Sometimes a number of people are silent and there is not necessarily a dominant person in the group. This often happens in cultures where being assertive is not valued.
Building participation when a number of people are silent in a workshop.
Types of participants: Non assertive people
1. Reframe the silence or non-participation as reflectiveness, consideration for others, desire to learn, a good way to avoid criticism, etc.
2. Pace the body language, especially head-shoulders-torso angulations.
3. Use paradoxical isomorphic metaphors about non-participation as the first step toward participation, etc..
4. When the quiet participants say something, encourage them with sincere praise for the slightest contribution that is worthy of praise, pace the communication style, and include techniques to diversify representation from small group activities.
This works like a charm with almost everyone. The problem is shutting them up afterwards as they let out twenty or thirty years of repressed wisdom.
This method can be used online without modification. It is a good idea to use the gallery view so that you can see all the participants easily at a glance and pick up on their body language and recognise when they would like to speak but may be hesitant. You may also ask questions and record their answers on a whiteboard.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: more participation
Potential pitfalls: Silence continues.
How success is evaluated: Increase in participation
Source: Gil Brenson
Derived from: Neurolinguistic Programming
Recognizable components: Reframing the silence or non-participation as reflectiveness, consideration for others, desire to learn, a good way to avoid criticism, etc.