Problem Solving

Solve problems and manage tensions in difficult situations.
Solve problems and manage tensions in difficult situations.

Discovery & Action Dialogue

Suggested duration: 25-70 minutes


A Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD) can be used to help a group to assume greater agency in understanding problems and derive solutions from exchanging personal insights with one another. The facilitator plays the catalytic role of encouraging conversations in a safe space, and need not be seen as the expert solution giver.   


Read more at Liberating Structures (external site)

Empathy in Action

Sometimes people need to see problems and solutions differently by experiencing it themselves. Empathy in action is about getting people to empathise with problems by creating rapid prototypes of solutions and testing their physical experiences within their team. The feedback collected from each testing phase is used to refine the prototype. 


Read more at Design Method Toolkit (external site)


Suggested duration: 10-15 minutes


Instead of asking participants ‘Any questions?’ and waiting for their responses at the end of a presentation, use the 1-2-4-All structured approach to make the sharing of reflections and insights more intentional. Move your participants from silent self-reflection, to generating ideas in pairs, to developing ideas further in foursomes, and finally each group shares their key ideas with all in class. An infographic to illustrate this process and a demonstration video are included in this article by Liberating Structures.


Read more at Liberating Structures

Stinky Fish

Suggested duration: 15-30 minutes


A stinky fish stands for something that becomes worse the longer you keep it hidden. This introductory activity promotes openness for participants to share about their anxieties, fears and uncertainties related to your discussion topic. Participants will grow comfortable with each other while sharing and identity areas for learning and improvements together. A link to a digital whiteboarding template is included in this article by Hyper Island.  


Read more at Hyper Island’s Toolbox

What-So What-Now What (W3)

Suggested duration: 30-60 minutes


Help participants to reflect on their shared experiences in a way that builds mutual understanding and encourage them to coordinate plans for follow-up actions. Through progressive rounds of sharing, group members talk about their observations and then go through sense-making of implications based on the observed. Insights that are sifted from every group member’s sharing are used to shape new direction. A demonstration video and collateral material are included in the link below.


Read more at Liberating Structures