Read My Mind

Tracy and I recently designed an interactive webinar (on building trust) that featured six new LOLAs (Live Online Learning Activities). Here’s one of them, called Read My Mind. In our webinar, we used this LOLA to elicit participant-generated content about the negative consequences of lack of trust in an organization.


To identify the negative effects of lack of trust in an organization.


15 to 25 minutes

Technical Requirement

A chat box that permits the participants to type their responses.


Create a list of responses. Prepare a slide that contains three to seven responses to the open question. Make sure that the responses are valid and different from each other.

Here is our list of seven responses to the question, What are the effects of lack of trust in your organization?

  • Lack of trust encourages people to be guarded and cautious in their communication.
  • Lack of trust increases employee turnover.
  • Lack of trust results in micromanagement.
  • Lack of trust increases misunderstanding.
  • Lack of trust increases the stress level in the workplace.
  • Lack of trust necessitates several layers of supervision.
  • Lack of trust encourages employees to withhold information.


Present the question. Introduce the training topic and explain that you are going to begin with an open question. Display the slide with the question.

Explain the task. Tell the participants that you have reviewed several articles on trust and interviewed several experts. You have made a list of different responses and prepared a slide with these responses. But you are not going to show this slide to the participants. Challenge the participants to telepathically read your mind and the slide. Invite the participants to type their guesses in the chat box. Announce a 3-minute time limit.

Monitor the responses. Comment on the responses as the participants type them. Encourage more responses and more variety among the responses. When the participants appear to be running out of steam, announce the end of the activity.

Present your list. Display your slide with different responses. Pause briefly while the participants scan the list.

Discuss one response at a time. Ask the participants to comment (by typing in the chat box) whether or not this response was among their telepathic guesses.  After going through all seven responses, ask the participants to recall any guesses they typed that were not included in your list. Discuss these items.

Conclude the activity. Thank everyone for their participation and continue with the rest of your webinar.