such processes provide their participants, contribute to enhancing the capacity of others to do likewise.” (Taylor 2005, Unruly Complexity, p. 225).
Initial Preparation by organizers, with some tasks for participants
- Create website (to convey information below and work that participants allow to be publicly viewable) and Initiate an email listserv or group (which will be visible only to participants).
- Recruit 8-14 participants (counting the organizers)
- Each participant submits in advance a paragraph or two describing a project related to Topic X that they want to advance with the help and stimulation of the 1-day CPR workshop (e.g., through connections made, new ideas encountered, feedback on the project formulation). Identify one thing that you want help thinking about related to your project (e.g., how to expand the range of people engaged with recruit subjects for my project, how to build an audience for my next book on …,)
- Arrange for some or all of participants to prepare written paper, visual aids, or audio run-through for 20-minute presentations on Topic X, which they won’t actually give at the 1-day CPR workshop. (If visual aids, encourage them to insert text slides to help explain the logic and flow.) Make available via the website (and remind registrants to read/view/listen this in advance).
Information on website
Goals (see above)
Paragraphs describing a project related to Topic X that participants want to advance
Presentations (on a password-protected page) for downloading and reading before the 1-day CPR workshop. (Note that at registration you will be asked to identify two of the pre-circulated presentations that you are most interested to discuss, plus a backup option.)
Please bring your own water bottle, notebook, and, if you have one, a web-connected smart phone or laptop.
Email address for listserv/group (to which participants will be subscribed [i.e., opt-out, not opt-in]
Advance preparation by participants
Read the information on the website, especially the pre-circulated presentations.
Reread your paragraph or two describing a project related to Topic X that you want to advance.
Print one thing on a 4×6 card (or large PostIt) that you want help thinking about related to your project on Topic X (e.g., how to expand the range of people engaged with recruit subjects for my project, how to build an audience for my next book on …,) Bring to workshop.
Just-before-the-1-day CPR workshop: Preparation by organizers
- Copy 2-sided instructions handout for each participant, along with Connections and Extensions sheets and Plus-Delta sheets (8.5” x 2.75” for use in Sessions 1 and 4, respectively)
- Familiarize yourselves with the session arrangements and divide up the coordinator tasks for each session.
- Provide minimal refreshments (large water bottles for participants to decant into their own; snacks (carrots, nuts, crackers, fruit) that can be taken away in bags at any time. Set out a donation box for monetary contributions (if needed).
Layout of space
Circles of chairs (for session 1). One circle if only 8 participants; Two circles of equal size if more participants
Food & refreshment table set out from the wall (for access from all sides) (perhaps next to registration table).
Board, a little away from the food table, for posting groups for session 2 and cards for session 4.
Check-in (Time 0)
Coordinators ask participants to:
- print name in large block letters on sticky name tag
- provide your name on a sign up sheet for two of the pre-circulated presentations that you are most interested to discuss, plus a backup option. (Authors indicate only one plus a backup);
- place your “one thing that you want help thinking about related to your project on Topic X” card of the board to form the basis for Session 4 (e.g., how to expand the range of people engaged with recruit subjects for my project, how to build an audience for my next book on …,). (Write it on a 4×6 card of large PostIt is you didn’t do that beforehand);
- take a copy of the instructions handout and the sheets for Connecting & Extending and for Plus-Delta responses;
- go to a circle with one of the coordinators (filling up one circle before starting the next).
Session 1, Getting Here & Exposing Diverse Points of Potential Interaction
This activity emphasizes Respect—for yourself and others—from the outset, making it more comfortable for you to Risk talking about your personal journey. You may gain insights—Revelations—from what you hear yourself include in your stories.
A circle gets going as soon as it has filled:
- Welcome from circle coordinator (or a volunteer arranged by the coordinator)
- Initial 5-minute activity (guided freewriting on hopes for the 1-day CPR workshop)
- 30-second introductions in pairs (= name & hopes for the workshop)
- Autobiographical Introductions: “How I came to be someone who would end up at a 1-day CPR workshop on this topic” –equal time for everyone (=5 minutes or less if the group starts late).
- Gives participants an opportunity to introduce themselves in narrative depth, their current and emerging work, and learn more about each other
- Coordinator goes first to model
- Everyone notes, for each introduction, a point of connection with the speaker and a point in which they might extend what is said (which can be taken in many directions, e.g., suggest something for the speaker to read, adopt or adapt something to their own work, look further into something). After the first three introductions stop to draw connections and discuss with a neighbor what is emerging.
- [Only if more than once circle] Last 5 minutes: Decide as a group one common thread and one tension among the participants. One person stands up to state these aloud for everyone to hear.
- Each person passes C and E sheets to each other person
(The handout has the instructions above plus instructions, http://bit.ly/Freewrite, & space for guided freewriting.)
Next 1.5 hours
Time for work on your Projects (including digest C&E sheets, reflect, write, pursue internet inquiries)
Session 2 coordinator arranges groups of people ready to discuss a given pre-circulated presentation with an author, then allocates the groups to one or the other of the two parts of the Session 2 so as to make sure that an author is not in a group that meets at the same time as their pre-circulated presentation is to be discussed. (Depending on the number of groups, number of precirculated presentations, and preferences of participants some of the presentations might not get discussed in session 2.) Names of who are in these groups are posted. The Coordinator circulates among the authors to explain their role in each group (see below).
70 minutes before lunch
Session 2, Digging down deep & Exposing More Points of Potential Interaction
Respect continues to be emphasized—everyone, not only for the published author, is an agent in shaping what can emerge from a reading. The Respect-full experience in Session 1 prepares the way for the Risk involved for the primary discussants speaking in front of the gathering as a whole. They may gain insights—Revelations—from what they hear themselves say. The listeners may too as you chew on what you share with the various speakers and how you differ from them.
