Who has never been bored in a codevelopment session? Maybe the one who doesn’t do much … and more! But for animators, codev enthusiasts, addicted participants who experience it regularly, boredom can sometimes arise.

What to do with it? What to deduce? And how to be vigilant to the risks that arise from it (dropping out, choosing a subject because it seems more “crisp”, lack of involvement, etc.).

Discover in this article, 6 virtues of boredom in codev!

1. Boredom in codev, a proof of utility ? 

Have you ever met participants who introduce two topics saying that one of the two will likely appeal to the group more? The issue in co-development is not to please, or to present a subject that one thinks is “interesting for all”. Also, if boredom shows up on certain occasions, it may well be a sign that the subject brought in and retained is not there to “entertain the gallery” or to build consensus.

2.The absence of boredom, not necessarily proof of relevance? 

We sometimes see, when the choice of subject (before being validated by the prospective client) is offered to the group, a consensus on subjects likely to be more emotionally charged. We like a good conflict, a tense situation, a little unprecedented, which comes out of its daily life and appeals to our human curiosity for all that has to do with the “sensational”. And yet, these are not necessarily the subjects that offer the most opportunities for collective learning. Because that is the challenge of the codev, to learn by and with others.

3. Boredom, a source of progress for the group?

“I have been affected by this situation before and have solved it in the past,” I heard at the end of the session from a participant, a little weary. It was an opportunity for the whole group to wonder about the codev and its philosophy. As mentioned above, we do not treat a subject of codev as we would solve a puzzle which, once solved, has no flavor.

In codev, in a long-term group, you learn to make the effort to go from “consuming” to contributing. I help questioning the subject in its uniqueness in relation to the person presenting it, even if I have a feeling of “déjà vu”. I  contribute by questioning myself about my journey, my progress, my understanding of things, and I provoke learning opportunities during the session. It is indeed one of the virtues of codev to gradually move from grievance to action, from consumption to contribution.

4. Why do we experience boredom as a negative signal?

If boredom refers us to the absence of movement towards the other and the world (absence of interest, void of sensations, ideas or desire), it often confronts us with ourselves and allows us to go out of our illusions (Schopenhauer). In a way, the bored one approaches wisdom. We speak of “mortal boredom” aptly when boredom painfully confronts us with reality (according to some philosophers, admittedly very pessimistic!).

In this boredom, there is a form of withdrawal. I withdraw from what’s going on and thus find that I am bored. What if this heightening was necessary for a more adjusted and healthily disinterested reflection? For example, the clarification step is not intended to satisfy my curiosity through questions, nor to satisfy my ego by asking questions to “stick” the customer, who are expecting a “oh yes, indeed, that”. is a good question! “. From there to deduce that some form of boredom is necessary to contribute in an adjusted way …

5. Boredom, a data that can be analyzed systemically?

When I’m bored, am I the only one bored? It’s a safe bet that others than me are caught in this state. Whatever the answer, if I’m bored and the others aren’t, I can probably learn something from it. On the other hand, if the boredom is shared by others, or even by the session client, what can we gain from it in terms of learning?

A situation experienced during a session that I led a few years ago approaches this idea: the client exposes her subject and a strong boredom sets in throughout the group (the one that makes you put your head in the hands). The client stops to tell us: “excuse me, but I really have the impression of boring you” (it should also be noted that we were at a distance and without video, her intuition was correct). The group politely denied it and immersed themselves in very attentive listening (presumably to spare the client that feeling that no one wishes on anyone). Well … the subject has become fascinating! Our involvement changed his and the tenor of his subject (which unfortunately I can’t remember enough to illustrate).

What can the boredom of the group, or the client, or both, teach us about the content of the topic, the client’s relationship to it and the stakeholders related to the topic?

6. Boredom, a source of creativity?

In neuroscience, we also say that boredom allows access to other thoughts, apparently disconnected, a kind of flow that can lead to new creativity … is he bored to seek deep inside him an energy of exploration and inventiveness? Also, why not ask participants of a group in the third or fourth session: “If you felt boredom, in your opinion, was it from …? “. This is undoubtedly a way to use it in the service of learning and to desacralize it (for the group AND for you leaders who often dread it)!

… Because this article is the first of the year, I wish you, dear readers, much happiness and enough boredom!

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