Six Tips for Facilitating a Kick-ass Lean Coffee Session
Have a Theme
All lean coffee sessions need a theme, here’s how to use it properly:
- relate the theme to the change, or the phase of the change you’re in
- keep it broad enough so it’s not too constrained to the point where people don’t know what questions they can ask
- don’t make it so broad that people are confused
- keep the questions that don’t fit the theme (because the point is to listen to people!
Don’t Pre-Seed the Topics
- this is obvious, don’t call it a ‘coffee chat’ and use it as an excuse to push an agenda
- don’t approach attendees ahead of time and give them questions so it looks like people are asking real questions (that should be a PAINFULLY obvious no-no!)
- if no one has questions, thank them and stop the session then reflect on why it didn’t work out
Make it Safe
- our lean coffee tool allows you to make it anonymous
- if running it in-person, instead of people putting their questions on the board, collect them in a hat and as the facilitator, you place them on the wall
Creative Voting Techniques
- use secret ballot instead of getting people to write dots on the cards
- our lean coffee tool lets you hide the votes until everyone has voted
- give everyone 3 votes, but don’t let them vote for their own topic!
- when running this in-person with large groups, ask each table to write topics and vote on their number one question
- have each group bring their number one topic up to the wall (or use any of the other tips on this list to anonymize the questions)
- during voting, give everyone 3 votes, but don’t let them vote for the topic that can from their table.
Have tips to share? Questions about these tips? Drop a comment below!