There are two 30-minute parts to this Session, separated by a 5-minute break. In each part, the author meets with people ready to discuss their pre-circulated presentation. The groups have been posted on the board.
Once the group is seated, the author introduces the format:
“The author can take a few minutes, not to summarize their presentation, but to add context or framing that may not have been obvious or updates since the presentation was submitted.
Then each person has 4 minutes (no more, no less) [or 5 if the group is small] to describe how the pre-circulated reading intersects with or stimulates their own thinking. It is more important for groups members to express this, than for them to refer to particulars of the pre-circulated presentation.
The author stays quiet until all others have had their turn, but then has 5 minutes to describe how the group has stimulated their thinking.
If there is time remaining, free-form discussion can happen.”
After end of session, before moving to lunch
Coordinator for Session 3 explains that
“Each ‘I want help thinking about’ topic group meets for 18 minutes after lunch, so that each of you participates in three topic groups, one after the other. One of these is the group that you identified when you registered as wanting help on.
Now you have to write your name on two small PostIts and stick them to a ‘one thing I want help thinking about’ topic in two of the three columns—but NOT the column in which your own ‘one thing I want help thinking about’ topic is posted. After you do this, record on your handout the number (and thus location) of your groups for each of the three columns.”
Coordinators will help participants understand and complete the task of signing up for “I want help thinking about” topic groups, then add their own PostIts to topics that have no other participant or only one.
Participants also encouraged to peruse the PostIts from Session 1 (Blue for commonality and Red for tension).
Session 3, “I want help thinking about” (a variant of http://bit.ly/Oneonone)
Respect and Risk continue to be emphasized in asking everyone to take initiative in asking for help. You can hope to gain insights—Revelations—from what you hear yourselves ask for and from how you respond to queries and suggestions from others. At the same time, the other topic-group members can gain insights from hearing how they respond to the request for help.
Coordinator for Session 3 reminds everyone that “Each ‘I want help thinking about’ topic group meets for 18 minutes. After participants have moved to the numbered locations, the originator of the topic explains what help they seek and the group takes it from there. Feel free to move chairs from a position that has some to spare.”
Session 3 Coordinator gives 3-minute warning for a group to wind up. At each switch from one column’s topics to the next, the Coordinator helps anyone who needs it to identify their next group and find their way to it.
Complete preparation of 5-minute work-in-progress presentation (http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/WorkInProgressPresentation.html)
Break, 10 minutes
Coordinator for Session 4 gets visual aids from participants and transfers them to laptop linked to projector.
Session 4, Work-in-progress presentations
Each participant has 5 minutes to get started, present and get spoken feedback
Every other participant provides Plus-delta feedback (http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/PlusDelta.html) on the presentation
Day 1 Evening
Expectation is that you sit next to and speak with someone you haven’t got to know, perhaps circulating to keep doing this.
Session 5 coordinator creates a circle of chairs packed as tightly as possible. One chair removed so that people can get in.
Respect, Risk, and Revelation are emphasized in the listening—not only to others but also to oneself (even if silently)—that happens in a Dialogue Process. By the end of the Dialogue Hour and Closing Circle, participants should be clear about at least some issues that have (Re)engaged you through the experience of the 1-day CPR workshop.
Session 5 Coordinator explains that the topic of the Dialogue Hour is “Review the 1-day CPR workshop insights and experience. Share our thinking about how each of us can extend the insights and experience.” The Hour involves 5 phases, as described on the instructions handout (see below). Asks everyone to read the instructions for the first, freewriting phase and then start. Anyone needing more explanation should quietly attract the Coordinator’s attention.
- 5 minutes Freewriting to begin to consider the topic of the session.
- Check-in: Short account to a neighbor of one’s concern or question about the topic of the session.
- Dialogue process, i.e., listening with structured turn taking. Guidelines are circulated, with each person reading one item then passing along.
- 10 minutes before the session ends, each participant spends a few minutes writing to gather and share thoughts that have emerged as they are meaningful for them (using a printed or online form like http://bit.ly/CIQwork). Session 5 Coordinator explains that it’ll reduce work if people can use the online form on their laptops or smartphones to gather thoughts.
- Last 5 minutes: Each participant shares one thing they plan to address/get done/think more about based on the session. (This should be very brief—no explanations or repetitions—but having this aired in the group–having it witnessed–makes it more likely to happen.)
(The handout has instructions for Sessions 2-5, including guidelines for dialogue and prompts or web address for gathering thoughts in phase 4 of Session 5. Handout also repeats at the bottom the Learning and Experiential goals .)
Each participant has up to 15 seconds to state one highlight or appreciation or suggestion or thing they are taking away from the 1-day CPR workshop to do more work with. One person starts then passes the (figurative or literal) mic to a neighbor. (Session 5 coordinator audio-records the closing.)
End at Time 11:45
Follow up by organizers
- Get help to tidy up the space.
- Send out initial listserv email with guidelines, instructions about unsubscribing, encouragement to share.
- Transcribe & collate gathered thoughts from Session 5, phase 4; post to listserv.
- Transcribe audio-recording of closing; post to listserv.
- Post any revised paragraphs or presentations (see below) that participants indicate can be viewed publicly
Follow up by participants
- Peruse what is posted on the listserv (see above)
- Submit a revised paragraph or two describing the state of their project related to Topic X after the help and stimulation of the 1-day CPR workshop (e.g., through connections made, new ideas encountered, feedback on the project formulation). Indicate whether it can be shared on the publicly visible website for the 1-day CPR workshop.
- Participants who prepared a presentation indicate whether it can be shared on the publicly visible website for the 1-day CPR workshop.
(A 5.5 hour version, which allows for a large number of participants, is viewable here.)