This popular ACTIVITY is a simple device to enable groups to explore issues and themes that may have been identified by using, for example, TEAM THINK, GENERATOR, CLUSTER MAPPING or a conventional Brainstorming session.
- Assign participants either 1/2, A/B, or your favourite method of grouping people. Ask half the group to place their chairs in an outward-facing circle and to then sit down. The remaining participants should then arrange their chairs in an outer circle, about 1.5 metres away, facing the other participants and also sit down.
- The Facilitator then gives the group their first task (from a set of themes that have been pre-determined either by the group through another ACTIVITY or by the organisation; for example, “What is good about ‘Participation’?”).
- Participants on the outer circle spend 2 minutes giving an example that illustrates the issue; the inner circle participant keeps notes and may ask questions.
- After 2 minutes the Facilitator instructs the outer circle participants to move two seats to their left; a related issue, for example “What is difficult about ‘Participation’?” is presented for 2 minutes.
- This should be repeated for two more rounds with new variations on the theme.
- The Facilitator then asks the participants to swap chairs between inner and outer circles.
- A new subject is offered for discussion and goes on for four rounds. (10 minutes)
- The Facilitator then asks the inner circle participants to take their chairs and form another inward-facing group elsewhere in the training room (or in another room).
- There are now two groups that have been keeping notes on separate subjects. Their task is to devise a graphic representation of their subject based on the conversations in which they have been involved. (20 minutes)
- All participants come back together and each group shares their graphic and explains the issues. (20 minutes)
DISCUSSION (about 20minutes)
- Ask how easy it was, in the inner circle, to actively listen and take notes. (they may say they were distracted by other conversations – good, help them explore how we make sense of the “noise” that often surrounds us)
- “Was there a difference being in the inner circle as opposed to the outer circle?”
- When in the outer circle, did they find that with each subsequent round they found new things to say about the subject?
- “How helpful were their notes when compiling the graphic representation?”
EVALUATION (10 minutes)
- Ask how the participants felt doing REVOLVER? (for example, did they feel as if they were repeating themselves?)
- “Is REVOLVER effective and relevant for the use to which it is put?”
How would the group use this ACTIVITY in the future and would they make changes? Capture, record, circulate.