Dive Beneath the Visual Iceberg

Posted by | Apr 20, 2016

Visual Iceberg

4.20.16 Post2

“The overall purpose of using graphic recording is to create a reflective experience with the visual chart(s) that inspires an insight or an “a-ha moment” for your participants. When you make it a habit to practice complete collaboration, you can fully integrate visuals in the larger context of engagement, thereby encouraging more of those moments before, during and after your meeting.” ~
Lisa Arora

How does our work really impact our clients? Is a enough to have a great graphic recording/facilitation experience? Or do we strive to push the potential of how visual maps are created and used to deepen conversations and inform decisions in the room?

I recently had a truly collaborative experience with a facilitator. From the beginning, I was involved in design conversations. My inputs, as I had been in multiple sessions in the past year, were valued and incorporated into the design. During the workshop, we checked in after each session and reflected on how the group was doing in order to flex the agenda accordingly. I didn’t sit on the sidelines or roll with design changes. I was knee-deep and fully invested in the workshop. My ideas melded with the facilitator’s style and process, and the group’s conversation was noticeably richer, deeper, and more lively.

This collaborative spirit showed up in several ways for me, the facilitator, and the group:
• Personally, I leaned in fully into the conversation. I sat in the circle. I had stake in the game. I listened differently. I stretched my own thinking and skills to create a visual that not only reflected the conversation in the room, but would live on as a communication tool for the client and its community.
• The facilitator had a knowledgeable design partner who had a different perspective and could provide additional insight and ideas.
• The group experienced a workshop led by a cohesive team, leveraging all of the experience in the room. The maps created represented their vision, illustrated with compelling visuals and will live on past the workshop. The maps now live in hallways of offices, encourage feedback through interactive exercises, and are actively used as a communication tool on various platforms.

This is not a rare case in my practice. In fact, it happens more often than it doesn’t. My favorite clients (and we all have them) are the ones that take the time to explain their needs and invite us onto their team to create change. These are the clients that I will happily spend more time with to make sure we have the right visual frame, template, or agenda to support their goals.

So at the start of your next client engagement, think about the iceberg. Dive beneath the iceberg to see the potential impact you can make. It starts with collaboration—a partnership. That’s when the work gets really juicy.

Check out Lisa’s e-guides:
The How-To on Effective Gallery Walks for Visual Meetings
How-To Get the Most Out of Working with a Graphic Recorder
How-To Use Your Charts After a Visual Meeting

Wonderful resource for visual practitioners, consultants, facilitators, and managers.

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