Jellyfish, Parking Lots, and Flow

This month is my de-cluttering time, so I am browsing through my physical, virtual and electronic space in order to find ‘open loops’ and review/reflect on various projects, information, ‘things’ and ‘stuff’. This blog is no exception: I noticed the only draft post saved a while ago, opened it and found the image below sitting there. The picture made me smile and I felt an urge to complete and share it.

for input sessions and feedback?

I found a file on my computer with notes on running a meeting or a training sessions. I remembered that I had saved it last year while preparing for a meeting with several school owners. The meeting had specific agenda but the attendees had to meet each other for the first time, therefore I was planning how to use (their and my) time efficiently.

I am in the planning mode now again (see my previous post about it), so I got curious where the idea came from. I then remembered reading HBR article by Bob Frisch and Cary Greene called “The Right Way to Cut People Off in Meetings

The idea to set a ‘Jellyfish Rule’ sounded simple and fun. Quote:

“If any attendee feels the conversation is heading off course or delving into an inappropriate level of detail, they simply say “jellyfish” or “I think we’re having a jellyfish moment.”

I can still see how it can be used on an input session with teachers, or during a group feedback session after a lesson taught (especially on an intensive training course when 2-3 teachers need to receive feedback in quite a limited time slot of a course day). I really like the idea of using a self-made picture on the board: it adds a playful element to otherwise ‘serious’ challenge. I must confess I have not used it in my classroom or training room yet (I simply forgot about this idea!)

Instead, I have been using the image if a parking lot for collecting ideas shared and questions asked that are ‘not right’ on the topic. A short note made in the corner of the board, or on a designated poster helped me be consistent and later follow up with the person who made that comment. I either raise that point in a coming session, or talk to the person on the break. I make sure each point on that list is addressed.

If I am really pressed for time on a feedback session I try to be explicit about it and set a timer to myself (using a cell phone or an online timer) and show it to participants in the hope to model transparency, and apologizing in advance for cutting someone off.

Question to readers: what else do you do in your lessons and sessions to manage time respectfully/creatively/gracefully?

Thank you for reading! 🙂

About Zhenya

teacher educator, evidence-based instruction trainer, PD Coach
This entry was posted in Trainer Reflections and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jellyfish, Parking Lots, and Flow

  1. Pingback: Principles and Beliefs | Wednesday Seminars

  2. Pingback: Livening Up the Process | Wednesday Seminars

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