True for You: A Technique to Consider
Using the right technique at the right time with the right people, can touch me at my core. When a technique helps to bring the best outcome for a working or learning session, I feel grateful. When I see a technique bring people together around feelings, thoughts, and experiences, I feel immense joy.
Does this always happen: use the best technique for what we need to do now? No, not always.
However, a technique I love and use with great success, is ‘True for You.’
What it is
‘True for You’ is a technique that invites all participants to easily communicate how they feel about something in the virtual setting with little pressure to share much more.
Why I like it
There are many reasons why I have used this technique in a variety of situations. Here are a few:
- Everyone is engaged
- It allows for people to make a statement about something but not necessarily share aloud in the large group
- It is easy to use
- It is easy to follow if you have never experienced it before
- No resources or special technology are required – Zoom is enough. It’s great for in-person sessions too.
How it works
Step 1: Write 4-6 statements connected to the reason your group has gathered, that may or may not be true for them. Helpful statements are ones that explore growth/change or the lack of it. They may be statements that help people get to know each other in new ways. They may also be statements that help expose how similar or different we are in our thinking about something.
Step 2: Share the instructions with the participants and ask everyone to turn their webcam OFF.
Step 3: When all webcams are off, post one statement in the Chat and read it aloud, saying, “If this statement is true for you, please turn your webcam ON. If it is not true, please keep your camera OFF.
Step 4: Wait for individuals to consider if the statement is true for them or not. It’ll take longer than you think.
Step 5: When everyone has decided, invite 1-2 people to share, saying “Who is willing to share why you turned your webcam on.” Thank each person who shares. To keep the energy high and minimize the pressure to share if your webcam is on, don’t invite each person to speak – only the few who volunteer.
Step 6: Then, ask everyone to turn their webcams off again. When everyone is ready, post the next statement in the Chat and read it, saying, “If this statement is true for you, please turn your webcam on.” And, you repeat the process.
Examples to inspire – download examples here
EXAMPLE 1: a group of participants in a training about effective meetings
EXAMPLE 2: a quarterly gathering of women connected to a church community
EXAMPLE 3: a strategic review with a Leadership Team of a large organization
EXAMPLE 4: a women’s book club
Tips for success
Using the technique True for You is harder than it sounds. The power of it is in its simplicity. Here are a few tips to help ensure your success:
- Select your statements carefully. The success of this technique is in the statement crafted and tender facilitation of the space.
- Check the sequence of your statements. It is helpful to start is an ‘easy’ one and move to ones that may be more provocative or tough.
- Remain calm. Your calm throughout the process will help everyone be calm. This technique requires an introspective reflective space.
- Be patient. Don’t panic if the webcams don’t turn on right away, people need time to consider the statement. If nobody turns their webcam on, invite a few individuals to share why they didn’t feel they could turn it on OR what it would take for them to do so.
- Be ready for the unexpected. Because it is a more intimate space for truth telling, you may hear some unexpected or never-before-shared truths. Thank the person for their courage and frankness.
What technique do you like to use?
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Jeanette Romkema (email@example.com) is GLP Senior Partner and Strategic Director.
Here are more GLP blogs by Jeanette.
Other GLP blogs about facilitation techniques: