It’s been very interesting for us to see all the different opinions that people have to offer when we do facilitations. Students share one opinion, faculty share a completely different one and community members are completely different from the first two groups. While it’s fun to be able to talk to all types of groups, it’s been a challenge to reign in all of the diverse opinions to form a productive conversation. At a facilitation the other night, a participant brought up a good point.
“Everyone complains about the bad, but no one praises about the good.”
Period. End of story.
He’s so right! People are so quick to voice their opinions when it comes to things they want to complain about, but when things are going well, they very rarely share their thoughts. So how do we change that? How do we find out what people think the positives are?
Our hope is that we can find some common (positive) themes to be able to change the future of the university through a new strategic vision. But the challenging part is, how do we get those positive opinions out of people when a lot of the time people want to complain?
Your initial reaction when someone gets you off topic is to say “let’s move on to the next question.” However, we’ve been taught and have practiced facilitating productive discussions. We’ll persevere!