Pairing & Sharing

Have you ever stood in front of a group, asked a question and got blank stares as the response? Pairing and Sharing is a wonderful technique to use that helps ‘warm’ your participants up to talking. Some people are not likely to raise their hand and share their thoughts in a group setting unless they are called upon, especially early on in the program. Other participants are ‘over sharers’ and they speak up too often. The art of pairing and sharing allows everyone to have an equal opportunity to share their thoughts or ideas.

This technique also gives participants a chance to practice their answer before sharing with the large group. Many people do not like being put on the spot when asked question in front of their peers. Pairing and Sharing also allows for each participant to answer the question, not just one person talking while the rest of the group listens. Everyone gets a chance to answer each question that is asked.

With this technique, the facilitator first asks participants to find a partner. Once everyone has a partner the facilitator instructs the group to discuss a question together. This could be an icebreaker question, a general discussion topic, or a debriefing question.

My favorite Pairing and Sharing Tools include Icebreaker Wheelies, Debriefing Wheelies and Spot It or Ubuntu Cards.  What are some of your favorites?