Thinking calmly – the core process of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

by Jan 18, 2021English, Arcticles

Do you know this? Just a moment ago the thought was there. It slowly started to take shape until one of the others at the table couldn’t wait any longer and had to share his or her opinion on the topic. Suddenly, the idea was gone. Perhaps you also know the feeling of not having had enough time in a meeting or workshop to think through a topic in peace without hearing the first heckling or comments?

In a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) workshop this is completely different. During the workshop it is ensured that everyone has time to think for themselves. The aim is to get the knowledge and opinion of each team member out of their head and onto the table. Everyone has time to think – without outside influence. The different opinions should stand for themselves openly and uninfluenced.

How to reduce the influence of others?

LSP is a process-based method. The process on which it is based is called the core process. This core process is divided into four steps:

  1. Asking a question
  2. Building
  3. Sharing
  4. Reflecting

The starting point is the question that a facilitator asks all participants of a workshop (the facilitator is the person who leads through the workshop). This question is worked on by all participants.

During the second step, (the building phase) the participants have time to reflect and build their answer in the form of a model. During this phase, there is maximum concentration. The participants engage with the question, thereby building knowledge and at the same time forming new connections in their brains.

In the third step, every participant explains the significance of their own model. This is more than a presentation. Here, the knowledge and personal view are shared. The others are thus offered access on different sensory levels: they listen with their ears as well as with their eyes and even grasp the answer. By addressing different senses, the explanations not only become more catchy, they can also be followed more closely on the basis of the model and thus become more firmly anchored.

In the fourth step, everyone has the opportunity to ask questions of understanding about the models. This is not to question the statement of the model (no, not even in jest!). Only questions about the bricks are allowed to ensure that everyone understands the meaning. Based on this, a reflection takes place, which makes it possible to put the answers to the question into a common context.

Summary

By using this core process:

  • all participants get the opportunity to think about a question for themselves without being influenced by others.
  • every individual is heard.
  • each individual contributes equally to the discussion with his or her own knowledge and opinion.
  • the exchange between the participants takes place without fear or apprehension of being judged.
  • everyone can follow the thoughts of others more easily.
  • the risk of misunderstandings is reduced.
  • the understanding of each other in the team is increased.
  • a team deals with difficult and complex issues in a constructive atmosphere.
  • participants focus on the message and not on the messenger.
  • everyone works together at eye level without anyone dominating the workshop.

Using the core process in combination with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, meetings and workshops become more effective and efficient. Everyone is heard and contributes to a solution. The most surprising ideas and insights often do not come from the 20% of participants who have an opinion immediately. They usually come from the 80% who are a little more reserved. With LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, you help all participants contribute equally and get all ideas on the table. This creates mutual understanding and inspiration.

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