We’ve all been there: the evening is late, the second group is halfway through and the energy is gone. Both the moderator and the group are running on Auto-pilot. A new stimulus/test concept is introduced and there is a sense of random choosing in the responses. There is definitely a feeling of inauthenticity in the replies. People are being polite – just! The group in the video tackle this and come up with suggestions for re-energising the group. The two I like best, because they work best, are getting people to change places which literally ‘breaks’ the set territoriality of the group and asking people to speculate about what other people they have met in the group might think about the ideas.

This latter works well because people will be nervous and excited about commenting on other group members – and the others themselves will be engaged lest their reputations (in the form of their opinions) are misrepresented. This slightly ‘anxious’ edge re-energises the session.

The group in the video are a talented and enthusiastic group of young researchers from 2cv working on this issue with Nicky and me. Thanks to you all!

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