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Stinky Fish - A Facilitation Tool To Create Openness In a Group

This facilitation tool, called 'Stinky Fish', is focused on sharing fears, anxieties and uncertainties in a team. The purpose is to create openness within a group.

The stinky fish is a metaphor for "that thing that you carry around but don’t like to talk about; but the longer you hide it, the slinkier it gets." By putting stinky fish (fears and anxieties) on the table, participants begin relate to each other, become more comfortable sharing, and identify a clear area for development and learning.

Facilitation tool called Stinky Fish
Stinky Fish

However, I caution that this is a tool that should only be used by a skilled facilitator. Additionally, the facilitator will have to set the stage or 'prime' the group before the introduction of this tool. When I used the Stinky Fish, I had a opening session on 'safe' space and 'brave space' where I encouraged persons to be respectful, vulnerable and authentic. Furthermore, before the event itself, I built rapport with each participant and already had an idea of the issues that would emerge during the Stinky Fish session.

Do you have any experiences with the tool? Let me hear in the Comments section below,

Tool is courtesy of Gustavo Razzetti


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​​​Ann-Murray Brown

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