Visual Facilitation – in your head

There are a lot of cool visual facilitators out there who capture processes, discussions, results of meetings in drawings. But the other day I realized that visual facilitation can start before anyone even touches a crayon. When the members of the RENEWAL Aids and Nutrition Research Network discussed ways, how the national or regional level African networks could become more independent, one participant described how the giraffe gives birth. Aparently standing up. So the baby-giraffe drops from a considerable height on the ground, then the mother kicks the baby to stand up and start running. “Maybe”, the participant said, “we need a giraffe birth to learn how to be independent.”

What impressed me is how this giraffe stuck with us throughout the discussion and we came back to the picture again and again – either promoting or warning against giraffe-mother behaviour. What a strong impact the pictures can have that we draw in each others’ minds. Jim Henson, the muppet master of Sesame Street and the Muppet Show, lets his muppets show the power of visual thinking in visual thinking #1, #2. and #3

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