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Posted by Jutta Goldammer from Visionautik Akademie


Group size

1 – 500

Subgroup size


Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed

Mental trust needed


Material Description

Pens, paper, Flipchart markers, moderation cards & pin-board or post-its.

Create materials quick and dirty

5 min

Create materials with love and care

5 min



30 minutes – 60 minutes

Experience level of the facilitator

taken part OR some facilitation experience

Number of facilitators

1 or self facilitated by following the printed instructions.


Level of activation


Hidden curriculum

Your biggest enemies can be of real value. Is there such a thing as an enemy at all?

Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

2 Creating an Innovation-Friendly Culture
3 Fostering New Perspectives & Ways of Thinking
4 Idea Generation
5 Grounding the Idea

Method Category:

Idea generator
Problem Solving
Social skills


This is a creativity technique that reveals aspects that can easily slip your attention.


Finding blind spots, der Unsympath



What we like and what we don't like influences the way we think and the type of ideas we like. Why would we create an idea we don't like? This technique deliberately asks that question by empathically stepping into someone's mind we don't like at all. This gives us the chance to leave our standard paths of thinking. It is a good exercise
-if you are looking for new ideas in an area you are very familiar with
-if you keep coming up with the same ideas
-as an instrument to check weaknesses of your idea and possible problems you haven't thought about.


We cannot trace back to the original source, it seems it is part of the common good. If you are the originator or know him/her, please let us know.


PREPARATION (excluding materials)

Provide pen and paper and moderation cards.
Introduce the purpose of the exercise and define the topic/question you want to work on. (This guideline is a suggestion for reshaping and refining an existing idea. With a few changes you can also use it to create new ideas.)
Tell your participants/team you will guide them through a 3-step process. You can introduce the tasks step by step.

1 Find a difficult person

(2 Min) Think of a person who has all of the following characteristics:
-You know this person well
-You do not think it is a stupid person
-And you don't like this person at all :-(( !!
This person will be your blind spotter.

Make sure, everybody has a suitable person in mind and continue explaining step 2. It is helpful to write the questions of step 2 on a flipchart or give them to your group as a print. Prepare your participants that they will most likely feel quite a resistance when they think about this person an his/her suggestions. Remind them that it is a normal reaction and it is part of the game to allow this resistance to be there. The blind spotter person is a great helper. Encourage your participants to see them as a helper. And if it gets really bad what helps is deep breathing and saying a few words of forgiveness to yourself for your resistance and to the blindspotter for his annoying way of thinking/being.

2 Step into her/his shoes

(10-15 Min.): Imagine what this person would think about your idea/project:
1. At which point would this person start to criticize and jab into your idea/project? Which characteristics of your idea/project would this person consider to be weaknesses and misjudgements?
2. What would this person do in a completely different way? In what way would this person conceive the project?
Write down all the (counter) arguments of the blind spotter in such a way that someone else can read and understand them.

3 React on his/her opinion

(20 Min.): Find yourself a partner with whom to go through the answers of step 2. Your partner presents to you the arguments of the blind spotter. You react to it: weigh whether real weaknesses have been addressed (in this case you explain to your partner how you are going to deal with them) or whether the criticism is unjustified (in this case you use arguments to counter them). Also look at the suggestions/new ideas from your blind spotters. Evaluate what is helpful and what is not.


Come together as a group and gather your new insights. A good way approach is to write the most important ideas on post-its or moderation cards and cluster them. Refer them to your original question and decide which ideas/thoughts/aspects are worth examining more closely.



-You have thought about a topic over and over in a group, you are looking for an idea or a solution for a problem but come up with the same ideas over and over again. The persons in the group have a similar mindset and there is an unspoken agreement about what is good and bad, right and wrong. In that case it is especially helpful to invite new perspectives or even challenge taboos.
-You can also do this alone if you perceive yourself in deadlocked thinking routines. Then you should either find someone for step 3 or your can start an internal dialogue swapping roles.


Some facilitators use this exercise by collecting 6 people you don't like and throw the dice to choose which one you take as an example. It might add some playfulness to the exercise but needs some extra time.

Trainers for this method can be hired here:

Visionautik Akademie www.visionautik.de

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