“The diagrams illustrated dramatically exactly how our project team was misfiring.”
“Without using the diagrams, we would have just gone on and not seen our problems.”
“The picture really was worth a thousand words.”
—Project team members’ comments on their work with diagramming group conversations.
The project team selects a member to sit just outside the group. This person works with a large piece of paper or flip chart angled so the group can’t see it. On the paper, the person sketches the team’s seating, using a circle for each team member and a rectangle for the table in the center.
For several five-minute time blocks during the discussion, the person sitting outside the group diagrams the discussion, drawing an arrow each time a team member speaks from that team member to the person the team member is addressing. Five minutes of discussion often yields a diagram that looks like the illustration to the right.