Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Post-It Notes and Index Cards: a Facilitator's Ally

I love post it notes and index cards! Many of you will know that it made my top 10 list of most useful tips and tools for 2007. Today's post, builds on a much older post of mine from last year, about how post it notes and index cards can be a really valuable tool in your toolbox.

Here are some ideas on how you can use post-its and/or index cards:

1. For program development -- using a new post it or index card brain storm all the ideas you have about upcoming programs. Lay them out on a table or floor to start sorting/grouping

2. To get quick feedback from all participants during a program. As an evaluation tool, have participants write out their responses to your evaluation questions (1 question/answer per card), and have them post them on the wall

3. For business planning or strategic planning sessions -- the photo above is from a recent team planning session I facilitated late last year. There is nothing like getting people up and moving to boost engagement, excitement and ownership of their work!

4. As a quick poll of the group regarding what questions are popping for the group.

5. To ensure that all voices of the group are being heard. It is quite common for groups to be dominated by certain members. As a facilitator it's important to ensure that all voices are heard. Having participants write out their questions or responses, and then post them, or share them, can provide participants who are introverts, more shy or those who require more time to process questions, the opportunity to partipate and "be heard".

6. As a "vote" regarding where to go: Have participants show their support for a discussion item by putting up a post it note (different colours can represent different categories)

7. As a brainstorming tool - You can bring post-its/index cards into exercises where participants want to/need to brainstorm. For example,

  • small business owners working on their business vision;

  • professionals who are in career transition

  • stay at home moms who are returning to the workforce

  • teams working on their quarterly/annual planning

  • couples who are creating their budget or a plan for their year

The possibilities are endless. How would you like to bring post-it notes or index cards into your next program?

Have a great week,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT ~ Group Coaching Essentials.com

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