The Elephant Conversation: The power of this card is the simplicity. The hard part is not knowing about the "Large Gray Animal", the hard part is that it is awkward to bring up. Even worse, if you bring it up, sometimes you are associated with the elephant just for bringing it up. How do you use this card? There are many ways, but one easy way is to just throw it down on the table, and say, "What do we think? Anyone see any elephants that are not being discussed?" For whatever reason, it feels less personal by reading it off of a card instead of having this question come from a colleague. This often brings up a different question for a team. Do we have the practice, norms and skills to have this conversation productively? If the answer is "yes", awesome! If the answer is "no", you may want to check out our Critical Conversations Lab as a possible resource. One thing is guaranteed...eventually you will spot a large gray animal, and the question is, what will you and your team do with it?
Hint: Ignoring it and hoping it goes away doesn't seem to be the example we want to model for our young people.