As announced in our last post about inefficient meetings, today we will present you with another method for in-depth examination of a subject that can also be used as an opener or closer:  the headstand technique.

In order to do this, you do not need to be a gifted floor athlete or yogi. All you need to bring to the table is a little courage to ask provoking questions.

That is to say that the objective of this technique is to generate a “guide on how to feel miserable” by asking provoking questions and to then turn the answers you get upside down to turn them into something positive.


For this, it is important to ask a blatantly drastic question that really shakes your participants up. Following are a couple of examples for you:

  • How do I achieve to really drive my workshop participants crazy with my presentation?
  • How do I get my work group to not achieve any goal at all?


Or simply…

  • How do I make sure that no one will ever read my blog posts? 🙂

Depending on the size of the group, the question will be answered individually or in small groups. Write down the instructions for this clearly legible on a flip chart, give out moderation cards and pens and invite the group to write down their thoughts (one thought per card; key points, no novels!) beforehand and then pin them to the pin board afterwards. You can either cluster the cards yourself or use another work step for it and do it together.


After you have collected all the answers, you turn the question upside down like this: “How do I get my work group to achieve every single goal?”

By now, you are probably thinking „This is way too easy – in most cases, all you have to do is say „NOT“ and that’s it.” Of course, you are right. That would really be a little too easy! And this is not how the headstand technique works.

Instead, it is about finding complex answers, question the negative responses and think about how to counteract the results. You will be surprised about what realisations you will get out of your participants with this technique.

 “The headstand technique is a great method to get dozed-off minds and inattentive participants to think. They all will prick up their ears to throw their ideas about how something should NOT be into the mix – even the grumblers will participate and have a positive effect on the exercise.“ Johannes Karrer, managing director of the regional association Sauwald-Pramtal who is regularly leading larger groups and likes to leave the participants with room for emotions. 


Hope this helped to get you interested in this great moderation technique!!

All the best, your BusinessMind team