Pencil That Never Lies

Every Word is the Truth

Type of Activity:  Processing, Trust through Truth

For many professionals, a yearly performance appraisal is a yearly lesson in humility.  Sometimes the words just don’t seem to match the individual’s perception of their contributions and they are left to ponder over and over again, the relevance of each word.  Here is a reviewing technique that encourages us all to look at the words, and come to terms with their relevance to our present situation.

Props Needed: A clipboard, pencil/pen, and paper

Concept:  The observations of a member of the group are recorded (written down) during the activity, and then shared with the members of the group at the completion of the task.  Rather than discuss the validity of this viewpoint, participants are encouraged to consider all comments as irrefutable facts, and to focus their discussion on this assumption, and the resulting consequences.

Process:  Prior to the presentation of the next activity, the facilitator requests a volunteer to take the role of observer/recorder.  This person is presented with a clipboard, paper and pencil, and asked to make a written record of the performance of the team, including opportunities for improvement.

When the recorder is ready to share their observations with the group, the facilitator informs the group that they are to consider every word from the recorder as a truthful fact - and then encourage their discussion about what to do if this was in fact the case.

As an alternative to a single observer/recorder, the group can be presented with the clipboard, paper and pencil, and asked that each member write down some observation during the activity, that will be discussed during the following reviewing session.



For more resources see:  A Teachable Moment

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