Friday, 26 May 2017

The Non-Verbal Stand Up

I wondered what would happen if we limited the conversation and turned it around - so you were asked for information rather than giving what you thought people wanted. So let's add a simple constraint:

"When we are talking about your story, you are not allowed to speak but people can ask you questions. You can respond in anyway you wish as long as it does not involve words being spoken or written"

You should observe some interesting things:

  • People often don't know where to start because they are used to justifying what they did yesterday, which is really hard to do if you cannot speak
  • People tend to start using really complex hand gestures until they realise nobody can understand what they are trying to say
  • The team might try to play sherades to get the same level of detail from speaking only to discover it takes way too long!
  • People's questions need to be really simple so they can be answered non-verbally
  • Focus will be wholly on the person when they are responding - if you are not concentrating, you won't know what they are trying to tell you
  • The same questions tend to pop-up from people for each story - could these been the most important things we need to know?

Questions you might like to ask the team:

How did it feel not being able to talk about your story?
What did people want to know from you?
Were any of the questions surprising?
Did we get the all the information we needed as a team, even though we could not talk?
Did it take more or less time than usual?