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Decision Making
Training Exercises and Resources

Fishbowl Conversation Technique

Fishbowl Conversation Technique
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Large Group

Article Rating:::: 9 Ratings :::: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The fishbowl technique can be used to organise constructive discussions on a given topic. In a nutshell, the technique helps people manage a debate on the topic and keep it under control even if many people are participating. In this technique, at any given time, a group of people will be actively debating while the rest of the group listens in and takes notes of various viewpoints. Through an iterative process, many participants will get to listen and talk about a topic.

The fishbowl technique is ideal for many situations where a discussion around various points of view is needed. The technique is popular in political science, philosophy, advertising, science and decision making. It is also a great tool for training courses and involving students in various discussions around a specific topic.

The great advantage of the fishbowl technique is that it lessens the distinction between the speakers and the audience, while allowing many people to voice their views. It is ideal for large groups.

The fishbowl technique is particularly useful for today’s divisive societies where opposing views are constantly on a collision course. The technique helps to expose an audience to what the other camp thinks in a controlled manner and helps create a dialogue.

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Teach Why Groups Can Take Too Much Risk While Making Decisions

Teach Why Groups Can Take Too Much Risk While Making Decisions
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Large Group

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Monday, February 18, 2019

Is there a difference between people making decisions in groups and individually in respect to the amount of risk they take? To investigate, James Stoner, who was a MIT graduate in 1960s, carried out a series of experiments (Stones 1961). The research soon led to fascinating insights into the dynamics of group decision making.

Usually, we think that employing more brains is always better than one and that making decisions as a group is better than making them individual. The research conducted by Stoner clearly showed that decisions made in groups tended to be far riskier than those made by individuals.

The studies were intriguing and soon other researchers joined and conducted their own investigations (Whyte 1993). With Stoner research, certain factors influenced the groups to make riskier decisions than individuals. In other studies, the groups behaved more conservatively than individuals.

What the research showed was that a group seems to exaggerate the opinions of its members leading them to make extreme decisions—either being too risky or too conservative.

The exercise presented here is based on such studies and it aims to illustrate this point to delegates in an elegant and memorable way. The aim is to make them aware that decisions made in groups could be exaggerated in one direction or another.

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Perspectives

Perspectives
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 9 Ratings :::: Monday, January 15, 2018

Suppose there is a team meeting and the group is going to discuss the issues associated with a topic, design something or a solve a problem.

For any given complex problem, there are a variety of perspectives and views that can be considered. However, habitually, everyone will only look at his own view, aiming to push his own agenda. This leads to a situation where the group may end up responding to the loudest person who talks the most and is naturally biased towards a particular perspective rather than considering overall important concerns.

This exercise helps the team to view the problem from a variety of perspectives that they usually tend to ignore in favour of their own.

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Diamond Ranking for Decision Making

Diamond Ranking for Decision Making
Exercises, Creativity, Decision Making

Article Rating:::: 4 Ratings :::: Monday, August 22, 2016

When making decisions, you often need to choose between a series of options. When told to rank options, people sometimes want to give the same rank to multiple options. In some cases, it might be more important to learn about the most and least preferred options rather than to spend time judging between the middle choices.

A technique known as Diamond Ranking can help you focus on the most and least preferred options.

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What Are the Basic Principles of Memory

What Are the Basic Principles of Memory
Public Speaking, Exercises, Decision Making, Attention and Focus, Memory

Article Rating:::: 17 Ratings :::: Monday, June 20, 2016

This is a fantastic exercise in teaching a number of important topics related to memory and retention. The exercise is actually rather simple—going through a list of words and recalling what has been stated. However, the way the list is structured helps to cover various interesting topics in relation with memory such as the following:

  • Effect of primacy on memory
  • Effect of recency on memory
  • Repetition
  • Element of surprise
  • False-memory
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Training Technique: Combined Ranking

Training Technique: Combined Ranking
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Decision Making, Planning, Learning

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Monday, May 9, 2016

When delivering training courses, sometimes you need to get the delegates go through an exercise that involves sorting cards. Card sorting is a training activity where you get the delegates to think about a subject and vote by sorting a number of options. Sometimes they may need to generate these options before sorting them. Usually, the aim is to pick the best option or find a consensus on how to move forward.

Here, you will be introduced to a variation of card sorting that makes the process systematic for a group of delegates and allows them to make a decision collectively.

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Form a Line Based on Your Birthday

Form a Line Based on Your Birthday
Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building, Communication Skills, Exercises for Kids, Decision Making, Large Group

Article Rating:::: 65 Ratings :::: Monday, January 18, 2016

In this exercise delegates get to form a line based on the order of their birthdays without talking. It provides an opportunity for nonverbal communication, self-organisation, nominating a leader if necessary and quick decision making.

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Pluses, Potentials and Concerns

Pluses, Potentials and Concerns
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 12 Ratings :::: Monday, August 26, 2013

This is a decision making exercise that allows you to choose the best ideas from a set of ideas. Since each idea is considered in detail, this technique is more useful when you can focus enough on each idea. Hence, it is not suitable if you have many ideas to consider or want to use quantitative methods to reduce the number of options available.

It is best to run this exercise for a group of people who are from the same organisation so that everyone can focus on the same problem.

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Idea Selection Exercise: The ATAR Technique

Idea Selection Exercise: The ATAR Technique
Exercises, Decision Making, Marketing, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 30 Ratings :::: Monday, August 19, 2013

The ATAR acronym stands for Awareness, Trial, Availability, Repeat. It is a technique used to filter through ideas based on a number of criteria. It can be used to understand customers’ perception of a product or service. Hence, it is an ideal marketing tool. The technique can help you recognise your potential customers and to make informed decisions based on this discovery.

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Decision Making: The NAF Technique

Decision Making: The NAF Technique
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 45 Ratings :::: Monday, June 24, 2013

A particularly useful technique in brainstorming and decision making is the NAF technique. The acronym stands for New, Appeal and Feasibility. It is basically a simple way to score ideas to see if they are worth pursuing or implementing. It also helps you to see what you can do to increase the probability of success when developing or implementing an idea.

The NAF technique is not necessarily a mathematical decision making technique. It is designed to measure gut feelings about particular ideas and hence it very much relies on participant’s instincts and judgement. Since the technique relies on emotions it is a great complementary method that can be used in conjunction with logical and quantitative decision making techniques. This helps to give an overall idea on the probability of success for any given creative thought.

In short, the NAF technique allows the team to measure its enthusiasm for following up with a given idea or its implementation.

This exercise is ideal for members of a team that need to brainstorm on a specific problem. However, you can easily run the exercise for delegates that come from different organisations so long as you can get them to work on a common problem for the purpose of this exercise.

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