In our example workshop, I decided to go for a discussion as the input. As the topic is collaboration an possible improvements, there is no larger need for any input as the starting point. On the contrary – imagine being invited to a workshop to reflect on your collaboration practices, and the first thing you are presented with is a theoretical text about collaboration at work. Wouldn’t this feel like a punch in the face? It’s like saying Well, nice of you to be here, let’s look at what you did wrong your whole career… and nobody likes that!
Have you ever listened to someone properly? I mean, properly. Listening involves more than turning your head into the general direction where a friend, colleague or even your boss is sitting. Listening skills are often very, if not the most, underdeveloped skill in a leader’s skill set. Well, why should you waste your time improving your listening skills? You have two ears, both are functioning, or maybe just one, but that’s still enough, right? Spoiler alert: It’s not. The good thing is: You can improve your listening skills with one simple little thing.
Giving your team a text to read is a very common and handy approach to providing input. There are more than enough texts on the internet! Preparing a text as an input is quite easy and does not require much work – however, you should do your prep! Otherwise you’ll possibly end up with many lose ends and open questions during the workshop.
Of course you have heard this question. Everybody has! The answer is probably yes. If you even wonder whether you should write something down… do it. Being the person to remind the group of writing results down – or even doing it yourself without even asking that question – might trigger your colleagues to wonder why you insist on this. So let’s quickly review the top three possible reasons.