On predictions and discerning between fact and opinion

In Cartooning, Cool Ideas, Facilitating Genius, facilitation skills, How To on February 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm


February is an odd month in that it lasts for but 28 days — 3 years out of every 4 — and it is marked with all sorts of holidays or special occasions.  Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and Presidents’ Day are three well-known celebrations in North America.  But don’t forget that some folks also celebrate Emancipation Day, Candlemas, Tu B’Shevat, Boy Scout Day, Valentine’s Day, “Fat Tuesday,” Ash Wednesday, and Leap Day (a.k.a. Sadie Hawkins Day).

One of the challenges for any group, team, or organization is to look at their present situation and predict the future.  There are all sorts of ways to envision future scenarios, courses of actions, and/or ways ahead.  Perhaps one of the most important roles for a facilitator — faced with helping a group map its future — is to help folks discern between matters of fact and matters of opinion.  I’ve found that applying the 5 WHYs technique to this challenge helps greatly.  For who is to say which day in February is most deserving of being called an official holiday?  Some may argue that freedom trumps love or that sports are more important than politics.  What say you?  Please comment or subscribe to this blog if you’ve enjoyed what you see and read.


Note: For my Toastmaster friends who follow this blog, these questions are “ripe for the pick’n” (as they say in Dogpatch).  Feel free to expand upon this idea in future table topic sessions or use the photo above to set the tone for your next meeting theme.


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