A lot of people lead groups of one kind or another but regardless of the subject matter or whether it is an educational or therapy workshop, my style is to use a balanced approach. You may wonder what I mean by that. It's quite simple, once an atmosphere of safety is established, (so often people don't feel that safe or comfortable in a group as I also have experienced so creating safety is always first on my list), I engage my secret little triangle tool. OK here it is;
This is a little freebie you can use in your group. Imagine a triangle. One point represents the subject matter so let's call that the it point. The next point represents how each individual is doing in the group. That's called the I point. The third point is the we point and naturally, it represents how the we, the group is doing. So now imagine that instead of a triangle you have a three wheel bike. If you want to give a lecture or impart some education you would make sure the it wheel is on the ground the most. If you are doing therapy, or your focusing more on each individual, the I wheel is doing the work and if you want a group activity or a party feel the we wheel is predominant.
Most of the groups I do, I like to keep all three wheels on the ground. That makes for a well-balanced group experience and participants don't get bored. While I am facilitating, I am mindful of my three wheels so I may be asking myself how the I, the we and the it are doing.
This is a handy way of monitoring any group. Sometimes I create my own workshops but I also do training or workshops for others based on their theme. I also teach facilitation both academically and privately.
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Diane Robinson kerr