Introduction to Level 3
Whose Rules and Why?

How does group 'feel'? If it feels ok, we may be happy to let the 'process' continue as is. But at some point, for somebody, it may start to feel not ok. Some inner tension will be created, and they may (eventually, or straight away) ask that the group consider doing things another way ie change group process. Or they may be unwilling/unable to ask for what they want, and their dissatisfaction may grow to the point where they leave the group - not wishing to deal with that inner tension any more.

At some point, the men who are willing/able to do the work, will stay and say what it is they want, ie they enter into conflict; and the essence of this conflict will be 'Whose Rules and Why?' (Perhaps all relationships go through this phase: Am I respected? Being treated fairly? Why shouldn't things happen the way I want them to? - And perhaps once we enter this debate we never really ever leave it…)

Many things can happen during this debate. Some groups will find cohesion and common purpose as they pursue and make conscious those standards by which we live and want to live our lives, both inside and outside group. Some groups will fail at this barrier, unable to make conscious and agree on a common standard for their group purpose. Some men may leave at this point, licking their wounds (sometimes real, sometimes only perceived that way), and the group reshuffles and tries to start all over again.

It is the desire for mutuality that brings us together, and keeps us working at it. In the experiment called a men's group, sometimes we will find mutuality and journey together, and find support and healing along the way; sometimes we will not find it, or perhaps lose it along the way, and despite our best efforts at going back and looking for it, many of us will finally end up taking separate roads into our own new possibilities.

Level - 1 Meetings

3-1 Working Rules - Establishing basic ground rules for the group
3-2 Confidentiality - What is, what isn't confidential?
3-3 Consensus Decision Making - Exploring mutuality through consensus
3-4 Conscious Agreements - Making a strong container
3-5 When Agreements are Broken - Exploring 'whys - hows -responses'
3-6 Statement on Non-Violence - Are we committed?
3-7 Leaving the Group - What issues come up here?
3-8 Inviting a new man into Group - Are we ready? Is he?