In the last 4 years I have used LEGO® Serious Play (aka LSP) very often and the result has been extraordinary. However, due to the growing style of working remotely, I started to ask myself if I could use LSP when I am in a remote environment. In the last 2 months, I set my goal to try it. The first thing I needed to find was a safe environment for trying it; then a few volunteers. I got them both. I really want to express my appreciation to the LEGO Serious Play Facilitator Network (www.seriousplaypro.com) for allowing me to set this up and of course to my volunteers, for dedicating between 60 and 90 min of their time to try it. THANK YOU Patricia, Gabriel, Marko and Catherine!
Finished with the introduction, now, let me share with you the results of this experience. I really think that LSP has good potential in a remote environment; however, there are a few considerations to keep in mind that normally we don’t think about when we do it face to face. By the way, in this case, I am sharing the experience of 1-to-1 meeting with LSP, so if you are thinking of LSP as a coaching or interview tool, it is for you. Let’s start.
Is LSP a Potential Remote Tool to Use in 1-to-1 Meetings?
Short answer, YES! Long answer, yes with some considerations. 🙂
Virtual LSP 1-to-1 Meeting Consideration
- It needs extra preparation. Set up the right technology (Skype, Hangouts or other video conference tool), the music, the camera, and few more things. As usual, in the session, you need full focus in listening to your coachee, and you can take care of those things.
- The camera: yes, today, almost every portable comes with an integrated camera; however, I recommend a camera that you can focus easily on the coachee’s model. It will allow a better understanding of the story and the model. I have tried both ways and I am able to confirm that with a camera pointing at the model it is easier for the coachee.
- LEGO Bricks and more: my recommendation is that people need a plate and a starter kit box. In my opinion, you should be able to get all of this at a cost of less than $100 US dollars:
- 1 – 10×10 green/blue Lego plate
- 1 – starter kit
- 1 – USB camera
- Time: It was really difficult for me to do a 30 min coaching session with LSP, so if you are used to having a 30min session, maybe it is not the best tool. I like the results with a 60 min session.
What Works Well?
- Coaching questions in a virtual mode with LSP worked very well.
- Skype and Hangouts worked well. If you want to record the session; Hangouts are a good option.
- People got new insights in almost every session.
- LSP methodology worked well (question–>model–>story)
What Didn’t Work Very Well?
- Warm-up: It was hard for me to run a warm-up period. I was lucky that everyone in these sessions knew LSP very well :). So a short warm-up or no warm-up didn’t affect the session a lot.
- Fix camera: Sometimes it was very difficult to show the model with a fixed camera. Nobody said anything, but I personally felt a little bit concerned about asking to show the model very often. It sometimes limited me asking questions about the model.
- My focus: yes, my focus was really in getting LSP to work in a virtual environment that I sometimes lost focus to ask powerful questions about the model to generate insights. Preparation is key here. The focus must be on the coachee’ story.
- Time: Since it was new for me, I had some difficulty handling the time. It was hard for me to decide when to continue asking questions and when to rush the time. I think that the last one I did, it was a major progress on this matter.
- On my side, I will add the virtual LSP to my tool box and I would like you to try it and share your experience.
- I want to do a group virtual LSP session. I need to do a little more work on the time element, but I will soon post a request to join me to run a group session. Stay tuned.
- Get a lot of hard fun in a virtual environment as well as a face-to-face environment!