The Circle of Questions is a technique I learned from Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby. It’s a book well worth reading if you facilitate any kind of group meetings, not just Agile Retrospectives.
In this activity, the group sits in a circle, and going around the circle, each person takes a turn asking a question to the person on their immediate left. The question can be about anything they like (barring anything offensive or attacking), but it’s helpful to focus on something relevant to this group and its history/activities. The person to the left answers the question to the best of their ability, and then they ask the person to their left any other question (or the same question if they feel they’d like a better answer). This continues until the allotted time is up, or until you have gone around the entire circle twice, whichever comes last. Make sure you go around the complete circle: if some people in the group get more turns to ask or answer a question than others, it can send the wrong message.
[This write-up courtesy of John Wilger]
- After the first time around, reverse direction
- After the first time around, have every second person get up and change places
- Go around more than twice