A Parking Lot is a powerful tool to help you keep your session on track. The Parking Lot is quite literally a place to "park" thoughts and questions that come up during a session that will take you away from the focus of your idea list.
The Parking Lot allows you to honor questions and thoughts posed by your resource group that might otherwise be a distraction. For example, a participant starts to ask questions about a particular idea such as "How much will that cost?" or "Do you guys think we can do that quarterly?"
Posting the question on the Parking Lot memorializes the participant's thoughts while avoiding discussion that can rob you of the time you need to generate a robust list of ideas.
Take a moment to frame and explain the role of the Parking Lot during your introduction and enjoy the laser-focused environment it can help you create.
Have plenty of sticky notes and writing utensils available for the participants.
- Post a piece of flipchart paper with "Parking Lot" written at the top.
- Explain that the Parking Lot is a place to capture questions and thoughts that might be unrelated or cause the group to get off topic.
- When a question is posed or a thought is offered that isn't appropriate for the idea list, invite the participant to write it down on a sticky note and add it to the Parking Lot.
- Consider excusing the rest of the resource group if their input isn't required to "clear the Parking Lot."
- Wrap up your session by reviewing the Parking Lot with the client and agent. As you address each item, add any pertinent next steps to the Action Plan.
Connect with Coach K for more ways to keep your session on track.