What is the Parking Lot workshop tactic?
This tactic is great when you need to keep meetings and workshops on track by ‘parking’ irrelevant questions or topics.
This technique helps ensure that important questions do not get lost and that the group can stay focused on the most relevant things. It’s also a great way to shut down unhelpful or tangential conversations.
How to use the Parking Lot tactic in your workshop
1. At the start of a meeting or workshop explain to the group that we are going to use a ‘parking lot’ to help us work more effectively.
2. Write a large ‘P’ at the top of some flip-chart paper and tape it to a prominent wall. Explain that whenever a point is raised or questions are asked that don’t directly relate to the subject or session, you will write it on a sticky note, and stick that onto the flip-chart paper.
3. Use it throughout the meeting or workshop. Invite participants to add to the parking lot at any time.
4. As the meeting comes to a close, ensure that there is time to address the points and questions in the parking lot, with the whole group.
Tip: if there are any questions left unanswered, make sure that you or a group member follows them up.