Music producer Brian Eno shared this idea with the audience of TV programme Later some years ago. When things are going badly in the studio he takes a pack of ‘Break the Logjam’ cards which he has prepared. His cards include such thoughts as, ‘listen to the quiet voice’, or ‘make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list.’
If a discussion, meeting or brainstorm is going badly, try some of these:
What does the shortest person think?
Talk to your neighbour for one minute about the most important thing you’ve discussed so far.
What would the person with the loudest coloured clothes do next?
What do the girls think?
Does Ephesians 2:1-10 help?
Read Psalm 19. Then pray. Is your discussion still stuck?
If this discussion was a meal what would it be like?
Everyone change places and start again.
Write down everything that’s been good about the meeting so far.
Great one another by touching index fingers only. Start over.
Get everyone in turn to summarise the discussion so far with one word only.
Everyone should write down one question they have.
What’s the most important sentence in the world and what does this discussion have to do with it?
What’s the most important thing that’s happened in your lifetime and what does this discussion have to do with it?
What does the person whose birthday is nearest to May 27th think?
Change seats and ask your new neighbour what they would do next.
I published a piece based on this stuff in Know Ideas 4, possibly still available from CPAS sales at £7 or so. If not then someone will have bought up some cheap stock and it may be available elsewhere.
If the answer to the final question is, ‘I bought this gun…’ then run.