Mapping Interactions

Mapping Interactions is about seeing the flow of conversation in a group, to identify the dominant and quiet parties, and to use this for discussion and improvement.
It is a surprisingly rewarding activity, but you need a significant period of time which is not going to require any serious input from you as a facilitator.

To begin with you need a map of the meeting room, with each person identified/located within it.
As the conversation begins, place your pencil in front of the map icon of the first person to speak. When someone else speaks, move your pen across the map to the icon of that person, and so on … criss-crossing the map with pen lines as the conversation changes.
If people talk for longer than 30 seconds, make a note of how long they are speaking for, and write each of these times behind their icon. Similarly, if people attempt to engage in the conversation but fail (e.g. somebody else talks over them) place a dot near their icon where it won’t get overwritten by a line.
As the conversation ensues your map will become a bit of a mess, and you will need to discipline yourself to keep focused on the map and not get so drawn into the conversation that you miss mapping bits of it. As you get better at it, you will easily be able to see the degree of dominance in the meeting, and also the degree of people not engaging in that.
At some point, if it will be productive, show your map to the group, and ask them what they make of it. Ask them if they are happy that the map represents a healthy discussion which is getting the best from its membership, and if they are not, ask them what they want to do about it.

Please subscribe to access clinic content

Subscription to the Inspirometer Information Service is free of charge and grants you instant access to a wealth of meeting effectiveness resources and guidance. It also provides you with regular updates direct to your mailbox at a frequency of your choosing.

I am happy to consent to the Inspirometer cookies and Terms and Conditions

Your use of the Inspirometer Information Service is subject to the following terms and conditions, and is subject to our privacy policy which can be reviewed here:

■ We will not use your information for any other purpose than to keep you informed of developments in meeting effectiveness and the Inspirometer system, and we will not share your information with others.
■ You are able to unsubscribe from this service at any time. Each email you receive from us will contain a link where you can reset your preferences for all future emails, or unsubscribe for the service entirely.
■ We will contact you on a minimum of a quarterly basis to ensure that our service is continuing to meet your needs, to give you a general update on key developments in our service, and to provide you with the option to change your contact preferences
■ We will hold your data on file to enable your access to the Information Service until such time as you unsubscribe from the service
■ If we hold your data outside of the information service as a result of you contacting us by email or purchasing our service, we will hold your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy ( We will delete such data, in situations where we are not legally required to retain it, on receipt of a verified request from you
■ All information provided by us is provided in good faith. All information submitted by you is to be provided in good faith.
■ In compliance with the GDPR 2018, you acknowledge that clicking the subscribe button grants us your consent to hold the data you have provided, and to contact you using that data, in the manner described above.
By clicking the button below, I agree with the Terms & Conditions.
Track your progress to ensure the efficacy of this strategy.