5 Questions for Processing;
1) Did you notice…..? by opening with a closed ended question you give the group a common starting point, this opening question will set the tone, if possible keep it a positive observation.
As a facilitator take special notice to what is happening, this is challenging and takes practice. Pay attention to the power dynamics, who is taking the lead and who is following, watch body language active and inactive movements, additionally focus on how topics are being addressed and spoken about the tonal culture of a group will give you some great starting points.
2) Why did that happen? or What factors led to that happening? or How does something like that happen? all variations on the why did the 1st question that was noticed happen. Allow group members to discuss keep them at the current position, DO NOT GET AHEAD keep the focus on why that happened in that activity. Allow what you feel is sufficient amount of time, when the energy drops and the group is silent for ~45 seconds move on…
3) Does that happen in life? or Does that happen in the office, classroom, playing field, team meetings? insert proper context to question based upon who you are working with.
Returning to a closed ended question will again give the group a common concept to think about. At this point you are transferring the program to their lives moving into the conceptual concrete of the learning.
4) Why does that happen? or What factors lead to that happening? or How does that happen in office, classroom, life, etc…?
Now returning to an open ended question…facilitating the group to a convergent thought of the activity in a context of their lives and workplaces.
5) How can we apply this?
At this point challenge the group to find the connections and develop some action plans on learning and transference of gained skills, techniques and behaviors can return to work with them.
Idea from: Open to Outcome (Jacobson & Ruddy 2004)